Thank You? Thank You

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, it can be difficult to actually feel thankful. For many of us work is extremely over- (or under-) whelming; mortgages are pressing; holiday spending is (already) feeling out of control; and– on top of all that– those of us who find “family vacation” the ultimate oxymoron, are on our way to vacation with those same families.

For me, a harried couple in the grocery store summed up the upcoming experience best, when one shouted at the other as they walked past, “I’m doing this because when my mother comes, I don’t want her to know we live like animals!”

That said—and as unlikely as it may seem– if you can find the pony** in your situation, I guarantee things will feel more manageable. Not in a sticky-sweet “The sun will come out tomorrow” kind of way, but because you will have proven William James’ point: “One of the greatest discoveries of my generation was that human beings can alter their lives by altering their states of mind.”

To assist you in this process, I have included below, a few lines that inevitably serve to alter my perspective when necessary:

“I asked You, God, for strength that I might achieve,

I was made weak that I might humbly learn to obey;

I asked for health that I might do greater things,

I was given infirmity that I might do better things;

I asked for riches that I might be happy,

I was given poverty that I might be wise;

I asked for power that I might be given the praise of men,

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God;

I got nothing that I asked for,

But everything I hoped for;

I am among all men most richly blessed.”

Prayer found on the body of a Confederate Soldier

Finally, I would like to note that, for me, you are a never-ending source of blessings throughout the year. Writing for you is a privilege. Your attention, observations, and encouragement are a delight. You have my whole-hearted thanks.

Frances Cole Jones

** For those of you who don’t know the joke, a man entered a room full of manure, looked around and said happily, “With all this sh*t, there’s GOT to be a pony somewhere.”