This Thanksgiving, like every Thanksgiving, I tend to reflect on all the blessings in my life. I wouldn't change my life for anything. It has been a wonderful life, all things considering. However, it seems that with every blessing comes a unique curse.
For example, I have been given the blessing of enough food to eat. Many people throughout the world do not have this blessing. I am very grateful that I can go into a grocery store and buy almost anything under its roof. The curse here is that I can buy almost anything under its roof which is why I'm struggling with losing weight.
I can be thankful that I live in a country where no one can tell me what to do, how to live, or what I can buy. I could wish for a little patrol officer to sit on my shoulder and police the things I eat, but would that be a blessing?
He'd sit there, waving all the good-for-you stuff through "Carrots, OK; yogurt, OK; strawberries, OK; Cheesecake? Wait just a minute!" Then he'd blow his little whistle in my ear and that lovely cheesecake would disappear!
No, I don't really want the little food police, thank you very much. I'd prefer to have a guilty conscience and be thankful for it.
My life is chaotic, stressful and messy at times. My kids make it chaotic. My work makes it stressful. And my total lack of domestic ability makes it messy.
I could wish for less chaos, but then the genie that grants wishes would take away my kids. With no children, who would I have to blame for my messy house?
I could wish for less stress, but that darn genie would probably take away my livelihood. I would certainly lose weight then, but I think we've already established that a guilty conscience speaks to a part of me that my scale could never reach.
I could wish for a bigger house to spread out the mess and make it look merely cluttered. The stupid genie would not only give me more space, but he'd pre-fill it with more mess. It would be like living in the basement of a history museum.
One benefit might be periodically finding something that you haven't seen since the Cold War.
"Oh honey, will you look at this! I found the garter I wore to the senior prom!" Of course my thighs were less thunderous back then. I could wear it as a bracelet now.
Truly, it doesn't pay to wish for more than what you have.
If you want a change, it is better to make it happen yourself. Otherwise, the genies in your life will certainly screw it all up. They don't have your vision. In fact, they can be downright malicious.
Wishing is dangerous.
My advice to you is to be so thankful for what you have that the genies will have nothing to do. Then instead of wishing for a change you think you may want, make it happen the way you envision it. That way, you can do the necessary tweaking along the way.
The genies would never even think of tweaking.
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and speaker and is a Thursday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R.