My Facebook page has exploded with a very important debate--no, not the upcoming election (although it's exploded with that). The "bandwagon" status of posting what all the things for which you're grateful in the month of November. People have jumped on or completely blasted those who have decided to jump on. And I am just aghast at how ugly this has become.
Those of you who read my blog know that several months ago, I read a book that said that gratitude was one of the biggest ways in life to get what you want. One of the exercises that the book recommended was writing 10 things per day for which I was grateful and WHY I was grateful for them. And I did...every day. Since July, I have only missed 2 days. So, when the November "month of thanks" statuses started, I have to admit, I was a bandwagon jumper. What's one more thing? Sometimes it's something from my gratitude journal and that's ok.
Here's the thing. The end of November is traditionally the start of a several month long battle with depression for me. It's darker, it's colder, and there are a lot of bad and sad memories associated with those cold winter months. It starts on November 30th with my mother's birthday (she passed when I was 12), moves to 18 days later on December 17th with the anniversary of her death, then we have the hustle and bustle and craziness of Christmas, followed by the anniversary of my father's death on January 18th. February gives a reprieve, only to have my dad's birthday in March. Some years I deal just fine with it; some years, not so fine. But finding the good in my life helps. It is where I am. It's what I need to do.
At the same time, I realize that other people are where they are. I can imagine that for some, the month long reading of Mary Sunshine posts can be grating. I've read some that make me go "Ugh!" and I'm on the bandwagon! And that is where some people are.
Then, there are those who have raged against the hypocrisy of the whole thing. Why is November the only month to be grateful? Again, I agree. Some people will use this month as a launching pad to be grateful every day of their lives. Others will begin griping as soon as midnight December 1st happens, IF they make it through the month. Some are already grateful everyday and don't feel the need to bother their Facebook friends with it. Some are so knee-deep in whatever demons they have that they cannot find the good (or there may not be good).
My point is, we are all in different places in our lives. I know where I am. I know what I have to do and don't have to do. I am also aware that others are in a different place, and I respect that. I just hope that friendships are not destroyed because we can't meet people where they are because that would certainly be a shame.