This I Believe

Kaitlin - Connecticut
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

Living Every Day Like it’s Thanksgiving

            Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. None other, with the exception of Christmas, are comparable in my eyes. However, I am not writing this with intent to persuade readers into agreeing with me that Thanksgiving is the best holiday of them all. I am however writing this with intent to express my firm belief in the simple philosophy behind Thanksgiving. It is a precious and invaluable one that I try to carry with me every day – living with the attitude of grattitude.

Thanksgiving is a day spent basking in the warmth of gratefulness.  Not just in my gratefulness for those fulfilled basic needs that seem to come to everyone’s mind first. They aren’t the only luxuries I take for granted.  There are all the extra little joys too.  For a friend that wakes me up with the beep of a text message reading “HAPPY TURKEY DAY, KAIT!” at 8 o’clock that morning.  For an aunt who has spent the last 12 hours preparing a magnificent feast that will be devoured by our family within 12 minutes.  For a mother who gives me a big kiss on the cheek as I stumble out bed in the morning, chirping “happy Thanksgiving, honey!” joyously.  For the crisp, refreshing fall air that fills my lungs as I venture outdoors to be taken aback by the beauty of the turning leaves that reflect the radiant golden sun through the trees they hang upon.

This is a day when I am encouraged to actually look for reasons to be happy. Much to my delight, I have also discovered that it is possible to celebrate the unconditional love of family and wonderful friends, indulge in the simple pleasures of everyday life, like food and conversation, and carry the joy of this festive holiday with me every day.  I believe in living with an attitude of continual thanksgiving and that doing so is a crucial part of experiencing life to the fullest.

To be thankful is to appreciate what I have.  Not what I had, could have, should have, or just plain don’t have.  The key term in the concept of thankfulness is the present-tense word, “have.” Everyone is familiar with the saying, “Live for today.”  I believe that this present-oriented concept is a very important one not only to understand but to practice.  I know that I cannot “live for today” without having an attitude of thanks.  Thankfulness helps prevent me from worrying about my future or dwelling in my past, because I’m focusing on and enjoying the present time at hand.

            Having a “good attitude” and being thankful are synonymous.  One cannot exist without the other.  Thankfulness is found at the root of optimism, positivity, and overall happiness.  Living in thanksgiving is like establishing a strong foundation for myself upon which a life of happiness and fully reached potential can be built.