It’s all about the mashed potatoes. I know I can eat them any night of the year, but Thanksgiving gives me an excuse to stuff myself silly on them, and I do so love them. So, whenever I think about what Thanksgiving means to me, I think about mashed potatoes.
But I’m not supposed to. I’m supposed to consider all the things I have to be thankful for. Why is it that the first things that pop into my head when I try to do so are the things I don’t have? Those who know me well will say it’s because I’m cynical. However, I think that even the most upbeat personalities will allow their minds to drift to the negative a bit: “Hurumph! I’m supposed to be thankful when such and such happened, and I don’t even have such and such.”
It’s kind of hard to dwell in self-pity in the light of recent tragedies. Uh oh, is this turning into a lecture? I promise you it isn’t. I’m actually just commiserating. We’re supposed to rise above all things selfish and petty, and we feel a little guilty when we allow a hankering for culinary delights and disappointment in things smaller than losing one’s home to muddle dutiful concern for those in worse predicaments and gratitude for our own comparably comfortable situations.
Well, I’m going to suggest something controversial: I don’t think a little self-pity is such a bad thing. First of all, it’s human nature, so we shouldn’t feel too evil. Second, this is the perfect time of the year to take stock, and you shouldn’t simply rest on your laurels. You should get just disgruntled enough about those things you don’t have to strive to achieve them next year. It’s so much easier to divert thoughts to immediate gratification, like yummy pumpkin pie. But in the true spirit of the season, I think we should appreciate what’s good—and also regret what’s not so good. Make a list of all the disappointments you have in your business, get cranky about them and then go on out there and make them happen. Next year you’ll have a few more things to be thankful about. And you can unrepentantly devour a heaping mound of mashed potatoes to congratulate yourself.
What will put the whipped cream on your pumpkin pie?