Why I’m Not Thankful for the Little Things - Daily Hudson Valley News

Why I’m Not Thankful for the Little Things

Dec 4th, 2014 | By | Category: Lifestyle

During my teenage years (and a few blue days in my 20s and 30s), I would think to myself, “I’d love to be somewhere else…someone else…around different people…with a different view from my window…” and on and on. Then I’d have one of those great days where you fall back in love with everyone around you – your family, your friends, your significant other, the barista who makes your coffee in the morning, the girl in the next cubicle over… And I’d be so grateful for being who I was at that moment in time. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now,” I’d say to myself on Christmas morning or the night of my birthday or a random Wednesday when things just felt precisely the way they should.

As I watch more news stations every morning and read more headlines at night, I’m reminded of how much we have. The we who knows what the Hudson Valley is and how beautiful it can be; the we who’s reading this, which means we have a computer or an iPhone; the we who knows how to read these words because we’re educated. That’s the same “we” who gripes about the beautiful snowfall on a sunny winter day, who tears each other apart for not practicing the “correct” parenting methods, who insults one another for voting a certain way, who’s turning complaining into an epidemic and a trend.

“It could be worse” doesn’t resonate the way it should. We could live in a country with awful conditions, we could be too poor to afford electronics, we could go to school in a state with a terrible education system. We could, but so what? We don’t, we aren’t – that’s not our life. Our life is what it is right now: something that’s taken with a grain of salt, with a dash of hope that it will be drastically, immediately new and better; something that’s shrugged off with an, “it could be worse,” then followed by more criticism.

For me, far scarier is the thought that it could be different, that the life I’ve grown accustomed to will change tomorrow. That thought is much more threatening than knowing I could’ve grown up as somebody else, somebody less fortunate. Had I been born into a wildly different existence, I would’ve adapted to it. When life smacked me across the face on a lazy summer day in July, it was the change that was hard to handle, not the idea that I could’ve had a completely different, far worse story to tell. There was no comparison that brought me comfort.

People always say that it’s the little things that make life special. Ever since that tragic day three years ago, I appreciate the big things most of all – the friendships that have lasted for nearly a decade, the closeness of my family, an education that led me to a career I love, a healthy relationship, my 31-year-old body that hasn’t suffered more than the flu, the troops that stand up for my freedom. This Thanksgiving, I wasn’t simply thankful for the turkey or its delicious stuffing, for pumpkin pie and leftovers. I was thankful for this huge life I have, the one that hasn’t yet been touched by disaster other than that one horrible slip a few years back – the one that changed everything and made me wish, just for a moment, that I’d been born a different person.


Lindsay Pietroluongo is a full-time freelance writer in the Hudson Valley. Her work has appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal and Chronogram magazine. Lindsay also writes business content and marketing materials for professionals through her boutique writing company Poison Apple Ink and runs a lifestyle blog And the Pursuit. Visit Lindsay on the Rocks to learn more. Lindsay can be seen on Hudson Valley Insider each Thursday under the Lifestyle section.


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