Every year, I traditionally do a Thanksgiving blog, randomly listing things I’m thankful for.
If ever there was a year I felt I needed to do that, it’s this one. It’s been eons since I’ve blogged, and even longer since I’ve felt free to speak my mind and heart.
I always thought that aging brings with it the gift of not giving a damn what others think, but it turns out that our individual and collective rage carry with it the side effect of prolonged hesitation to enter into confrontation. And the past four years have been nothing if not confrontational.
Plus, there have been others, like John Pavlovitz and Richard Marx, that have eloquently and colorfully stepped up and summed up my thoughts and feelings well, so I took a breather, albeit a very long one.
I’m back now and ready to rumble, I mean write. I’d like to share with you the best piece of writing advice I have ever gotten, courtesy of my cousin Erik’s Sunday Writing Sprints – “write the thing you’re afraid to write.” Doesn’t that just freak you out and liberate you all at the same time?!! (And if you’d like to join in the Sunday or Wednesday writing fun, here’s the link: https://www.erikpatterson.org/sundaysprints )
So that being said, I am entering back into writing with the idea that it’s time to say any and all things I’ve been hesitant to for a while.
Today, that involves the random and not-so-random things I’m thankful for…
I am thankful for my life and good health.
I am thankful that my father is still with me after the medical roller coaster of the last five months.
I am thankful for my family and close friends, spread out though we may be.
I am thankful for an older gentleman, who should have been able to retire and hang with his family, but instead knew his country needed him right now and so he chose to serve. It was a selfless act at a horrible moment, and I am immensely thankful that he did it. And while I’m on the subject, I love that his candidacy and win is the example of the underdog succeeding, the long shot coming in, and the people rallying to save our fragile democracy.
I am thankful for my friends, Beth and Brian, who left their ailing physical bodies, but remain with me spiritually, energetically, and in my heart, always.
I am thankful for apple pie. The kind with the crumbles on top. Not a la mode, but straight up, because I’m a purist.
I am thankful for the gift of reflection during this pandemic, of contemplating what is and isn’t important, of recalibrating, reconsidering, learning to adapt, pivot, change.
I’m thankful for the gift of knowing the brevity and uncertainty of life. It has made me say “I love you” more often and to more people.
I’m grateful for new and deeper friendships forged during this new existence, and for the lengthy and reliable ones.
I’m grateful for who I am becoming, maybe unwillingly some of the time, but becoming nonetheless. Our character is forged by the challenges we face, never by what’s easy. An awful, but necessary realization.
I’m thankful for my tribe. You know who you are and you never disappoint.
I’m thankful for my niece, whom I adore, and who teaches me things constantly.
I’m thankful for my hair colorist. Ssshhh, don’t judge my unwavering need to be blond and feel younger than my gray will allow.
I’m thankful for watermelon. Seriously, God did really well with that one.
I’m thankful for music and art in all its forms. And I am immensely thankful that I get to spend my life creating it and sharing it.
I’m thankful for beautiful sunsets, puppies and babies that make me go “Awwww.”
I’m thankful for having survived this year, when so many haven’t.
I’m thankful for hope in the face of despair, for joy as a conscious decision, for basic human decency, for compassion even for those who exhibit none toward me.
I am thankful for self-awareness, even when it’s hard.
I’m thankful for beauty, however it shows up.
I’m thankful for you who are reading this and for this day of Thanksgiving.
May your day be one of immense gratitude, too.
Peace and blessings to you all. And please tell your friends, because the blog is back!!!!