I’m in it for the everyday stuff

At the risk of sounding supremely grinchy, I’m not a huge fan of the daily thankfulness posts that circulate on Facebook and elsewhere during the month of November. I’m pretty sure I participated a couple of years ago and I *do* get the point, I just like the idea of implementing that kind of thankfulness throughout the year, not just in November. And I think it’s tempting to really go all out every day in November and then feel “done” for the other 11 months.

It’s a little bit like my parenting philosophy, or even my friendship philosophy. I don’t like overdoing it on holidays or other special events as a way of making up for lackluster participation throughout the rest of the days. Ideally, I think we should be thankful on a regular basis, and we should be eagerly and actively involved in parenting, in partnership (if applicable) and in friendship and other important relationships all of the time, not just on birthdays and anniversaries, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Chanukah/Yule/Whatever December holiday(s) you choose to mark.

I certainly fall short of that on a regular basis, but it is what I strive for.

I know for myself, I would rather have my partner kiss me sincerely and show that he cares about what I have to say whenever we are together than to neglect me for other interests until it’s a holiday or some other jewelry-buying occasion and then make a big deal of it. Luckily, I have someone in my life now who does both (the everyday stuff and the holiday stuff) but if I had to choose, I’d take the everyday good stuff over the holiday make good every time.

Similarly, I know it means more to my kids to have me there helping with homework, giving hugs and offering encouragement every day in their lives than if I were less available but bought them really expensive gifts to make up for it.

I do think that marking holidays and having traditions is a worthwhile part of family life (and human life!) so I don’t mean to sound down on holidays. It’s just that I think a little bit goes a long way. And I really don’t think there should be Christmas music and decorating going on the day after Halloween. It’s more special if those things happen after Thanksgiving (thank you, Nordstrom).

And I think that thankfulness is a very healthy practice. We all have so many things for which to be thankful. I just prefer to make that an everyday practice instead of a November-only practice.

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About Tabby

Forty years of fabulous, and counting.

Posted on November 13, 2011, in friends, kith and kin, love and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I completely agree. I’ve been in relationships and have had family members (not counting my husband and children) that go all out for holidays, birthdays, and occasions, but were just awful and disrespectful the other days of the year. It made the celebrations hollow and depressing. My nuclear family is so wonderful and respectful and kind that we CAN enjoy celebrations together as a way to create memories and traditions, not as a vehicle for manipulation and “making up” for poor behavior.

    It is hard when I read the “I’m grateful” posts when they only come up because of a holiday because I wonder what the context really is.

  2. You’re right. We should practice it everyday. For awhile I kept a gratitude journal. And, at another point in my life, I would think about what I was grateful for before I went to sleep at night. I haven’t been doing those things, but I think I still manage to reflect on something about my life with gratitude on a daily basis.

  1. Pingback: You Are What You’re Thankful For « 40questions

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