It's Thursday. I should be thankful.
This is the one day each week (I can only muster one?) in which I gather up my gratitudes and express appreciation for people, places, things and more.
But I'm not feeling generous.
The West is on fire. The East is in floods. An old man is deporting children. And I haven't written a good poem in months. To say I'm cranky indicates a temporary state. Let's just give up the look-on-the-bright-side banter.
For years I've believed wholly, deeply, not-quite-religiously in the power of positive thinking. What you focus on becomes. What you resist, persists. I really do believe that gratitude is a powerful and valuable way to pivot from despair to repair to release to rejoice. Sounds corny, I know. But the weekly pause for gratitude helps to counter my small self and petty complaints, along with all the big world aches that crush the spirit. Until now, when the big and small overwhelm my ability to "find the good."
Turns out, I'm not alone. Writer and comedian Liz Brown says she was saved by the Ingratitude List.
"Gratitude lists didn't help me one bit. Writing them was a practice that drove me deeper into shame and self-loathing when I was already in a very dark place," she writes. "Gratitude lists imply that those of us who are in pain are choosing misery and just aren't working hard enough and that if we just think happy thoughts we'll float up above our problems like the kids in Peter Pan."
Ron Lubke, writing for the Dallas News, has been called "entertainingly grumpy" in his disdain for the gratitude list. Among the many things he's not thankful for are "bathroom stall talkers. I just want to play Yahtzee on my phone in peace."
Today, I am thankful for my bathtub. That's all I got.
It's Not Thankful Thursday, how are you?