So I think I finally figured it out.
For some strange reason it has become something of a RFTNS tradition to put up Least Tern photos around the Thanksgiving holiday. It never added up. Yet sure enough, once again, I found myself inexplicably drawn to a big pile of Least Tern photos this morning. And when I finally hit the one above, it all made sense.
Essentially, my deepest desire for the day is to lie around in the sun, sleeping like a little turd in a big pile of feathers, until someone brings more food than could possibly ever fit down my throat into the room, at which point I’ll happily leap up and waddle around, frantically waving my arms in hopes they will put all of it directly into my mouth. Just like a baby LETE!
But once that’s happened a few times, I’ll simply retire for the day and begin the true holiday: relishing deep feelings of real gratitude. Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year because gratitude is the greatest feeling in the world. It’s more than a feeling (more than a feeeeeel-in’!); Gratitude is an Attitude.
There is not a single bad feeling, fear, negative emotion, or even physical pain which can’t be obliterated by a deep sense of gratitude, or even a simple counting of our blessings. And the best part is, conjuring up thoughts of thankfulness is dead easy and can happen in an instant, anytime we choose. No matter our lots in life, no matter how bad off things might be, just by the simple fact that we are still pulling breaths in this mysterious world and still have the capacity to choose gratitude is enough to be thankful for. Gratitude the Attitude starts at the base level of “well, here are a thousand ways it could be worse… so, yeah, cool. I feel better. I think I’ll try to feel this way more often!”
Negativity is exhausting, it’s boring, and it is really poor soil for all of the good things in life like love, joy, respect, compassion, laughs, and good times to grow in. Sure, yackin’ and complainin’ can be fun for a bit, but developing the mental habit of eviscerating unproductive bad thoughts with some simple thankfulness is better. It’s easy, it’s more fun, and it’s the smartest, most effective path forward in just about every situation.
The simplicity, speed, and transformative power of gratitude is probably the greatest gift in the emotional spectrum. And here we have a whole day to celebrate it. Sweet.
And for anyone who agrees with this perspective, but is still struggling to get their Attitude of Gratitude on, get outside and into nature, STAT! The macro and the micro miracles occurring all around us in the natural world, 24/7, are probably the greatest source of inspiration for feeling the simple joy of being a living creature on a magnificent planet. To me, it is the foundation of all gratitude. It’s surely why I love the beach, and especially like hanging around the creatures born to it.
Happy Thanksgiving, especially to all you turds, gluttons, creatures, and LETE!