gratitudeIt is summer and it has been very hot here in Kansas City and I came across a humorous list of why men are seldom depressed. Of course, depression is a very serious concern but hopefully, this list will help guys develop a gratitude list that can bring a different perspective to their daily their lives. Being thankful for the gifts in our lives can certainly help lighten the burdens we all carry around.

Many of the men who read this are married and we have a lot to be thankful for in a loving spouse but think about it: your last name stayed put when you got married and the wedding plans just seemed to take care of themselves. My tux rental was about $200 and her dress? Well, you get it. My wife has a box in our basement that is labeled wedding invitations which she has saved for many years, I wonder to myself,while lifting weights occasionally, how did that get there and who originally ordered it. Certainly, not me!

I often see the amount of thoughtfulness my wife puts into so many things while I can get “extra credit” for even the “slightest” act of thoughtfulness such as clipping the vines that regularly invade our AC units or helping an adult child with a project in a simple way.

Recently my youngest daughter went on a trip to Hawaii with some of her older siblings. As I took her to the airport and got her bag out of the car, I noticed it was quite heavy and wondered if it would be under the 50 lbs. required by the airlines. Sure enough it slipped in just under 50 lbs. and came in at 48.5 lbs. Once I saw that, I remembered a recent two-week trip I took with my wife to the Baltic Sea for a cruise and my bag proudly weighed in at 38 lbs. So why is that?

Well we men are simple creatures and often even a five-day business trip can be accomplished with a simple carry on suitcase (oh yes and a backpack!). We have had a lot of practice because we really don’t have much to choose from and for whatever reason, we just don’t spot wrinkles in our clothes. For example, on our side of the bathroom are generally 6 items: toothbrush, toothpaste (maybe some floss?), electric shaver, soap, towel, and brush/comb (after all, a man can maintain the same hairstyle for years, even decades). When I have tried to change hairstyles, even with significantly thinning hair, I go back to the same style that I have worn since being a young boy. That natural part on my left side just doesn’t change and it is so easy to find it each and every day. No guesswork or fiddling with the latest hairstyle. Thank you, God! And when it comes to shoes, notoriously heavy and bulky in a suitcase, two pairs are often more than adequate even for a two-week vacation, one for dressing up and one for walking around (even to the pool).

Think about, for a moment, all the things our wives (or women in general) toil with each day. Pregnancy, what to wear to the pool or beach (we men can go shirtless or wear a white t-shirt and look just fine), not having to drive to the next gas station because the bathroom looks “too icky”, people never stare at a man’s chest while talking to them, men just shave their face and necks (or get their significant other to do it), and the “double” topper, we never have strap problems in public nor do we care how our legs look if we wear shorts.

Now this simplicity also brings about many other joys such as the garage being our all ours, chocolate being a healthy snack, car mechanics telling us the unfiltered truth, being able to open our own jars, playing with toys our whole lives, doing our nails with a pocket knife (or better yet, watching my Dad clip his nails in business meetings and he wasn’t the only one doing it!). The highlight here may be doing the Christmas shopping on December 24th for 25 relatives in 25 minutes. Don’t we just love the internet!

For you married men and those in a relationship headed to the altar please heed the following advice.

  1. A woman has the last word in any argument, anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
  2. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife (a good thing).
  3. Women will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail. Men will dress up for weddings and funerals.
  4. A married man should forget his mistakes, there is no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Men, Hug your wives, your mother or significant other today, we have much to be grateful for.