Each payday my husband writes a quote on a dollar bill and pins it to a bulletin board in the office of one of his co-workers. I’m not sure how this began, but I think it started because of a conversation about salaries. You know the kind where someone says, “If I had your money, I’d burn mine.” Half joking, half serious, as if to say, “Aw come on, we both know you make more money than me, but who cares, let’s go to lunch together anyway, your treat.”

Last night when my husband asked me for a quote for his quasi-motivational fun time exercise, I thought of a plaque I saw hanging in my friend Susan’s garden that reads:

My husband said, “Wouldn’t it be better to use that quote closer to Thanksgiving.” To which I responded, “Uh, no! What do you think always, always, always, means? Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to be thankful.”

Now, I don’t go in for platitudes. Motivationally speaking, I am not inclined toward admiration for people who say things like, “Look on the bright side, getting old beats the alternative, right?” My automatic mental response to those types of remarks is, “Uh, no!” I’m not skilled at accepting nonsense. Nor do I want to be told how to feel, think or respond to it. If I want to be pissed off, I will. Until I’m not anymore.

But if I’m honest with myself, I have to agree that there is power in positive thinking. I also have to agree that an attitude of gratitude, while great in theory, isn’t our natural first choice. I guess that’s why we have to be reminded. Here’s a TED talk that summed it up for me today.

I’m grateful for the encouragers, as well as the provocateurs who help me remember that whether it’s other humans or bodily functions that are the damn nuisance, there are lots of OMG moments for which to be thankful. Always.

15 thoughts on “TGIF

  1. Totally with ya on the platitudes. I’m not big on inspirational quotes, either. I find life is far too rich and complex to fit on a bumper sticker. That said, no matter how down I get, or how wretched my life sometimes feels, there’s always an acknowledgement that I’m surely in the upper 1% of the world in terms of comfort, security and provisions. I have a great deal for which to be thankful!

  2. I agree. I think all too often we wait for an event to be thankful, instead of looking at the small positive changes each day in our lives, which to me go at the core of the quote. We just have to be perceptive enough to see the changes. Having just had surgery recently for first time, I notice it is the small things that I have begun to appreciate that I just took for granted such as being able to lift myself out of a chair or wash my feet as I shower. Does not sound like much, but I appreciate each step as it brings me back to me as I know that others just started the same struggle or have had it all their lives.

    1. It is much. Anyone who has had limited mobility, even briefly, due to surgery or circumstance knows that getting back on your feet is a process. Speedy recovery to you Lil Fafa!! 🙂 You’ll be dancing in no time!

  3. I wish that when I surveyed everything around me that I instantly jumped into a thankful attitude. Life is pretty good most of the time – I agree with you about platitudes though.

    1. You know what, just from the images you capture and share on your blog you cultivate a thankful attitude in others. Yeah, we may not always go there on auto-pilot, but we somehow manage to keep each other on course, and that is HUGE!

  4. I have learned through my life to believe in the power of positive thinking. The first half of my life I just thought bad things, and had bad things happen. Now I think good thoughts, I may still have bad things happen but not near as often and I seem to be able to cope much better. Not to mention my ulcers went away. 😉

  5. I think gratitude, like anything else, has to practiced. It would be wonderful if it could be a reflexive habit, but it’s never my first inclination. If I can get it to be the runner up, that would be progress! Nice post – perfect for a Friday.

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