Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gratitude

I have really struggled all week trying to write this post. I have started and stopped several times. How hard can it be to write a Thanksgiving post? Very, apparently.

The problem I have been having is this: When I think of the things for which I am grateful, my head is filled with an endless stream of things. These things run the gamut and I haven't been able to narrow them down to a few categories it would make sense to discuss together. Well, I could... but only at the expense of other things I feel are equally important. What to do?!

Years ago, I had a writing instructor who very cruelly would make her students practice stream-of-conscience writing exercises. I absolutely hated this because if you tell me to write, I can't. (Or perhaps, won't...in an unconscious, born-rebel kinda way.) However (and you will never, ever see me say this again), there are times this particular exercise can be helpful. For example, it could be helpful when trying to express a great many things for which one is grateful... Here goes... Please do try to keep up!

I am thankful I will see my kids again tomorrow and that they have had this week with their dad and his family. I am thankful they are maturing into fine young people who will soon be on their own, and that they are still at home. I am thankful I have been able to be at home with them. I am thankful we have a home and that we feel safe in it. I am thankful I have never known starvation, or the terror of waking to the sounds of bombs exploding nearby in the night. I am thankful I have never had to worry about being killed for having been born into the "wrong" tribe. I am thankful that my own life path has been down a route that does not predispose me to understanding the "rationalization" process that occurred in the minds of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai; and I am thankful to have not experienced the kind of carnage they left behind. I am thankful that all I had to do this week was paint and clean and try to make sense of it all. I am thankful to have had a break, and to have been able to re-group and come up with at least a few answers to "where do we go from here?"- at least on a familial basis. I am thankful that I have realized that the things I really want to give my kids for Christmas are experiences. I am thankful for second chances, and for depression-era grandparents who thought ahead for their family. I am thankful for the help I have recieved over the years, and for the opportunities I have had to "pay it forward." I am thankful for the ability to let my children become who they really are rather than trying to fit them in some predetermined slot. I am crazy thankful for my garden and all the wonder and joy it brings into my life. I am thankful my interests are infinite and for the knowledge I shall never run out of things to do. I am thankful for having some truly wonderful friends. I am thankful for the new friends I've discovered on the blogosphere. I am thankful for humor and the ability to find a few laughs in the myriad things that go wrong around me. I am thankful I do not become paranoid I may be the cause of those things going wrong. I am thankful my kids are smart-asses and not dumb-asses. I am thankful my country managed to put someone reasonable and thoughtful into the White House this time around. I am thankful for flannel sheets in winter. I am thankful for snow, and crisp fall days, and the first forsythia of spring. I am thankful I was able to see the Soviet Union while it still was, and that I can tell my kids stories about that trip. I am thankful for cameras. I am thankful my kids have stamps in their passports, and curious hearts. I am thankful I have a great relationship with my kids. I am thankful their dad and I have learned to get along. I am thankful their dad and I live 1100 miles apart. I am thankful for books, and the ability to read, and the ability to write. I am thankful for the times my thoughts come out the way they sounded in my head. I am thankful for the time Teak races gleefully around, like a puppy. I am thankful none of the appliances have crapped out yet. I am thankful that I can appreciate what I have, and what I don't have. And I am thankful for many, many more things...

3 comments:

Viooltje said...

As you may know, I come from the other side of the globe, where there is no Thanksgiving. And I know even if there was one, it wouldn't make a difference, if you know what I mean ;-) For there are people out there who simply don't give a damn! And then there's wonderful people like yourself who could write a beautiful post about gratitude and all those simple things in life that many are oblivious of. So just for the record, I found it extremely sincere and wonderful, and could recognize many of my own thoughts, even reading between the lines, and you couldn't have put it better. We have all those things to be thankful for.

P.S. I have been following the story of that little courageous angel Brenden Foster, whose wisdom and selflessness have inspired the world without doubt. I can only say I am thankful for having lived in his time.

Meg said...

Ah, nice.
I am thankful for your perspective and your beautiful writing that conveys it so well.

mamawhatthe said...

Thank you both for such kind comments. I apologize, a thousand times, for taking sooo long to reply.