This past week my students learned a new vocabulary word: cliche. They’ve gotten a kick out of using it as often as possible which can be a good thing (they understand the definition AND how to use it correctly), but it can also become rather annoying rather quickly (when they use it to describe everything, LOL). 

As I thought about Thanksgiving, the word cliche popped in my head. Why? Because the word “Thanksgiving” and everything it’s supposed to stand for sometimes just become so cliche. It reminds me of this meme. 

We (yes, I’m including myself) all talk and post about how grateful we are for our lives. We find the perfect pictures to show off the people and things that we are so grateful for having in our lives. We send numerous texts and may even pick up the phone to actually call a friend or family member to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. .

Personally, I love reading these posts and smiling at how wonderful our lives are. But how many of us, let’s be honest, are really practicing this gratefulness every day? How many days do we really sit back and truly marvel at how wonderful our lives are? 

I know if you’re like me, the number of days spent either complaining about something (the job, your boss, your spouse, your kids) or in such a blur from trying to keep up with our busy schedules clearly outweigh my days of reflecting on how blessed my life really is. 

So my challenge this Thanksgiving (and every day) is for all of us to be authentic in our gratefulness. Instead of just saying that we’re thankful, take some moments to dig a bit deeper into what that means. For example, instead of just saying that you’re thankful for your family, think back on something specific that you’re grateful about with your family. Do you love family nights and how they help to relieve stress? What about how much fun you had on your last road trip? Is it the sweet hugs from your kids? The encouragement you get from your spouse?

True thankfulness is more than a cliche. It’s a heartfelt emotion that should propel (another one of my students’ vocabulary words) us into action and determine how we live each day. I’m certain that if we all focused more on our blessings than our stresses the world would be a much better place as we learned to be more appreciative of the life that we already have. 

Happy Thanksgiving!