It’s that time of year…when we express our love and gratitude for the special people in our lives in $5 increments via Starbucks gift cards. When we show peace and goodwill towards all people by running each other down in WalMart to grab a deal on an XBox or iPhone. When we try to out-bake, out-light, and out-decorate our neighbors in displays of joyful festivity.
It’s so easy to see what we lack in life: a new pair of boots, a new laptop, a basket for my bike, a set of Jane Austen’s novels with redesigned covers, a Turkish kilim for my eclectic living room.
I love the holidays, but the consumer-driven focus really detracts from the spirit of celebration and reflection during this time of year. And a few weeks ago, amidst the chaos of another school year, the run-up towards the release of The Muse, and the busy pace of daily life in the city that not only never sleeps, but can’t even take a 5-minute nap, I realized that I lost sight of the many gifts that I already have.
I read a Latin saying somewhere once that translated to: everything that I want, I already have. I believe this. I have many gifts: friends, family, a home, a fulfilling job, enough money to go out to dinner occasionally or buy myself something I like.
But it’s easy to lose sight of this. I need a reminder. So I have decided that the “gift” I will give myself this year is one of gratitude. Every day from Thanksgiving until New Years, I will write a list of the people, places, and things for which I am grateful. I invite you to consider joining me. What are you grateful for?