Taking time to be thankful for the trivial
Is the McDonald’s commercial bothering anyone else? I get it. The Golden Arches is serving breakfast all day long. Something about that radio advertisement is irritating, especially after I’ve heard it for the 20th time in a day.
In honor of that commercial, I thought I’d share a list of the trivial things I’m thankful for. Yes, I know there are many real things to appreciate, but, for now, I choose to focus on the mundane.
I’m thankful I’m not sitting next to someone telling me why he’s so angry at his ex-wife. Divorce is tough and coordinating activities for kids is challenging — even for parents who are happily married — but, dude, I don’t need to hear every twist and turn in your agonizing morning. I know, that sounds terrible and unsympathetic, but we don’t have to share everything with everyone.
I’m thankful that some games get canceled because of rain or snow. I know it’s our fault that we put our kids in all these sports and that some time down the road, I’ll have to get back on the road for a makeup game. But, in the moment, I can’t help enjoying the unexpected freedom to leave the keys and my chauffeur hat where they are.
I’m trivially thankful I’m not much taller. If I were much taller, I might have to duck when I entered a room or struggle to find a place to hide when someone who is about to tell me all the things about his ex-wife that bother him. Who am I kidding, right? It’d be cool to be taller and be able to dunk a basketball or even have a better view of people coming down a crowded hallway.
I’m thankful I’m not waiting behind a car that’s in the left lane and doesn’t have a blinker on. I’m not sitting at a turn when, just as the light turns green, the guy puts on his blinker, forcing me to wait while the cars in the right gleefully pass me without giving an inch to allow me to sneak into the other line. Hooray! Let’s hear it for those last minute blinker people, who give me a chance to appreciate the same traffic light another time through the green-yellow- red cycle. You never know: maybe the light will go from yellow to green this time and I will be the first one to witness it. And, maybe the traffic light will send me a Morse code signal with the winning lottery number.
I’m thankful I’m not in middle school. If you really need me to explain this one, you were probably sickeningly popular during those awful transition years and you need another rite of passage time in your life, just so you can understand the rest of us.
I’m thankful someone isn’t trying to tell me, right now, what should outrage me. I recognize that people get outraged about real and important things, like how politicians focus too much on one thing and not the thing that matters most to them in the moment. But, hey, just because I remain calm while other people are loudly outraged doesn’t mean I deserve that disgustedly frustrated look I get when I shrug in the face of your fury.
I’m thankful some of the dialogue in movies out right now is so bad that it’s added an unintended comic dimension while giving me the chance to appreciate the difference between quality entertainment and words to connect computer animated excitement. The Mockingjay Part 2 film offers several such gems. In one scene, Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutchinson, and Gale Hawthorne, played by Liam Hemsworth, discuss their competing interest for Katniss Everdeen, acted with considerable seriousness by Jennifer Lawrence. They conclude that they’re not sure who Katniss will choose, but it probably doesn’t matter much because all three of them are unlikely to survive anyway. Oh yes, the sweet agony of the love triangle in the middle of a life or death struggle.