When we are too busy thinking to thank

Column Post by Laura Hyers

It’s pouring rain today inTampa. I love rain, and rainy days, but sometimes I think myself into a funk.

Maybe you do the same thing, where you have no reason to be unhappy except that your brain simply can’t stop swirling around and over-thinking everything.

Today has been one of those days. Maybe it’s the rain, maybe it’s the long week I’ve had, maybe it’s the nap I took that I didn’t plan on, or maybe its me missing my sisters. Whatever it is, I’ve thought myself into a rut this afternoon, and my youngest sister who knows me like the back of her hand keeps asking me if I’m okay.

And really, I am. Everything is fine. Everything is great, actually. But a line from one of my favorite books, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, keeps resurfacing on the tumultuous surface of my mind:

“I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn’t the world, it wasn’t the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, my cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don’t know, but it’s so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”

I’m pretty sure that some days the act of thinking, of inward motion but outward catatonia, can make or break us. There are issues that need to be mulled over, things that need to be processed and picked apart and put back together until they make sense, or until they don’t hurt anymore.

But today isn’t one of those days for me. Today I’m going to eat dinner with my parents and my sisters and my brother-in-law and my husband. Today I took a fantastic bubble bath. Today I woke up with my eyes seeing, my fingers feeling, my heart beating, and I didn’t give it a second thought, didn’t even mutter a “thank you” skyward to the God who woke me up today.

Some days call for action, for going and moving and being. Some days we need to run and dance and cry and hold tight and let go, curl up into a ball or unfurl into whatever beautiful thing we are becoming. Some days the last thing we need to do is think, and some days we need to forget about thinking and just live. And in the process of living, we could be thankful for the opportunity, full of joy for the graceful gifts of God.

What would your day look like if it was full of action, full of being and living—and as a result overflowing with thanks?

I think it would look a lot like gratefulness for the here and now—even for afternoons where we think ourselves out of happiness.

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P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts, so please be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for our current FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart. 

Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

2 thoughts on “When we are too busy thinking to thank

  1. As a fellow thinker, I love this. So often I’ve convinced myself that I can think myself through anything, when really, overthinking has gotten me into more ruts than it’s gotten me out of. Thanks for the reminder that I can, and should, stop thinking so much and learn to just LIVE.

  2. With the fast pace of our uncertain lives, I thrive on moments when I can stop the inner voice from rambling and simply be still. No thoughts, no worries, and no second guessing what may become of the zillion things going on around me. Your post reminded me that it’s okay to just let it be for today. Thank you because I needed that!

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