From the moment you start recovering from your candy coma after Halloween, the Season of Thanksgiving begins. And it doesn’t end until January 2nd. For most, this should be a good thing, right? Who couldn’t use a little extra thankfulness and gratitude in their life? But for me, this time I tend to feel a little shamed that I’m not more thankful than I am. Like OF COURSE I’m thankful that I’m alive and healthy and have a place to live and family that loves me and a job so I can pay bills. And OF COURSE, I’m thankful that I live in America with the freedoms and security that warrants when so many people around the world are suffering and dying simply because of where they were born or what religion they grew up in. But does that mean I also can’t feel a little jaded for all the things I don’t have even though I’ve worked for them and stressed over them and given so much in order to attain them but still fall short?
Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful, and we’re lying if we say anything otherwise.
We can always be thankful for what we have that ensures our survival while not necessarily our happiness. And in comparison, we can always find someone who has it worse than us. But I find it disingenuous to hide the things for which we are not thankful—for the cancer, for the tree that fell and ruined the roof, for the continued silence on the new job front, for the bad decisions. Bad things or uncomfortable things happen, and I don’t think we have to plaster on a smile and pretend that we’re oh so thankful for what we do have. Because we obviously are. But pretending like nothing bad is happening in your life in order to be properly “thankful” this time of year is wrong in my opinion. And I feel like it’s a cruel form of personal punishment that no one deserves during the holidays.
So if you’re having a hard time being thankful right now when the whole world is telling you that YOU MUST BE THANKFUL OR YOU’RE UNGRATEFUL, you’re not alone. And I don’t think you’re ungrateful. You’re human.