It's A Way Of Life, Not A Month

It's funny the things that become A Thing now that The Internet is part of everyone's daily life. I mean, ten years ago (or more?) you didn't have the entire Downs community posting to their blogs every day in October to raise awareness. (Ten years ago, the word blog would have been met with a "say-what?") The photography world didn't challenge their followers to take a picture a day for an entire year to help themselves grow better, and together. (That would be something reserved for hometown photo clubs, and their small membership of locals.) And in November, the nation wouldn't have collectively been finding things to be thankful for on a daily basis. The Internet has brought the nation together in ways that nobody could have predicted, I'm sure.

But I've never been one to jump on bandwagons. Some things are incredibly good causes. Some things would be good for me to participate in. But something inside me balks at the idea of doing what everyone else is doing. I've always been this way. It's like a disease in me. As a junior high student, when the world of junior high girls all do what they can to become one in their dress, hair style, and latest crushes, I went my own way. I refused to have a crush on celebrities because everyone else did. I wore culottes because others wore jeans. I went barefoot because other girls were becoming ladies. I did not tease my hair to stand straight out from my head, even though it was the 80's. Clearly, I'm not swayed by peer pressure. Or I'm just oblivious to the world around me. Or perhaps I'm incredibly dim. But probably not, right?

We have officially moved into November. November is The Thankful Month. I do enjoy reading daily on Facebook what others are thankful for, but that Thing inside me that rebels in the face of conformity is rebelling. I won't be posting my thankfulness daily. Not here, not on Facebook, not in a notebook for my own private reading. I think one of the big reasons I'm not participating, commendable though this is, is that I believe in being thankful daily as a life choice. Not just in November, but in July, and March, and on weekends we unexpectedly spend at Children's hospital.

I truly believe that I am blessed. Every day is a blessing just to be alive. Maybe it's because I lived with a grandmother with Alzheimers. When she found the matches in the middle of the night and tried making a bonfire in the kitchen under the table, we're fortunate things never did get lit. When she blew up the oven and blew herself across the kitchen, I learned that surviving random accidents is nothing to be taken for granted. When she finally had to be locked in her bedroom at night - from the outside - and I listened to her tearfully begging for hours on end for someone to let her out, I learned to appreciate not only my freedom to come and go, but the fact that I had good health. I learned to be thankful for every little thing, every single day.

For the month of November, I won't be any more thankful than I am any other month of the year.  I fully appreciate the fact that we live in some of the prettiest countryside in the nation. I have a wonderful husband and four children that make us proud every single day. We have a wonderful home, and room enough in it to host sleep overs for so many friends. We have jobs enough to pay our bills. We have family close by. And we all have good health. Most of all, we choose happiness daily, because anything else is a slap in the face of the God Who has blessed us so richly.

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