As you gather around the table for Thanksgiving dinner (or any other time of the year), you take a moment to give thanks for all that is good in your life. The obvious things, by their very definition, can be way too obvious. Of course you're thankful for your health and for your family, even though your crazy Uncle Steve is going off on another one of his Lewis Black-grade political rants again. What about all those other things that make each day just a little more bearable?
With only 24 hours in the day and two arms attached to your body - not including the toddler wrapped around your hip - it's practically impossible to get everything done yourself. Thank goodness for the power of outsourcing. No time to do your taxes? Hand it off to the pros at H&R Block! No time to scrub the toilets or vacuum the floor? Call the house cleaners! No time to roast a 20-pound turkey? A bucket of fried chicken is the same thing, isn't it?
2. The Convenience of Netflix Binging
Traditional television restricts you to the networks' schedules and even if you use a DVR, you have to fast-forward through the commercials. This may have been fine for Seinfeld and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it's no longer good enough for today's generation. You don't have to wait until next week to catch the newest episode of Orange Is the New Black or Stranger Things. Not only are there no commercials, but Netflix will automatically start the next episode for you. Let the binge watching continue.
3. A Warm Pair of Socks
Some people may resent the arrival of sweater season. The popular song may tell us that "baby, it's cold outside," but it can be extra warm and comfortable inside when you slip those freezing toes into a warm pair of socks that are fresh out of the dryer. There is no better feeling. And those warm socks will go great with your Netflix binge session.
4. Starbucks Mobile App
Who wants to line up like a Luddite, only to have the barista butcher their name? (No, David isn't spelled Dayveed, thanks very much.) Luckily, the Starbucks mobile app has gotten better and better over time. You can manage your balance, reload your card, track your stars and rewards, and pay with a quick scan of the on-screen barcode. Better yet, use the mobile ordering option to customize your drink to your heart's delight and skip the cashier lineup altogether. This way, they can't possibly mess up your grande, quad shot, no whip, nonfat, extra hot, two pump pumpkin spice latte with cinnamon dolce and one pump classic.
Uh oh. The in-laws are coming over in an hour, the house cleaning service isn't coming by until Wednesday, and your living room smells like a wet dog. Possibly because Rover just went for a joyful stroll through the pouring rain. You don't have time to clean, but you do have time for some targeted sprays of Febreze. Breathe happy.
6. Remote Power Liftgate
After surviving yet another adventure at the local shopping mall or supermarket, you've got your arms full of bags and no means of getting it all into your vehicle. Thankfully, your minivan or compact SUV is equipped with a remote power liftgate. Just press the button on your keychain and load it all up. That's far better than setting your paper bag of perishables down in that muddy puddle in the parking lot.
7. Free Wi-Fi Access
Your flight home has been delayed again, and you're tired of reading the same copy of People magazine for the 13th time. You flip open your laptop as you curl up against one of the few available power outlets at the airport terminal and discover a glowing ray of light: free Wi-Fi. There is truly nothing more glorious than falling into a bottomless pit of funny cat videos and Pinterest inspirations.
8. One True Friend
You may have hundreds or even thousands of "friends" on Facebook, but how many of these people would you actually consider a "friend" outside of the Internet? As glamorous as it might seem to have a crew like Sex and the City or even The Big Bang Theory, the truth is you only need that one true friend with whom you can confide just about anything. Find the Kimmy Gibbler to your DJ Tanner, the Watson to your Sherlock, or the Beavis to your Butthead.
9. First World Problems
It may sound counterintuitive to be thankful for your problems, but when the worst thing in your life is that your latte is a little too foamy or they ran out of your size at the shoe store, it means you probably have it pretty good. Take a moment to put everything in perspective.
Exercise Gratitude Every Day
While it may be very common to be extra reflective on Thanksgiving, a great way to keep your spirits high is to maintain a gratitude journal throughout the year. Before going to bed each night, take a moment to write down something you were thankful for that day. Then, every once in a while, put on a warm pair of socks, take a sip from your Starbucks, and read some of your past entries. You just might surprise yourself with how green your grass really is.