Ray of Happiness

“It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.”  I read this on Paul Coelho’s twitter feed on Thanksgiving Day.  It just resonated with me and stuck with me for a few days as it gave me food for thought.  How can anyone be happy without feeling thankful, without expression of gratitude?  I  had never really thought about it before and it is tough to be happy without being thankful. To be truly happy, one has to be able to appreciate what they have, big or small.  On any day of the week, even any hour of the day, we can all find something to be thankful for and in turn, anyone would be feel happy when saying, “I am thankful for (fill in the blank).”

I can understand there may be times when it is difficult to be thankful – especially when circumstance leaves us asking questions and wondering why.  Even in that type of situation, if it means grasping for the little things and straws, it might be possible to find things to drum up gratitude and subsequently a ray of happiness.  I give a pass to people in catastrophic situations because sometimes one needs to just be something other than thankful and happy to deal with matters at hand.  For the rest of us in uncomfortable situations, I rationalize it like this: even though this or that happened, I am really thankful for this thing and for that I am happy.  I have this habit of trying to find the positive in any situation – sometimes it is easy, sometimes it takes a little thought.  However, thinking about the positive AND what to be thankful for is a new and interesting way of looking at things.

This is kind of simple and cliche but I am going with it.  I am not a fan of turkey or Thanksgiving foods in general – scandalous, I know.  I never look forward to the actual meal (I do appreciate the appetizers, however).  I think most people anticipate Thanksgiving dinner with enthusiasm.  I can take it or leave it for various reasons.  That said, the meal itself is unimportant.  I am very fortunate to have a family that gets together and dines together and for little nephews to liven everything up. How can anyone not be thankful for family and 1 year old boys tearing up a party? I am thankful that my brother and sister in law host so I never have to roast a turkey or have 6-months worth of leftovers in my house (6-months may be an exaggeration but I swear a turkey can last till summer).  It makes me so happy to go home on Thanksgiving and to know the next time I see turkey it will be next Thanksgiving.  I am the baker for Thanksgiving so for that I am thankful as I enjoy baking and can spend days baking and never get bored..as I did for Thanksgiving this year. If someone else did the baking, Thanksgiving prep would not be the same for me.

If you go through the list of things for which you are thankful, you will find many sources of happiness. You may find yourself paying more attention to big things, small things, people, places, pets, opportunities when you really dig into it.  Gratitude and what makes people happy have been on my mind a lot lately for no specific reason I can pin point.  I just know it is important to be thankful, to feel gratitude and to be happy.  The Paul Coelho quote was one of those serendipitous things – I found exactly what I was looking for – a short and sweet explanation of the cause and effect of thankful and happy.

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