5 Things That No Else is Thankful For – Or Are They?

Children not fighting - something to be thankful for

They look happy – don’t they? Hmm, what’s the catch?

You’ve probably already read hundreds of posts with lists of things people are thankful for. You’ve smiled, shook your head in agreement, and maybe even sighed.

Then you throw in all the foodie blogs and Pinterest pins. Of course, each one is displaying and encouraging ridiculously complicated recipes for your holiday meal. Certainly, these Thanksgiving delicacies are laid out on picturesque tables with cute decorations.

By this point, you are a little sick of all this sweetness.

Come on. Admit it.

Look, I like Thanksgiving. Love it actually. It’s my favorite American Holiday.  I’ve written that post.

So this year, I’ve compiled five things that appear on no one else’s list of gratitude.

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Give Me Back My Darn Email

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

I am not into Twitter. I am only quasi into Facebook.

However, I email regularly. I receive emails all day. It’s no exaggeration to say that I get over 100 emails a day. And that is my personal account.

Sure plenty of them, even the majority are junk emails. No, I don’t need a daily reminder of the sales at Hanes, Jos. A. Bank, and Lands End.

However, there are a number of emails that come through every day that matter. Business, personal. Whatever.

As you can gather, I have come to rely on my email very much.

And why not rely on email?

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Zero Reaction

I did it. I set a goal. I accomplished a goal. And it felt great.

When I turned my computer off on Tuesday night, I had zero emails in my inbox. Now, I must admit the last stubborn email was turned into a draft so I can easily pop onto it when I want to reference it. By the way, a few people provided helpful suggestions including, Karaboo over at whoorwhatwasthat.wordpress.com. I felt a feeling of exultation. It was a beautiful.

Now, it was nearing 11:00, so I could not shout for joy. For if I shouted and awoke the children, there would be no joy in Mudville. However, I certainly could share my excitement with my wife.

I was sure my wife would be excited. In fact, when she learned of my goal, she smiled widely. So, I went upstairs. I tried to hold back my excitement as I approached our bedroom door.

As I was about to enter, I started thinking. For an organizational fiend like my wife, this news could actually serve as an aphrodisiac. Maybe, she wouldn’t be able to control her enthusiasm. She would have to express her admiration. Whatta man whatta man whatta mighty good man. Whoo ah!

Okay, I am mixing my cultural references, but this was good. Zero in the inbox and a night of love.

This could inspire me to accomplish many more organizational tasks. I could organize the garage, organize the desk. Things always need organizing.

Wait. I stopped myself from entering the bedroom. Let me make sure the kids’ doors are shut. No interruptions – no thank you. Well, the kids were sleeping, and the house was quiet except the television was on in our bedroom. This is good. Feeling confident now.

I slowly opened the door while struggling to hold back my enthusiasm for the goal I was about to share. “Sara.” No answer. “Sara.” Still no answer. Once more. “Sara.”

She turned, startled. “Huh.”

“Were you asleep?” I knew the answer. I hoped she would lie.

“Yes. What is it?”

Here was my opening. “I did it.”


“I got down to zero emails. I did it. Remember we talked about it before.”

“That’s great,” she muttered with less enthusiasm than the nominees say at awards shows when asked how they feel after not getting the award. I’m just happy to be nominated.

“That’s it?” I was crestfallen.

“I’m sleeping.”

“Oh. Okay. Sorry. Good night.”

I sighed, turned around, as my sense of accomplishment faded slightly. I headed to the shower happy this night to still be suffering from morning shower phobia. A nice shower would do me some good.

A Quest for Zero

It’s a long weekend.  I do love the Presidents. I’m sure many of you planned to go away for a few days, or maybe catch up on sleep, or spend quality time with friends, or handle something that you have been putting off. Me? I am on a quest for zero!

I am an organized person. Some might say compulsive.  They have not met my wife. Yes, we are an organized duo.  Anyway, I believe in drawers and closets.  A brilliant invention they were. (My wife is more of a “throw it away” person but this is not really about her.)

You see, I’m as a sentimental as the next guy. I have stuff that I want to keep (George Carlin had a great bit on stuff – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac) but that does not mean it has to be scattered all over the place. Organization, neatness. Just saying these words brings me a sense of tranquility.

I get approximately 125 emails a day to my personal account. Truthfully, I never counted, but this seems right. Now, the majority of it is junk. SIDE NOTE: As children we were happy to get mail. Right? Now, it is mostly junk. Ten years ago, we were happy to get email. Now, it’s mostly junk. Prediction, soon, we will be saying the same text messages. Back to the point. While a good chunk of my email is junk, there are still plenty of emails which I feel a need to read and some of it needs to be read carefully and requires a thoughtful response.

With email there is an efficiency. You type it, you send it, and it’s received.  It is meant to be quick and an entire exchange can occur in just moments.

Now, some emails require me to ruminate. They are not of the yes/no, chocolate/vanilla, pizza/macaroni & cheese variety. In fact, sometimes I prefer to let an email sit in my inbox for a day, so I can truly consider my response whether it be of the thoughtful, heartfelt, or encouraging kind. I like to get the words as close as possible to the sentiment I am feeling.

Currently, I have 14 emails in my in inbox. Some have been there for months. The emails vary but generally, they are not of the type that I must respond to. Instead, most of them have information which I find practical and turn to with some regularity. So, I have kept them in my inbox. However, I am tired of seeing them there.

What, dare I dream, would it be like to have zero emails in my inbox? It’s the email version of a spotless house, a clear desk, a clutter-free mind. It’s the holy grail of organization. If it were an object, Indiana Jones would have gone searching for it.

Now, I recognize that this state of perfection may not last long as I get many emails a day. Still, zero is a goal worth having. Full disclosure — I have checked my email three times since I started writing this.

Anyway, I am a quest for zero. Those emails which I don’t really need? Delete. For the others, I have folders – emails version of closets. I can do it. I can get organized. While I would be happy to read your response to this post, just know the response won’t stay in my inbox long.