Anyway, in an effort to inject a little gratitude into my life I’ve decided to try a few suggestions from Jane Bluestein, author of such feel-good books as The Parent’s Little Book of Lists, Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Parenting and The Perfection Deception, Why Trying to Be Perfect is Sabotaging Your Relationships, Making You Sick and Holding Your Happiness Hostage. Her article in Smart Meetings - available at http://www.smartmeetings.com/meeting-planning/health-wellness/80552/36-ideas-for-positive-energy-and-a-better-mood - outlines 36 positive things to try. In honor of Thanksgiving Day I decided to give a few of them a go. Here’s how that worked out:
1. Write a letter to someone special.This worked sort-a-kind-a. I’m not sure it made me feel more thankful but I’ll bet the following folks were very happy to hear from me after so long: Revenue Canada, my parole agent, the student loan collection agency, Vito the bookie in Halifax.
2. Fix something that is broken. My wife is thankful that I’ve stopped doing home repairs but I couldn’t resist just one more. Recently I tried fixing a leaky faucet. Thinking the job would be easy I should’ve re-considered when the guy at the hardware store warned me that home plumbing jobs are usually 4 – trippers. Undaunted, I proceeded to waste a good Saturday morning on the repair and the rest of the weekend tending to scraped knuckles and re-aligning my back from the pretzel-like yoga moves I performed under the sink. I’m thankful for aspirin, Band-Aids and gin (not necessarily in that order).
3. Tell someone a joke.Thankfully the people in my life are polite and patient because my joke telling sucks. After several recent embarrassing attempts at jokes - and getting slapped by our 80 year-old receptionist lady - I reviewed all the jokes I know about Blondes, Midgets, Newfies and Nuns and decided I’m left with very little usable material. 4. Have someone read you a story. As a writer I’m thankful for books and people who enjoy reading. And there’s nothing like the soothing sound of a good reader to put you at ease. Problem is every time a story is read to me I fall asleep and start to snore and that’s when the Children’s Librarian has me escorted out of the Saturday afternoon story hour. Very embarrassing to be mocked by a bunch of four-year-olds.
5. Play “hide and seek” with your family. This was once a favorite Thanksgiving Day pastime when Jake was younger. After dinner the three of us would race around the house trying to find ever-new hiding places in our small home. However, as the years went by, the game lost its appeal for Kris and Jake and I finally realized that when I couldn’t even count to 10 before I heard our car squealing out of the garage with them in it. I’m thankful they at least didn’t lock me in the closet.
6. Buy yourself a little goodie or toy just for you. As a confirmed capitalist I’m truly thankful for all the useless junk I have in my life but figure there’s always room for more. I mean, that’s why we build garages, right? Let’s see now, how about a fully restored 1957 Chevy Bel Air Super Sport convertible with a souped-up V8 and chrome Cragar rims? Or a sleek, turbo-charged Master Craft X35 speedboat? No? Ok, I’ll settle for the new RC213V-S Honda streel-legal racing motorcycle. It’s a little pricey at $184,000 but I promise to wear my helmet.
7. Do something you used to love doing as a child, something perhaps that you haven’t done since. I don’t like to dwell too much on this idea but as I get older and seemingly regress to some of my childish ways I’m very thankful for products like Bingo Beds for when I have to relieve stress, baby wipes for when my fork can’t find my pie hole and adult diapers for when I, um, well …, you know.
8. Take a nap.Now a good nap works wonders and always makes me happy. I try get a nap in daily and am thankful when I can. However, for some uncivilized reason, my boss does not share my gratitude so he’s always listening for my tell-tale snore. In fact, I think that’s him knocking at my office door right now so I gotta go.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving and, oh by the way, thanks for reading this post.