As I biked home from work today just after noon, the world was full of signs of the Thanksgiving holiday: clear skies, brisk air, a gusty breeze blowing the last few leaves from the trees, and hordes of 8th-graders making the arduous migration from their school to the mating grounds of Lexington Center. Ah, early-release days.
I was talking to a couple of fifth-graders about the holiday yesterday, and explaining to them that we always have something to be thankful for no matter what our circumstances.
"What if you live in a box?" asked one.
"Then you're thankful for the box!" said the other. That's the spirit!
Naturally, they wondered what you'd be thankful for if you didn't have anything; I said you could be happy you weren't being hit with sticks, and they liked that answer. Things can always get worse, I told them. To some people that's a grim concept, because it can be a small hop from "things can always get worse" to "things will always get worse". A small hop, but a silly one. Of course things don't always get worse: sometimes they do, but other times they get better. By realizing that there's essentially an unlimited downside out there somewhere below us, we can focus on the awesome parts of whatever situation we happen to find ourselves in.
Me, I'm thankful for my wonderful family, for slightly gainful employment, and for being able to sleep mostly through the night with only one or two wakeups that we barely notice any more. Also for delicious cranberries fresh from the special Thanksgiving edition Lexington farmers market, which this evening I made into three different turkey toppings: orange-cranberry sauce, ginger-cranberry sauce, and orange-cranberry-pecan relish. Hopefully at least one will be edible. But if not I at least had fun making them! See how I focus on the positive?
Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone, and if nothing else be happy that you're not being hit with sticks!