I saw a post online the other day, essentially mocking this girl, during that whole 30 days of giving thanks thing that everyone on Facebook is doing, for saying that she was thankful for TV during one of her days.
I think it’s kind of silly to mock her. Sure, TV is kind of a response people don’t expect to hear when they’re talking about the things they’re thankful for, but I’ve seen more people than that say they’re thankful for things like Starbucks, because they can’t get through a day without it, or for their Cell Phone, for keeping them in touch with people. So, why is it so outrageous that she’s thankful for TV?
Because, in my opinion, society seems to have this constructed idea of what we “should” be thankful for, and because of it, we forget that it’s okay to be thankful for other things, too.
It’s a given that all of us are likely to be thankful for our family, our church, our closest friends, the people that we turn to every day, our pets, and maybe even our co-workers. And, outside of people, it seems to be culturally acceptable to say that we’re thankful for a great church service, a favorite charity, or an object that means a lot to you, like an heirloom tablecloth you’re setting out for Thanksgiving, or a mug that was given to you as a gift from your spouse.
We have these ideas that what we can be Thankful for fits into this little box. So, what I’m really loving is that this girl broke out of that box and gave an honest answer, that TV was something she’s thankful for. And come on, it was day 19 of the project. I’m pretty certain her other 18 responses weren’t TV. The person who shared the image mocking her was likely ignoring the fact that the rest of her responses were probably very normal responses that everyone could identify with.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and say “I kinda see this girl’s point, actually.” Outside of the whole “everyone can be thankful for what they’re thankful for and no one should make them feel bad for their choice there,” I can say that I get why someone could be thankful for TV.
This summer, I was VERY thankful for Big Brother. I’ve always hated the show. Truly, just hated it. But for some reason, this year, I had some favorites (and some that I couldn’t stand). But see, outside of the show, I was thankful for the fact that it meant a few nights a week that were earmarked for nothing other than sitting on the couch and spending some time with my mom. She and I spend a lot of time together, but this was just uninterrupted time where it was she and I, geeking out over a show. And it meant time spent reading articles and talking about and discussing whether or not it was rigged.
Sure, we could have spent that time doing anything else, but the chance we would have had as much time together is slim, and so, for this summer, I was very deeply thankful for Big Brother and the time that we got to spend together because of it.
When I lived alone for awhile, and was working from home, going to school from home, literally home all the time unless I made myself get out, I didn’t have a TV, but I had Hulu and DVDs of TV series checked out from the library. And for those, I was very thankful. It helped my apartment feel a lot less lonely because I filled it with laugh tracks that killed the silence while I worked, and filled it with shows that reminded me of my childhood, like I Love Lucy. At that moment, I was thankful for those, because it made a hard time in my life a lot easier by making me feel a lot less alone.
I think if all of us dug inside a little bit, we’d find that, beneath the surface answers that EVERYONE is Thankful for (not that they shouldn’t be– they are REALLY important things to be thankful for, and to continually give thanks for), I think we’d find some answers that would surprise people. Some of us might be thankful for TV. I know that a lot of my friends would be thankful for a favorite hobby. I’d personally be able to say I’m thankful for soccer. There’s a lot to be thankful for. So many things that 30 days isn’t really enough to give thanks for all of those things we’re thankful for, I’d reckon.
While I haven’t taken the time to share about my things I’m thankful for on Facebook, here’s a list of 21 things I’m Thankful for (since we’re at 21 days so far in the month of November).
1. I’m thankful for puppy, who provides my son so much comfort, that even though he’s a stuffed animal and inanimate object, he plays a role in Zach’s life as a movie buddy, a confidant, and a cuddle partner. It’s a good thing to help Zach feel secure.
2. I’m thankful for a boyfriend who is always so willing to help out, to give his time and his energy on the weekends to help me finish my work. I’m thankful for his willingness to drive all around the area to help me get everything I need for my work for the month.
3. I’m thankful for an extra hour, because, even though I’m still exhausted and Zach woke up the same time as always (despite the fact that time shifted and he didn’t shift his schedule accordingly), it’s nice having that extra cozy time at night now with him getting sleepy earlier.
4. I’m thankful for BlogHer, and how much going last summer has helped me find my place in the blogging world, and for the support of my family, who said “You’re going or else.” when I was too panicked to go. And also for friends like Jen from LifeWithLevi who let me be a +1 to an event she was invited to, and for all of the people willing to smuggle me into other events.
5. I’m thankful for bathtime and the grin my son gets as he exclaims “BATH! BATH! BATH!”
6. I’m thankful for Sporting KC, and the way they’ve helped my entire family rally behind a single passion, a single game, a single love for soccer.
7. I’m thankful for the words my son has learned in the past few months, and the way his vocabulary has changed and grown.
8. I’m thankful for programs that help me be the best educator and mother for my son that I can be.
9. I’m thankful for the United States Marine Corps, not just for their service, but for the friends that were brought into my life because we happened to be connected to Marines at the time; those friendships I made seem to prevail, even if each of us have moved on from our time with the Marines we knew then.
10. I’m thankful for Advil, that helped my son get through the day during his yucky illness, and the fact that being sick happened to make him extra cuddly.
11. I’m thankful for HootSuite, which helps me feel more organized in my every day life, and helps me plan ahead for days that I know will be less productive.
12. I’m thankful for small town life, and the way that everyone knows everything about everybody. It’s humbling, kind of scary, and helps you realize that there’s nothing else like small town life in the world.
13. I’m thankful for a warranty on car batteries, because otherwise, my new battery would be way outside of my price range and emergency funds.
14. I’m thankful for scrapbooking and the way it helps me preserve my memories for the future, and helps me stay grounded in telling my story; I’m also thankful for the people it brought into my life.
15. I’m thankful to have a working car after having it basically be a paperweight since May. Finally having it working again is an awesome feeling. I’m also thankful for tow trucks.
16. I’m thankful for parents who are willing and able to help out with my son on my hardcore work days, who love to spend time with him and play with him, whether I’m working or not, and who are so generous with their time.
17. I’m thankful for my church family and their giving spirit. I love that we were able to exceed our goal for Operation Christmas Child because of the generous nature of our church body.
18. I’m thankful for my son, who I couldn’t live a day without, and who has such a creative, fun, and sweet spirit that makes my days so much brighter as a result.
19. I’m thankful for Duncan Hines and the people and experiences that Duncan Hines have brought into my life. I’m a much more confident baker because of the contest win, and a much happier person with the people I’ve met through my time at Duncan Hines. It’s truly something life changing and I can’t express that enough.
20. I’m thankful for quiet mornings at home with coffee and people I care about, and for the times when a drum set and a toddler make my mornings a lot less quiet through music.
21. I’m thankful for my voice, my writing voice especially, that allows me a chance to be heard through my blog, a chance to share my thoughts, my creativity, and my life with my readers, and I’m thankful for the people I’ve met because of my blog.
But you know what I’m really thankful for? That we live in a place where we can be thankful for ANYTHING. That we can be thankful for the amazing gifts God has given us, but also for those awesome comforts in life like TV, and cinnamon rolls, and coffee, and that song that gets stuck in our head all the time.
I’m thankful for the blessings I have in my life, and the fact that I even HAVE a life with which to experience these blessings. And above all, I’m thankful for the relationship with God that allows me to know that, as awesome as this life can be at times, it’s not my ultimate goal, my ultimate home, and that there’s so much more to be thankful for even when this world and these comforts pass.
I’m just really, really thankful for those things. And I’m also thankful for the fact that, while I was writing down what I was thankful for each day, every single day, I had more than just one thing to be thankful for. I had so many things that I am genuinely thankful for, even if they didn’t get written down on this list, and that’s awesome.
What are you thankful for?