OPINION

If it's hard to say thank you

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
gfischer@weeklycitizen.com

If it's hard to say thank you, I don't have much advice. But I understand. Some days, when you know you've done your best and worked harder than you ever have before no one seems to care. But if you give everyday your all, you'll see that recognition isn't the reward after all.

Recognition is sweet, and we can hope it will come. However, if you're giving it your all everyday then you already know that it doesn't follow everyday. In fact, you'll probably find the opposite. Someone still finds it in them to discredit you or take you for granted despite all your efforts. It's days like these that I want to put my head through a wall. It's times like these when I have to step back rather than forward and catch myself.

I like to say God bless that person and process it quickly. This of course takes practice and doesn't come easily, like many other things don't come easily. But practice makes perfect.

By this time I hope you've caught the theme of this message. It's Thanksgiving week. Many of us will be gathered with our family and in-laws--some of whom drink too much or carry a chip on their shoulder. You may be that person. You may not know it.

Here's an idea. Screw Thanksgiving day. Remember, anyway Columbus was no saint, and it's not a big secret. In fact, Thanksgiving is just as bad as Valentine's Day. Like big whoop! We're supposed to honor our partner one day of the year? On Thanksgiving we come together and say thanks one day of the year? How stupid! I understand.

If you think I'm going a little dark with this, please forgive me. Let's reel it back in.

I look at Thanksgiving rather as a symbol. It symbolizes the way I should strive to be everyday. That is a positive thing. Now listen up. I'm going to share something with you that helps deal with those days that you simply don't feel blessed. This happened to me a few months back.

I was having a day of it. By that, I mean a bad day. Nothing terrible happened, but little things weren't going my way. I tried to get a haircut in the evening and three places turned me down because they said they were done taking walk-ins. No big deal, for certain. But I wanted to scream.

I identified the problem. I wasn't feeling thankful for anything. I admitted it to a friend. My friend suggested that I go home and make a gratitude list. What did I have to lose? Nothing. I had everything to gain.

So I did. I went home, grabbed the first notebook I saw, and began with a title: Gratitude List. I wrote down "Buffalo wings, my betta fish, my family," and a few more things. I thought that it sounded silly in my head, but I noticed something happening. A shift. Just by naming a couple things that I loved started to make me feel better. Then, I laid back on the couch and rested. I got my haircut the next day.

This practice is powerful. I use it like a secret weapon, but I want you to have it. Like I said, most days we won't be recognized for our super-hero efforts. Some days, people will flat out wrong us. But if we persevere, wonderful days and blessings are ahead of us. Take the practice of the gratitude list and put it in your spiritual armory. Your guns might save you in the Zombie Apocalypse, but in the real world gratitude is the best defense.

That being said, Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading.