I just heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts, wherein the author lists and gives thanks for the gifts she has been given-- not the jewelry, video game, toaster oven kind, but the "I can walk and my baby is healthy" kind--as a way to more fully appreciate God in her life. Sounds like a plan, I thought, and decided to give it a try.
Turns out it's a nice idea, but a bit of a stretch--I came up with like twelve. There is no way I am getting to a thousand unless I count individual body parts and every separate hair on my head. Partly this is because being thankful for what I have does not equal the sadness I feel over what others lack. Like Woody Allen said to Diane Keaton in "Annie Hall," if one person is starving in the world, it ruins my evening, or something along those lines.
The very thankful author gets to her 1,000 by what I consider cheating: for example, she includes things like a bubble of soap, taking a chapter to describe its shape, color and chemical composition. Hey, I've got bubbles of soap in my life--just this morning doing the breakfast dishes I had tons of them-- but I've never been thankful for them and probably never will be, unless or until I'm stranded in a very muddy place for a very long time and finally get to have a bath.
Ann Voskamp has hit it big, no small thanks to her appearance on and endorsement by Oprah, which I guess ups her total to 1,002. Surely there are more books in the offing, not to mention calendars and note cards and tote bags and coffee mugs. I wonder if my book, One Thousand Things That Make Me Miserable, would do as well.