I never have a good answer for the questions “Are you religious” or “are you spiritual.” I definitely have a personal philosophy, though. It’s very simple: be grateful.
Gratitude is a fantastic reality check. It calms me, cheers me up, and puts everything in perspective.
Let’s start globally (and I am not being flippant here). I’m grateful that I don’t live in fear of my country’s police or army. I’m grateful that my home or home town has never been destroyed by a natural disaster. I’m grateful that no one I know has had to go to war and be killed.
On to my life. I’m grateful to have family and friends I love. To be healthy. To work with people I like.
My point is not to give you my inventory but to remind you of how easy it is to generate your own gratitude list. And if you ever have trouble sleeping, instead of running down the list of all the problems you have and expect to face the next day, try running down a list of all the times that day you laughed, or got something done, or did something nice for someone and made them smile. It does wonders for insomnia.
I love Thanksgiving – it is one of the few holidays that most North Americans tend to agree on without getting hung up on too many details. Besides, it gives those of us who don’t go to church a reminder to sit down together and be grateful.