Tomorrow, (as I always write my articles the day before publication) most of us will be partaking in a day of food, family and a deliberate acknowledgement of the things for which we are grateful. I enjoy the family and food bit, but I also enjoy that on a random Tuesday. I don’t however, amp up my gratitude on Thanksgiving. I am no more or less thankful for my life and those people and things in it that I am, well…on a random Tuesday. I tend to write from the perspective of the human condition. So, this is a departure from the norm in that, I am about to unleash nothing more than my opinion. If it resonates, as always, take what you can use, and leave the rest. I can’t get with the notion of being grateful one day a year. I just can’t. Now, I realize it’s not black and white- we aren’t completely thankless 364 days a year, saving it up for one special day in November. But, ARE you grateful, everyday? It is one of the most effective means of reducing anxiety, living in the moment and alleviating worry. Some people choose to keep a gratitude journal, others meditate on all the ways they’re grateful. Whenever I find myself intolerable (you know…when even YOU get on your nerves?…No? Just me?) if I do a solid five minute check in, I calm down. I am more grounded. I can identify solutions that *just* eluded me. I am NICER, because I see the world as a better place than I did a mere five minutes ago. Being grateful doesn’t just include things that we possess. It is just as imperative that we recognize what we’ve been spared…the problems we DON’T have. Did you make a trip to some specialty clinic just to stay alive this week? Did you receive any calls that blew your world apart? Were you physically and mentally capable of carrying out your activities of daily living? Were you actively grateful for any of these things this week? EVER? Don’t think I’ve been a gratitude guru from the womb. I was on the phone with my dad, many years ago, lamenting over some random “problems” that, I’m sure, had me feeling like the earth was caving in. Dad listened patiently. When I had sufficiently dumped all my crap, looking for advice and probably sympathy, he drew a deep breath. Here it comes…dad’s wisdom on which I always relied. He said, “Look at your right hand.”…ok…looking…”Would you take a million dollars for it?”…”No, of course not.”…”Look at your LEFT hand. What about that one…it’s not your dominant hand…”…”No, dad.”…This wasn’t helping, at all. Then, he started with my feet, my ability to walk, breathing without assistance, the ability to drive a car, vision, hearing, the very heart beating in my chest, the lack of physical pain, the food in my kitchen, running water that was safe to drink, access to medical care….he went on, longer than I had about my problems. He didn’t minimize them. He revisited them after he’d reset my brain. But, suddenly, they not only seemed manageable, but so insignificant. That pivotal moment was one of his greatest moments in parenting, (and he had MANY.) I never looked at life quite the same way, again. And, when I do fall prey to feeling the weight of various struggles, I can come back to my hands. Unrelated, if, by chance, you are reading this during a lull in the festivities of the day, please, PLEASE, don’t plow over your fellow humans on Black Friday to save $15, when, the day before you were blessing all of mankind. It’s disgusting, at best. If you read my article about consumerism, “Living Your Best Life With Less,” you’ll get why I have grown livid with the robotically programmed mind of “More. More. More.” It’s not in our nature. We are LEMMINGS and we are good little consumers, giving up our hard earned cash for a promise. And, we wonder why we’re the least happy nation in the world. But, I digress. I simply encourage you to be as grateful on Friday, and Saturday, and Sunday…as you are on Thanksgiving. So many people, the world over, would trade places with any of us, to include any challenges we are experiencing. We cant really say the same. We bitch about the small stuff and act entitled to the big stuff. If that’s working for you and you feel there’s no possible way you could be happier, by all means, carry on. If, however, you were like me, putting your issues under the magical magnifying glass, ignoring the world of good surrounding you, maybe just conduct a little experiment. It’s simple. Be genuinely grateful for what you have, and what you don’t. Focus on it until you feel it as more than a mere thought. It will drop that 18″ to your heart, I promise. You will experience a sense of abundance. Scarcity will start to drift from your mind, and subsequently, your life. And, if you’re a skeptic? Even better. Prove me wrong. But, whatever you do, please lose the term “Thanksgiving” as a once year event. It totally defeats the purpose of being grateful humans. Peace and gratitude, Warriors.