Gratitude Is The Attitude

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf published in the Albert Lea Tribune week of November 24th.


There are days when it is hard to be thankful. We might get up on the wrong side of the bed. We might not feel very good. We might have had an altercation with someone or we don’t look forward to our to-do list for the day.

Those are the days we miss the sunshine or the beauty of the snow. Those are the days where we fail to see the smile on our children’s faces or miss smelling the aroma of our morning coffee.

Those are the days we forget that in spite of everything the sun is shining or the snow that is falling is beautiful. Our children and family love us no matter our mood and the fact that we are able to do our to-do list should be cause for gratefulness.

I, the same as everyone else, miss many of these things on a daily basis because I forget to be thankful.

Therapists and TV hosts and everyday people sing the praises of keeping a gratitude journal through trying circumstances. We ignore their advice even though many have done it and have said it changes their lives.

This is the week of Thanksgiving Day. It is a week where we remember to be thankful for all we have. As I think of the week I think of those who are experiencing trying circumstances right now in their lives. And yet I listen to them and hear them saying thank you.

Recently I followed and prayed for a family on Facebook. I didn’t know them, but their story left me in tears. Their young school-age son was in a coma for many days after an accident at home. There were many people praying from as far away as Europe. There were prayer vigils and private prayers. This boy’s mother reached out to others and documented her broken heart. Her son died.

Yet, after his death, she posted her thankfulness for having him in her life. For being able to hold his hand and talk to him the days he lay silent. She was thankful for prayers. This boy’s life touched many far and near during these past few weeks. And his mother’s words touched my heart and reminded me in the midst of sorrow there is a reason to be grateful. If she could do it, we all can.

I find thankfulness in many of my friends who are also suffering loss and illness. They are grateful for each new day. I learn so much about being thankful from them.

The Thanksgiving holiday has changed so much from the time I was young. Church was a given and family dinners and family time was sacred. Today it seems we squeeze in our thankfulness in-between shopping and football. To many it is just another day.

Thankfulness lends itself to compassion. Perhaps we would be a kinder, more caring nation if we practiced being thankful on a daily basis and passed that and compassion on to those young minds that are being influenced by brutal media and crime today.

The world stops when there is a crisis. Maybe the world should stop for one day for all of us to look around and view what we have to be thankful for. If those in need and those in dire circumstances can find the thankfulness in their heart, so should those of us that have been blessed with plenty.

Maybe if the world stopped for a day to think and feel thankful, perhaps it would carry on all through the year.  It could change our own outlook on life. Do you suppose that is what our ancestors hoped for that first Thanksgiving Day?

What I need to say today and every day is simple. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving Day.


There’s A Day For Everything!

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf posted in Albert Lea Tribune and Courier Sentinel week of November 17, 2014

Today is World Peace Day. Yesterday was United Nations International Day for Tolerance and National Fast Food Day.kindness day

We all know that for us every day is a special day in our lives because it is different from the day before. I hadn’t thought much about the days that people have named for us to celebrate until I picked up one of my AARP newsletters.

There are the days that we all remember: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Grandparents Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but I hadn’t realized how many special days there are until I picked up that magazine.

According to my AARP magazine these are the special days for the month of November:

November is National Family Caregivers Month. Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, Nov. 13 is Embrace World Kindness Day. Nov. 23 kicks off National Game and Puzzle Week, and the 26th kicks off National Deal Week. Nov. 27 we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, and then we move on to the 29th and Small Business Saturday and on the 30th Senior Sunday.

The two I mentioned when I started this column are not mentioned in the AARP magazine but are two I found on investigating days celebrated.

Since the month is half over and you might have missed celebrating some of the days I have mentioned, here are some days for you to celebrate the rest of the month: Nov. 18 is National Adoption Week, Nov. 20 is Name your PC Day, Nov. 21 is World Hello Day,  Nov. 22 is Stop the Violence Day. Here’s one I have no idea what it is and that is on Nov. 23, and it is National Sinkie Day. I would like to give credit for finding some of these to Jill Badonsky, writer of “The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder.”

I have a feeling that if we wanted to name a day and we could get the world to catch on through social media, we could add another day to the November calendar to celebrate.

There may be days when you wake up in the morning and feel kind of blah and you feel you have nothing to celebrate. I am telling you that there is always a day to celebrate. If you look hard enough, you will find one.

Remember, there is also your birthday. I had a friend who never liked to celebrate his birthday because he didn’t like to think about his age. I always told him that celebrating his age was better than the alternative. The alternative happened, and I would guess he would tell you to celebrate your life on your special day.  You can celebrate your life each day just because we wake up in the morning.

I decided to check out some more days to see what I can look forward to. I like June 18 because it is National Splurge Day or June 21, National Wandering Day. I am very good at splurging and wandering. It is cold where I live and Dec. 3 is one day I am going to celebrate, it is National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day.

If you can’t find a day you like to celebrate, then make one up and shout it the world and let others celebrate with you.

I think I will declare Dec. 26, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt Day. She is my character in my Fuchsia, Minnesota Series, and I think she should have her own day. Why Dec. 26? It is a special day for her. I can’t tell you why — it’s a secret until my new book, “Granny Snows a Sneak,” coming out this month, gives it away.

Find a day to celebrate. Share that day with others and remember the turkey. He gives his life for us this month.

“You’ve to celebrate the good days because there are brutal days that make the good ones sweet.” — Brian O’Driscoll