November 20, 2022
Wyo4News feature writer
Three Ways To Upgrade Your Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it because I really love home-cooked food. It’s my favorite because no one has yet to figure out how to market gratitude, so it gets left alone. It feels like a breath of calm in the annual chaos of consumer madness. My opinion is that our relationships would be much better served with days in which there was very little to do. Thanksgiving is one of the few days a year that serve that purpose. I do hope the holiday gives you a chance to breathe. I also hope that it does not bring you pain but healing and hope.
Spend as much of it as possible with people.
Take the time to enjoy people that you care about. Or, find some people you might be able to care about. Alone isn’t good. Especially if alone is a recent development. The older I get, the more I realize how important people are to my existence.
There is a deep human need to be known and to belong. For the first time in history, we are able to fake those needs without any real human contact. And we are paying a much higher price than we realize.
We are stressed about things that we have no control over. We are sleeping less. We are so distracted that auto accidents are on a steep rise. We’re gaining weight. Our hands, neck, and back hurt. All because we want to be known in a certain way but are afraid to be known for who we are. For some reason, we are concerned that who we are isn’t enough.
(You may not be familiar with the term, but it seems self-explanatory. No offense to hogs intended. Nor were any hogs harmed in the making of this article. However, the same cannot be said of my breakfast this morning, but, alas, I digress)
All these symptoms are quickly improved. Raise your head, release your tether, and converse with a human.
Express your gratitude for people and experiences.
We tend to consider the things for which we are thankful. We should definitely be thankful for the things we enjoy. But don’t let them trap you, either. Life is an odd experience, and possessions have a way of slipping from our grasp. I hope the last year of your life has held wonderful relationships and experiences. I would recommend reflection upon those. Maybe, take a moment and share your joys with the people that helped you make those memories. Let them know how important they are to you. Trust me, many will endure Thanksgiving this year without someone they need. And they will wish they could have told them more often while they had the chance.
If you must look at a screen, use it to send a message to those you love. But then, spend time with those you are with. Especially if you are thereby “force” instead of “choice.”
Believe me, I get it, Family gatherings aren’t always fun. I have an eccentric family of bizarre cousins, crazy aunts, lazy uncles, and so on. If you choose to, you can make any gathering into some fun. Not too much fun, but some fun.
Give yourself some whitespace.
Put down the phone. Turn it off. The global community of billions will not even notice, but you will. Free yourself to think, sing, talk, smile, and enjoy. Distracted is no way to live, so give yourself some focus.
It is wonderful the joys found in the most unexpected places when we take a moment to notice. Give yourself some whitespace. Then, after you are done grumbling and telling yourself how stupid this idea is. You will likely begin to notice. When you notice, look closely. You may discover that even though the year has been challenging, you have so much to enjoy because of it.
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