Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 16

As of today, I’ve reached the second half of this 30-day experiment, and I’ll admit it’s starting to get a bit tougher to think of new people and things to be thankful for. So I’m going to cheat a little bit and double-dip: today, I’m thankful (again) for my wonderful husband.

I have good reason to be particularly thankful for him today, because last night he took baby duty all night and let me get a full night’s sleep for the first time in about 6 months. (I know, I know, the baby is only 3 months old. But, as any woman who's ever been pregnant can tell you, that last trimester is as full of sleepless nights as the first three months of having the baby!) And if you don’t think that’s a big deal, you’ve never had a baby.

A full night’s sleep is definitely one of those things that you take for granted until you don’t have it. How often do you wake up in the morning and think about how thankful you are to be awake and rested? If you’re like me, the answer is probably, “almost never”. But when you wake up in the morning still tired, you realize what a blessing a solid, restful night’s sleep truly is. And last night, my husband gave me the precious, priceless gift of a solid, restful night’s sleep.

So today I am thankful for a husband who cares about my health, well-being, and sanity enough to sacrifice his own good night’s sleep for me.

And before I list the three things I am thankful for today, I want to share a comment I read on an online discussion board yesterday. One of the posters used the term “first world problems”, which can be defined as “an irritation you can complain about if all your needs are already met”. Some of the examples the posters came up with were things like, “The $20 bills from the ATM stick together”, “my hot water is too hot”, “I have to wait two months for an appointment for a physical” and “I don’t have a window in my cubicle at work”. Once you get a bit of perspective on these complaints, it’s much easier to turn them around and think, “I’m thankful I have money for groceries”, “I’m thankful I have clean drinking water”, “I’m thankful I have good medical care”, and “I’m thankful I have a job”.

And so, the three things I am thankful for today are: having money for groceries, clean drinking water, and good medical care. These are things that I openly admit to taking for granted, but if I stop to think about it, I realize how difficult my life would be without them, and I think about how many other people in the world don’t have these things. So not only am I thankful for them, I plan to commit myself to making more of an effort to help others to get them, through support of charities like Compassion International, the Bristol Kitchen here in Waltham, and other worldwide and local charities. Because true thankfulness leads to helping others.

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