Friday, November 23, 2012

A Very Thankful Video Friday

As I sit hear on the day after Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting on the holiday which has just past. Truly, I have a very blessed life. I have a beautiful wife and a happy healthy growing boy. Even though I am one of the few people who had to show up to the office to day, I am very grateful for this job. It defnitely has been an answer to prayer. I am healthy and able to get out and enjoy being active. Whether its going out for a short run or hiking with the family, there are so many reasons to be thankful for being able to enjoy getting outside.

I came across a short blog post this morning, and I enjoyed it. So I'm going to share it. I grabbed it from here, just to give credit where credit is due.

Being Thankful

by Annie Leonard

Annie_leonard"If you ask people what they’re most thankful for in life, three things nearly always come out on top. Not their car (even if it’s a hybrid), their shiny new ultrathin laptop or a 700-fill-power goose down ski jacket. Surveys consistently find we’re most thankful for friends and loved ones, good health and the wonders of nature. What’s more, clinical studies show that gratitude is good for us. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, more satisfied with their lives and better able to cope with problems. Being thankful even helps us sleep better.

It’s a good time, then, to ask: Why don’t we walk the talk?

The main reason, of course, is the blitzkreig of commercial advertising and marketing we’re bombarded with 24/7, which peaks at this time each year. Many of us respond by spending too much time and energy chasing more Stuff and not enough on the things we say we’re most thankful for. To put it in marketplace terms, we’re underinvesting in the things that pay the most dividends, while we overinvest in Stuff that actually threatens the things we profess to value. We have more and cooler Stuff than our grandparents ever imagined, but we pay the price – more time spent working and shopping and maintaining our stuff, much less time spent in leisure, recreation, community service and with friends.

As a nation, this imbalance is not making us happy campers. In the latest Happy Planet Index, the United States ranks 14th out of 143 countries. Costa Rica, where the Gross Domestic Product per person is about a fourth of the U.S., ranked first. (In a group of 20 rich countries, however, we are number one in poverty, income inequality, spending on health care and people who can’t afford health care, infant mortality, obesity and climate change pollution.)

What can we do to reset the balance? Here’s a start: this holiday season, choose family over frenzy. The day after Thanksgiving – so called Black Friday – is a perfect time to opt out of the consumer frenzy and focus on those things we’re really thankful for.

Revisionist history aside, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. Two full days when most Americans are liberated from work and school to gather around a table, break bread and share conversation with those we love. We get the chance to spend two days pausing, recharging, looking into the faces of loved ones rather than into our computer screens.

Instead, the day after Thanksgiving, many Americans will rise at dawn, drive to a mall and spend the day searching for sales on products we don’t really need and which don’t ultimately make us happy. This year, let’s instead focus on the things that make us most thankful. Stay home, unplug the computer and the TV, bring out the board games, play touch football, walk the dog, take a hike – do anything but join the shopping frenzy. You’ll be thankful you did."
I would suggest taking some time today and thinking about what the Thanksgiving holiday is truly about, because you weren't likely very thankful yesterday watching the Lions lose. Come up with a list of things you are REALLY thankful for. Most likely, the new flatscreen that you waited in line for days to get probably won't make the list.
So I'm going to share something that I am truly thankful for: Michigan Winters. Now for all you complainers, you can just move to a different state. Because if you live in Michigan, you should really learn to love snow, otherwise you are just missing out. And the best part about this year is that I should actually be able to get out and enjoy it. There are so many fun and exciting things to do in winter in this great state of ours. And here are just a few.

Now look at that, I start writing about snow, and a few flakes start falling.

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