The last time I thanked someone I was trying to mean it. I've had a "feeling sorry for myself" couple of days, encountering an inordinately large number of people I care about having really good things happen to them, while I seem to be treading water. And these are really good things, too-jobs, opportunities, acclaim, etc. And the thing about it is, I really am happy for them. Some of these folks have been waiting for a long time, have been working hard to make things happen. So, in every instance I was extraordinarily happy for them.
But then, of course, came the little tug--the one that indicates that I've resorted to the whole why-them-and-not-me? exercise in overindulgent self-pity. So I've struggled to be thankful for my friends' victories. I've tried to do a little Jnana Yoga mind jiu-jitsu on myself--i.e., you can have full satisfaction if you learn to be just as grateful for the victories of someone else as for your own victories. I know in my head that's true--that true gratitude extends beyond my own achievements to the achievements of all with whom I share the planet--but my heart often has difficulty catching up.
That I have friends, however, seems to me be a bigger victory than I really ought to have any right to expect. Should they have their own victories, I ask only for the grace to celebrate.