Thankful, Grateful & Blessed 365

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday on the calendar. Hands down. I am that person that gets abnormally angry when stores start to put out Christmas decor earlier and earlier each year. Why am I so passionate about Thanksgiving? You mean outside of the turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and stretchy pants? Kidding! I love, love, love the sentiment of the day.

Thankful, grateful, and blessed.

We see this phrase plastered on everything in that ever-shortening window from Halloween to Christmas. But let me ask a stupid question, shouldn’t we be living this sentiment on a daily basis, 365 days of the year?

“Thank you, baby,” came quietly out of the darkness from my life hostage’s side of the car last night. I had just been elbow deep in a freezer full of dead maggots for the better part of two hours. Some might say I earned that thank you. I just smiled to myself.

Do we do enough of that? Show gratitude I mean. I wasn’t looking for a thank you and I certainly didn’t clean out that freezer for that purpose. But it was nice to be appreciated. The week of Thanksgiving everyone was in a rush to share their blessings in life. There was a steep drop off after that. Even more of a sharp decline will occur after the first of the year. But why does there have to be?

My life hostage and I have this little dance we do with each other. When I tell him I love him, he always asks why? And at least once a week, I ask him why he’s with me. I think we like to see what creative answers we can come up with.

However, without fail, his answer always comes back to appreciation somehow. You appreciate me. You show appreciation. You’re grateful. He’s not wrong. I do, I do, and I am.

It may seem silly, but I was raised to say thank you religiously and I tend to overuse that phrase. I know when we first started dating I used to drive him nuts because I said thank you for little things: he opened my door, he picked up a bar tab, he texted me first thing in the morning. But it stuck with him; I will never take him for granted because I am so grateful for him.

Hindsight is always 20/20. Did my ex-husband and I show each other enough appreciation? Did my life hostage and his ex-wife? In either case, it doesn’t matter. Just as in your own life, the past is over. You can either run from it or learn from it. We always choose the latter. Easier said than done sometimes.

What I have noticed is that we fight more, between ourselves and with others, when we’ve let our guard down on the appreciation front. I watched him pick a fight with his father last night. Not because it was a real fight about anything concrete. He’s worried about him, his age, his health and the fact that he doesn’t want anything to happen to him. His delivery was crappy. I told him as much on the car ride home. Delivery was crappy but I knew the point he was trying to get across, he appreciates his dad still being around.

Do you have people in your life that you show appreciation to? Can you do more for them? Are there people in your life that you don’t appreciate enough? Tell them. Treat each day as if you’re never going to see that person again. What do you say? How do you want them to feel?

Say it. Hug them. Fist bump.

Whatever way you express thanks, just do it! No one is expecting you to be perfect.

With that in mind, thank you PW readers, for sticking with me for 6 months. For making me feel like my writing matters. For leaving comments, likes, and private feedback. You make me feel appreciated. Virtual fist bump!

Rachel Olszewski

A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.

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