We read that expressing gratitude makes you feel better — improves mental function, decreases depression, makes you feel more popular and lovable.
Even if you’re, like, a day late, like this editorial.
Now, we’re not making this up. It is a well-established fact, attested to in many studies published in places like the International Journal of Social Behavior and Personality or the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. We could cite reams of studies: But we know you’ll be grateful if we don’t.
We’re still shaking off the Turkey tryptophan and a little depressed about Christmas shopping, so we figured we would make ourselves feel better with a better-late-than-never expression of gratitude.
So, officially, here’s some things that make us grateful this year.
You. Really. Such wonderful readers: keeping us in business even in hard times. We’re SOOOO grateful.
Community visionaries. You know, the people who will labor for years to make real a dream that will bless this community — like a college campus.
The distance to Washington: We’re so very grateful that the people running Congress aren’t running town hall or the school district — or the community food drive or anything else within our reach.
Oh, yeah: You again. The rising tallies for yet another community food drive remind us that we live in the best place in the world — with the best neighbors.
The expansion of ice: OK. This is maybe a little obscure. But did you know that water is one of the few liquids that expands when it freezes? This quirk explains why ice floats and the oceans have not frozen solid.
Those who serve: We’re finally winding down our two wars, but hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens still stand on the ramparts. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you to those who have served in the past, without you we would not be able to worry about what those folks in Washington, D.C. are doing.
Those who love: Thought we’d sneak in a deep surge of gratitude for everyone who has risked love, given love, survived love. It remains our one sure hope in a bewildering world.
Ravens: They can learn to talk, solve complicated puzzles, lie to one another, fly upside down. And they laugh at us, which we so richly deserve. Bless you, and all the other flits of feather that make us look up and smile.
Our pets: Many of us have our favorite pets that brighten our lives when they “smile” at us or do that special wiggle-waggle that brings so much joy to our lives. We need to remember that these pets rely on us and we need to care for them and return the unconditional love they give us.
Family: A special thanks to our family members, wives, husbands, children, grandparents and all those aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews who bring so much joy to our lives, who give us love and stand beside us and give us support when things go wrong or when we have health problems.
Teachers: And throw in social workers and ministers and anyone else who has made it their life’s work to help other people.
Everything else: Out of space and we haven’t even mentioned the view from the Rim, the sound of Tonto Creek, thunderheads, first light, last light, people who rescue dogs, children with high, bright voices, grief support groups, special education teachers, cocky firefighters, hospice volunteers, Jeeps that still run smoothly after 100,000 miles, wives that tolerate us, children that admire us, folk art, quartz crystals in the dirt, recovering bald eagles.
Darn. We’re so out of space.
But the shrinks are right. We do feel better.