“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” — William Arthur Ward
Everyone seems to be thankful recently. Daily, I see posts from people participating in 30 Days of Thankfulness, an undertaking where participants display one thing they are grateful for each day throughout the month of November. I like to call it Occupy Facebook. Friends have been appreciating everything from blades of grass to Aunt Milly’s callouses. I declined to join the movement. My sarcasm does not bold well around ladies that are trying to be solemn and endearing.
But low and behold, the thankfulness movement has infiltrated news organizations as well. On Monday, Carolyn Butler authored an article on The Washington Post website about appreciation entitled “Teaching kids to be grateful may have long-term benefits even though it’s not easy.” Butler reported on research by Hofstra University Professor Jeffrey Froh. Froh states in the article that grateful children are generally happier and “report better relationships with friends and family, higher GPAs, less materialism, less envy and less depression, along with a desire to connect to their community and to want to give back.”
You had me at GPA.
And, how do kids become more appreciative? According to Froh, they write about it. Kiddos who record their gratitude in a journal every few days report being more optimistic and plain out happier with their lives. Here’s the kicker, this thankfulness project benefits adults as well. The best part of the piece is the hint that we grown-ups tend to lead more contented, even healthier lives the more appreciation that we give.
Crap. I guess I should have taken this 30 Days of Thankfulness challenge more seriously. I didn’t know I could actually get something out of it. Who couldn’t use some health benefits that didn’t involve a long plastic tube and laying face down on a medical table? And everyone needs a little more happiness. Except maybe clowns. I already want to smack them in their cheery red, round noses, but I bet the spongy material would absorb the impact. That’s obviously why they wear them instead of big foam lips.
Anyway, now I must play catch-up. Oh hell, I’ll just go ahead a list all 30 of the damn things. I don’t commit well. Surely this works likes a bank; a storehouse of karma, if you will. And so it begins:
30 Days, ok… well, Seconds of Thankfulness
I’m thankful for:
1) Friends that would go to bat for me any day of the week. Except Saturdays. And maybe not when you have a carcass smelling rug rolled up in the car trunk. But otherwise, they’re great.
2) A song so pure and beautiful that it makes you shiver. And maybe leak a little urine too.
3) Great teachers. And aides.
4) Tongue cleaners.
5) Clean public restrooms. Or dirty ones with no visible brown streaks on the seats.
6) An education. So I can recognize stupidity in it’s most basic form. Male.
7) Staplers. Or as I like to call them, an emergency sewing kit.
8) Ritalin. Or Benadryl. For me, not the kids.
9) Kids that are cute, but not annoyingly so. McCauley Culkin’s adorable kid act made me nauseated. Thank goodness we made our kids watch 300 at a young age and warned them that their half Spartan dad would likely throw them off a cliff if they dared to try that routine.
10) The plastic ends of shoe strings.
11) Indiana University basketball and their undefeated season. It might not last too long. Must get this one in early.
12) The word “slurp”.
13) Hot Serbian male tennis players who grunt.
14) Old flames who dumped you for your body type only to look like the love child of Mr. Clean and the Michelin Man by the time they’re 40.
15) Coke. The non-sniffing kind.
16) Brunettes who have more fun.
17) Snow. On the television. While I lay in the hot sun in Bermuda.
18) Our Congress. Wait. The “super committee” for debt talks produced nothing? Correction. I’m thankful for elections to vote these jokesters out.
19) Spam. The canned food.
20) A husband who doesn’t let me walk all over him. Trust me, I’m good at it. And, to be honest, he normally just likes to feel the piercing heels on his back and upper thighs.
21) Taco Bell at midnight.
22) The transformative sounds of crickets dying from the chomping jaws of our tree frog.
23) My daughter’s feet. But not her toes. Her second really shouldn’t be longer than the first.
24) Travelling around the world and actually making it back without being on the Interpol Most Wanted List.
25) Know-it Alls. They help to practice patience and assist me in writing new villains. Why, yes, you do resemble that serial killer in my book.
26) The inevitable collapse of the glass ceiling. While it falls, may it give every chauvinist a mile around tiny little cuts.
27) The Canadian Ryans. Oh, Mr. Gosling and Mr. Reynolds, you can raise my diphthong any day.
28) The intoxicating smell of a thick Sharpie.
29) Not having to write this journal every day for the greater part of this month. Haha! Suckers!
And last but not least…
30) Kind friends who read my mad ravings on this blog.