It’s finally October once again, which means the pumpkin spice is in season and we can all go back to wearing our favorite sweaters without dying of heatstroke
It also means you’re about to be bombarded by an onslaught of products or people telling you to be thankful for all the wonderful things you have. This is all fine and dandy, from a marketing standpoint, and as a good reminder that we all have it pretty nice in North America and in first world countries around the globe.
To celebrate the season of turkey, family, and pumpkins, I’ll be doing a four-part series, breaking down 31 reasons I’m thankful, one for every day of October. Hopefully, this can serve as a reminder that, not only do we have so much to be thankful for but that even in the darkest times we can be thankful that we’re not alone in this mad rat race called life.
It’s also considered a healthy habit to have a thankful heart. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be the ‘thankful glass half full friend’ than the guy sucking on lemons, ‘glass is always half empty friend’.
So without further ado, I’m thankful for…
Thankful that I’m thankful
Let’s start it off nice and confusing.
These days being thankful is often associated directly with what you have, physically. Our worldly possessions or family and friends. It’s important that we remember to be thankful for these things. However, being thankful for the fact that we can be thankful for something is oft forgotten.
To kick off the month of October, I would like to acknowledge that in the good times, and the bad times, I’m thankful that I’m not alone here, and that I have the emotional capacity to say, “Yeah, this situation might suck. No, I’m not ‘thankful’ for the flat tire, or the sickness plaguing my relative, but I am thankful for the fact that I can be here and experience all these things with people I love and who love me. So let’s not dwell on it.”.
Family and friends
Taking the #Basic approach.
That first one may have been a bit to mind-numbing. I confess, going back and reading it makes me a bit dizzy. I stand by it though. But now I’m going back to the heart of what I have to be thankful for, my family and friends.
Obviously, without my parents, I would be lost. They raised me, taught me many of the lessons in character that stuck with me, and homeschooled me for the better part of my middle school and high school education.
That doesn’t mean our relationship doesn’t have its faults; far from it. Somedays I would like nothing better than to leave the country after an argument and not come back. Ever. This isn’t a realistic approach though, seeing as how my college tuition is already paid for, so that would be a whole lot of wasted travel funds when fleeing the country.
Nothing inspires me more than my own passions.
In this series, I’m trying my best to steer clear of the physical and worldly things we take for granted every day.
I really want to find new ways to appreciate things that are truly important to us, but may not be acknowledged like they should be.
My work, whether it be an actual paying job at a restaurant or factory, or my hobbies as a writer, has always been my main motivation in life. These are the things that get me up in the morning. God has given me the ability to type on a keyboard and have profound (or #Basic) thoughts that flow out of my fingers and onto a screen for others to read. The reader then may, or may not, appreciate said utterly profound writing.
My education and eagerness to learn
This. I honestly never thought I would be thankful for this. Then I enrolled in a program I actually enjoyed!
I’m not sure I can fully elaborate in words just how grateful and thankful I am that, after a year of careful deliberation, I decided to enroll in a program that would teach me things I would be passionate about and could form a career off of.
Not only does the course material spark my interest, but I’m so infatuated with the concept of creating something via computer programs that I’ve taken the liberty of reading ahead in the textbook, staying one or two chapters ahead of the class. This doesn’t mean I’m a prodigy, far from it. In fact, most of the in-class assignments take me the majority of the class to finish (I tend to overcomplicate things).
But I’m so fascinated by the concepts of programming that I’ve taken it upon myself to further my education; something I’ve yet to do in my life, up until now.
It’s hard to be thankful in the hard times. When you or someone we know has been battling cancer, it’s hard to say I’m thankful in this situation. That may be because some of us don’t exactly grasp what it means to be thankful.
When your car breaks down, don’t be thankful that you now have debt on wheels. That sucks, you shouldn’t be thankful for the cost of those repairs. It’s really not worth lying to yourself.
What we do need to do is be thankful in the bad situation, not for the bad situation.
As a pastor friend of mine so eloquently put it, being thankful is a heart issue, not a situation issue.
Knowing this, we can decide to be thankful for the bad situations as well, depending on the circumstances. For health reasons, you may not want to be thankful for the bad things happening while they are happening.
But looking back on difficult times in my life, I can say with confidence that I’m glad they happened. If my parents hadn’t gotten a divorce, the case with many couples these days, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have the friends and new family that I have, and I would most likely be a completely different person.
I like who I am now and where I am in life, and those trials made that happen. So, I’m thankful.
If you made it this far into the article… I’m sorry this isn’t more insightful!
This sounds ridiculous considering all the philosophical topics I just covered. But video games played a major role in my life, and still do.
I wasn’t a sporty kid, I was shy, and didn’t have a whole lot of friends. Video games filled all of those empty parts of my life.
Not the healthiest alternative, as video games are proven (whether by science or by my own personal experience with them.) to cause attitude issues with kids and teens. Ever try to ask a teenager to take out the trash during a live match of Fortnight? It gets ugly, fast. Short attention spans and short fuses lead quickly to anger. This isn’t the case for all kids, and I firmly believe video games are fantastic when regulated, but addiction is an easy thing to lose control of.
So by all means, play till the sun comes up and the cows come home and till the rooster crows; just don’t yell at your mom when she asks you how late you were up.
I just felt like being controversial today.
My Christian faith is something I will forever be thankful for. Because, without getting into biblical theology too much, it’s provided me with a grounding in my reality as well as family to support me and a place I truly feel I belong.
It saddens me that there is so much hate directed towards the church, and rightly so. People who say they’re Christian have done very un-christlike things. Of course, this is the face of religion that the media push and the world is familiar with.
I am proud of my community and church-family for standing out from what the world perceives of Christianity these days. They’re not boring, mopey old people who hate anyone who identifies as anything other than male or female.
Rather, they are a family of all ages and backgrounds, supportive and welcoming of anyone who walks through our doors. They don’t believe in forcing their opinions and views down your throat. They walk in a way that will make you question why they act how they do, why they’re always thankful and joyful. They walk to display how christ walked.
And just as crowds were drawn to Jesus, people are drawn to them and ask, “Why are you so different? What makes you tick, when your world is falling apart and you can still stand there and offer help to others?” This is my family, and I’m eternally thankful for them.
Big shout out to Pastor Curtis from my local church for inspiring this series with his own four-part series this month on being thankful.