Here's a real mind blower. According to eytmonline.com, thank is phonetically related to think. And for all of you who had friends other than fictional book characters in high school (they'll always be non-fictional to me!), that means: Thank is to think as song is to sing.
So, giving thanks, then, becomes an exercise in thinking. We sing songs unsung and think thanks unthought. Acknowledgement of warm thoughts leads to a fulness of thanks.
Perhaps that's why people recommend counting one's blessings when feeling down. In most cases, this is good advice, but if your husband recommends you pen a gratitude journal after you've gone on a small tirade through the house muttering loudly about how you can't understand why you are the only one in the whole household who knows how to take out the trash or put away shoes and how you would just start throwing everybody's stuff in the garbage if it didn't mean more garbage to take out, then it might be a dangerous moment to grab a pen.
I know the last thing I want to do when I'm in a bad mood is think about reasons why I should not be in a bad mood. Of course I am grateful for the bounteous blessings I have, like limbs and food and sight, but right now I want to be mad about how much it costs to buy a pack of Oreos and about how we'll never go to Disneyland because we can't stop buying Oreos despite the fact that the kids just lick the cookies clean of icing then throw them on the floor.
I've found when I'm in a bad mood, it's best to start small as far as giving thanks goes. For instance, one might say, "I'm grateful that I woke up today in my own body instead of a gorilla's body," or "Boy, am I grateful someone pulled the fire alarm at my kid's recorder concert," or "At least I'll always have you as a friend, Anne of Green Gables." Gradually, gratitude will come more easily as the bad mood dissipates.
Today I'm grateful that:
Kanye West is not president.
Donald Trump will soon no longer be president.
Joe Biden is not president yet.
The election is over.
See? There's so much to be thankful for.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, everyone!