On being thankful by Liz

Thankful1Thankful--It's an easy thing to say, but I think like anything in this over-sharing world we live in, it's easier said than done, as we watch others share the best part of their lives on social media.  I'm not gonna lie--it can be hard to feel thankful for the wireless phone charger your husband got you (Sorry, honey, I do love it! Very convenient!) when your college roommate's husband has a Lexus with a big red bow sitting in her driveway Christmas morning like the commercial or is being swept off by private plane somewhere fabulous. (Really great gift ideas, btw!) Or maybe someone has lost ten pounds while your metabolism sits idle.  Whatever it is, it makes us question our own lives, no matter wonderful they may be. It's a theme we're exploring in the The Status of All Things, the book we're working on right now, which will be released in 2015 with Atria/Simon & Schuster. But like anything, being thankful is an art, one that must be practiced each day, something that we will probably fail at often--because it's human nature to focus on what we don't have, especially these days.  But as long as we can pull ourselves back up, if we can take a deep breath from the insanity of our day-to-day to stop and be present, to find the silver lining, we make progress. And honestly, it just makes life much more enjoyable to see the bright side.  There's no worse feeling than jealousy--it eats up the best part of ourselves. It robs us of the joy in our own lives.

So I'm going to challenge myself to be truly thankful this holiday--to not just say the words, but to actually feel the lightness inside that comes with enjoying your good tidings, rather than worrying about what's coming next. I'm going to take in the last moments of my son's belief the magic of Santa Claus, savor the sweet voices that sing Silent Night at the school performance, I'll even try to enjoy Charlie, our stupid effing Elf on the Shelf! (Which I totally suck at, btw. Pretty much the most boring elf. EVER.) When the hubs takes my hand as the kids tear into their gifts on Christmas morning, I promise that I'll squeeze it back and rejoice in the life that we've built, even if it's not even close to perfect.  It's still ours.

And in case I forget, I've complied a list of things I can reference.  You know, when my kids have a sugar-induced meltdown on the way home on Christmas Eve, or when they break the remote control helicopter I spent a month researching ten minutes after they open it. This being thankful shit is hard, yo!

I'm thankful for: Pink scattered clouds at sunset, star-filled skies, the way my daughter sings at the top of her lungs without fear, the little skunk patch in back of my son's head, Apple products, Orange is the New Black on Netflix, Justin Timberlake's hotness, a bookshelf full of books I haven't discovered yet, Bose headphones to tune out my lovely children while I write, the way my mom still wants to solve all my problems, the incredible enthusiasm the dogs have when I pull in the driveway, my friendships with my girlfriends, that I get to write, that people will actually read something I wrote, the way my husband still looks for me across a crowded room, Sushi, iTunes, homemade tamales, Facebook, because I love keeping in touch with people, SmartWater and for all of you that took a moment to read this.

Happy holidays!  Whatever you celebrate, I hope it's beautiful. xoxo

What are you thankful for?