There is a mountain of research that correlates the practice of gratitude with mental an physical health benefits – everything from better mood, less anger, positive outlook, happiness and lower blood pressure. Of course, this is just correlation, not cause and effect. These outcomes could be caused by any number of other things the subjects share like eating a lot of artichokes or flossing three times a day.
But it is Thanksgiving and it’s possible all those research studies have some truth. Plus, my blood pressure has been running high lately so what the hell, here goes.
I’m grateful for:
Books – so many, so little time
Costco, because it gives my dad somewhere to go and something to talk about (you should see the size of the shrimp!)
The Food Network, for cooking shows that inspire in the moment (not so much when I should actually be cooking) and for a second fantasy family of amazing chefs.
Everyday when I can get out of bed and put my feet on the floor and walk.
My mom, who died of pancreatic cancer 7 years ago, and who still lives on in me – the good and the bad. Her unforgiving metabolism and complex relationship with food, her dreams of travel even when it wasn’t possible, her love of reading and learning, her tendency towards judgement, her ability to make and keep friends, her greatest enjoyment a table loaded with food and her family sitting around it joking and snarking and loving her stuffed shells, her ability to cover up fear and insecurity, her desire to create beauty, her care taking, her obsession with dishes.
Seeing my girls – now 18 and 22- sharing a memory and hearing them laugh together
Writing, even when I don’t actually write, it is always there. In my head, my hands, my heart
Bright red cardinals against snow
Anyone who is reading this blog after all this time
So now I will go check my blood pressure and see if this gratitude stuff really works. I’m skeptical, but I’m always skeptical – I think I get that from my dad. Currently he is trying to peel a dozen hard boiled eggs and swearing because the shells are sticking. It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.
Eat, drink, be merry and grateful. It’s worth a shot.