It seems fitting that I am writing my October column on Thanksgiving, as I have so much to be thankful for.
Last week’s ubiquitous happy family dinner photos are already posted on social media, making us mere mortals feel ever so grateful we had someone to share our delicious turkey with. And for giving us an excuse to overindulge on the pumpkin pie.
In fact, you don’t need a Hallmark holiday as an excuse to express gratitude as nearly every day on Facebook, you see postings about how you should practice being grateful every morning even before you brush your teeth, do your yoga poses, clean the house, walk the dog, hug the grandkids and make a gourmet dinner for your family.
We are told that every day is a blessing and we should practice appreciation as if it is the latest religion or a fast track to nirvana.
You should love yourself, hug yourself, be kind to yourself all before you’ve had your first sip of coffee. You should be indebted to your family and friends and the air you breathe and the freedom you share as a Canadian before you have finished said cup of java. And before you pour yourself a second cup, you should hug a tree, save an African child and/or a whale and adopt a loveable puppy.
And don’t forget to be grateful for what you have!
Watch Dr. Oz on TV… you will soon be grateful you don’t listen to his sage advice.
Keep a gratitude journal and when the pages start to curl as a result of your insincere jottings, spill your third cup of coffee on it.
As for moi, hell, I am just thankful I can still do up my jeans after all that overeating last week. I am delighted I am still upright, breathing and above ground. Getting older is a privilege and worth celebrating. Now that is a gratifying thought.
But let me pause here a moment and tell you sincerely what I am most grateful for… the peanut butter cookies.
Homemade peanut butter cookies baked by you, dear reader of my monthly musings.
You know who you are; you wrapped them up carefully and presented them to me as a token of your gratitude for the smile my columns put on your face.
And to that other reader who approached me at a local store and said her favourite column was Time To Step It Up, Fellas, a 2013 column which described my quest for a dance partner.
And to the reader, who has on more than one occasion told me her favourite piece was Bless This Grand Biological Clock from the same year, as we share the reality that neither of us is going to become a grandmother.
And to the reader who chuckled over Imperfect Profiles of Love published in time for Valentine’s Day.
And how could I forget the man who wrote a scathing letter to my editor as a result of A Brief Foray Into Petty Thievery.
To date, I have had 50 of my columns published in Peace Arch News, and I feel confident you would love to read them all over again. (Was that a resounding Yes!?)
Having said that, even though my own mother says “Any fool can write a book”, I am writing my book which will contain all of the above and some other musings.
It has a working title which begins with Lovingly Arrogant:
I still need a subtitle.
Perhaps it should read: With Gratitude.
April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP, a national group committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada.’ She writes monthly for Peace Arch News.