Over cocktails last evening, a former co-worker lamented over how tough it has been to land a full-time job after being laid off earlier in the year. She has two freelance gigs right now, and while juggling both she is interviewing for something permanent. In between the details of this and a family situation, she declared that this Thanksgiving, she had absolutely nothing to be thankful for.

Which sent me into a tizzy.

In one of my more ungraceful moments, I let her know in no uncertain terms that she had much to be grateful for: money from her freelance jobs, a husband who loved her, a roof over her head, a car to take her where she needed to go, among many other things. Her comment put me in close touch with fury.

Later as I was walking home, I wondered what it was about her comment that made me so angry. I’ve learned that often the things we cast judgment on are simply a mirror to traits we don’t like in ourselves. Maybe she was simply expressing her vulnerability in a dramatic way.

So I started thinking about where I hadn’t acknowledged gratitude in my own life. I’ve had my share of anxiety over the last few weeks, and I wondered whether or not if some of that would have been alleviated if I had just stopped and said thank you.

As I silently counted my blessings – and the tally climbed higher than I’d expected – I looked up at the nearly full moon and was filled with the wonder of such beauty. Gratitude creates an emotional shift that can put a halt to a rageful pity party.

In a beautiful show of graceful synchronicity, this quote came across my Twitter feed as I was thinking about what I wanted to say:

Gratitude is wine for the soul.  Go on. Get drunk.

— Rumi

Drink on, baby…it’s good for you.