WENDY VICTORA: Lose the ‘but’ this holiday season

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And it’s hard to remember to take the time to sit and feel grateful. To make a list of all the reasons we are blessed. To keep our mind on gratitude and force out thoughts of all the reasons that life can be frustrating.

WENDY VICTORA @WendyVnwfdn

Being thankful should be much easier than it is.

From the time that we are old enough to talk, our parents are reminding us to say thank you whenever we are at the receiving end of kindness.

We thank the cashier at the grocery store, the nurse at the doctor’s office, the postal carrier who hands us our mail and the stranger who pauses to hold open a door. We thank our parents for sweet treats and birthday presents and for letting us play outside a little longer.

As we get older, if we are still on our best behavior, we thank our spouses and children and coworkers for all of the little decencies required for peaceful coexistence. And if the sun is shining particularly brightly, they thank us too.

But saying the words is different from feeling the feeling.

And it’s hard to remember to take the time to sit and feel grateful. To make a list of all the reasons we are blessed. To keep our mind on gratitude and force out thoughts of all the reasons that life can be frustrating.

It’s easy to say we’re thankful and then add on the ominous “but.” We’re thankful for our good health but we don’t know how long it will last. We’re thankful our adult children came home for the holidays but they’re leaving too soon. We’re thankful for those little moments of sweetness we share with other people, but they never last quite long enough.

And on and on and on.

There’s something in human nature that always leaves us hungry for more.

We sit down at the dinner table of life and fill ourselves up and, almost immediately, we grow impatient for dessert. As soon as the meal is over and we’ve pushed back from the table, we’re wondering when we’ll eat again and whether it will be as good.

Each year at this time I pledge in this column to be more grateful. To be present when my teenagers hug me and savor cold winter mornings, making those extra moments under the covers even more delicious.

I pledge to make a list of my blessings.

I pledge to take a deep breath and savor each moment as it passes, hold it as tight as you can hold a wisp of time.

Next year, we might be happier. We might have better jobs or more money. We might not.

Say thank you. Be thankful. Feel grateful.

Managing Editor Wendy Victora can be reached at 315-4478 or wvictora@nwfdailynews.com

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