|November 19th: World Toilet Day|
Every year I spend the days before Thanksgiving making my ThanksGiving List, where I note some specifics of what I want to thank my friends for during my traditional Thanksgiving Calls to them on Thursday morning. It takes some pre-thought to decide exactly what I want to say but it's easy and such a pleasure to spend the time thinking about all that I am thankful for in those I love.
Gratitude for all the good and love in our life is easy; not everyone takes the time but if put on the spot each of us can without much effort think of at least a few things to be thankful for in our lives. The harder, more deeper, and dare I say more joyful exercise is to practice being thankful for it all. Everything in our lives!
When I read about World Toilet Day it had a profound impact on me and upped my gratitude exponentially. Did you know that 2.5 BILLION people live without a toilet and proper sanitation?! World Toilet Day along with Charity: Water and Water.Org do great jobs drawing attention to the fact that there are BILLIONS of people living without the most basic of basics.
When I have a bad day, feel something's lacking, or am just not fully present to the joys of my day, I stop myself and for one brief moment give thanks if I have nothing else in life... I have water and a toilet. To think there are so many that don't humbles me and makes anything I have to complain about seem small and trivial. So this Thanksgiving I'm not just thankful for the big things, I'm thankful for the smallest, simplist things too.
To be thankful for it all we need to evaluate any upset in our lives in reverse. I was annoyed earlier in the month about how friends were fighting about the election then I thought how awesome it is to live in a country we get to debate these kind of topics out loud, how great it is folks care enough to fight about what's important to them, and lucky I am to have passionate people in my life. Irritated I am getting a cold this week, I was reminded how lucky I am to be healthy most of time and how fortunate I was to be able to be there for people I loved when they were ill.
Only when we can be grateful for all life has in store for us are we really living in gratitude. Sure it takes some effort to find gratitude in the annoyances, disappointments, and suffering in life but like a friend who had gone almost two weeks without power said after the storm- at least we were safe and we were together.
There are some shitty things that happen in life- things that can almost destroy us... but if we're here after we get knocked down we have, if nothing else, another day, hour, minute to be thankful for.
I'm hoping you have the Happiest Thanksgiving ever and am wishing you gratitude for wherever you are, whatever you have, the strength to handle whatever you're dealing with and the joy to appreciate all that life brings next :)