Three Things Thursday: Gratitude

January 6, 2012

The adage to have an “attitude of gratitude” simultaneously inspires me and grates on my nerves, probably because it has become trite. I know I need to be better at practicing gratitude, though, and was all the more inspired to do so when I read this seemingly harmless advice column in the NYT about food and dining. I hope that FloFab is joking when she suggests, in the third response, that the writer bring her own dishes and silverware.

But, really, it just pisses me off to read the question from the third writer. If you’re appalled that someone would use disposable dishes and silverware at a holiday and question whether or not you would spend time with family if it means facing such “treatment” again, well, madam, you’ve missed the point entirely. I wish FloFab had simply said:¬†Be grateful for time spent with family, precious as it may be, for we know not when we may be so unfortunate as to have neither family nor feast.

Which brings me to being more grateful…

With my mom and sister. We are normally not as fancy as the tree implies, but it's fun to pretend, right?

1. The obvious: good family and friends. I was grateful to spend the waning days of 2011 with family and friends that are like family. I have no poetic words for what they mean to me, but friends and family are always on my mind and in my heart, and I marvel – probably not often enough – at how absolutely rich I am in this department.

2. Good health. Sure, I’ve got a nagging hip and occasional knee pain, but I’m reminded every few days about a friend, family member, friend of friend, etc. with serious health challenges. And having felt chronically sick for most of my youth, I don’t take it for granted that, these days, I am rarely sick. (Related aside: I attribute much of my current good health to moving to an apartment with hardwood floors, running regularly, and eating more fruits and vegetables. I’m a poster child for what “they” always tell you.)

3. The times when I didn’t feel very grateful. Looking back, they seem ridiculous, and that helps me dig out of the muck when I’m prone to self-pity or when I otherwise lose perspective.


And, finally for today, apropos of nothing except that I just read it and I think it’s awesome: please direct your attention to this great post over at orangespicedrop on her “Couch to Backpacking” program. I like couches. And programs that get you off of them. And, kudos to her for reminding me that I need to go backpacking again this year…which requires more feelings of gratitude to get over my lingering feelings of anger toward Southwest… gratitude means I won’t post a picture of the Great Southwest Debacle…today, anyway.



  1. A pity, but I disagree with this posting. I do appreciate your particular page though and will likely continue to keep coming once more for update versions.

    • Anything in particular you disagree with?

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