“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
~John F. Kennedy
I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday for lots of reasons. This month, Facebook has featured post after post from friends who have been doing a countdown for each day in November to mark those things for which they are thankful. I have often said that if a person’s basic needs are met — the fundamentals of life — a roof over your head, health and food on the table — everything else is gravy. My gravy boat is full. Daily posting is too routinized for my particular set of personality quirks, but just briefly, I will mention the things for which I am thankful.
First and foremost, my amazing daughter who is loyal, beautiful, smart, funny, and talented. Also my parents. There isn’t enough time for me to write all that they have done and continue to do for me. My brother, who beneath his veneer of Vulcan-like logic, is the biggest softy around. And the rest of my family, whose “eccentricities” make me feel so very normal.
My people who never let me down (you know who you are), who keep me grounded, who collaborate with me, who make me laugh, who have the courage to argue with me, who stick around like barnacles (even though I know I am perfectly delightful 100% of the time, I know it’s not always a picnic), and who fill my heart.
My dogs, who love me on my best days as much as they do on my worst, and I love them back. My horses, who fulfill a lifelong dream and who remind me everyday that nothing is out of reach. There is no stressor that cannot be alleviated, even if only temporarily, on the back of a horse.
My career, for giving me a venue to go out and be combative and (shockingly) to get paid for it. For all of its demands, this career has given me so much, and the greatest riches are not pecuniary, including mentors and advisors who have believed in me, taught me and become my friends along the way.
I am grateful that no matter what adversities I may face, I am competent to handle them and I trust myself, and I never back down when it is necessary to stand up. I am thankful for my health. I would say that I am holding up well as I hit middle age. (The belly button ring helps.) I am glad that I am a writer and that gives me an unfettered channel. And I am glad that I am unafraid to write what I think, regardless of what anyone else thinks. I am glad that I am able to move on from things that are not good for me, secure in the belief that whatever the future holds, I am unafraid to acknowledge when the shoe no longer fits.
I am thankful for the unhappy events in my life that I could not appreciate in those moments that have made me stronger, smarter and more resilient. I cannot regret the ingredients that have made me who I am.
I am grateful for a past filled with memories (that give me plenty of things to write about), a future full of the promise of more meaningful moments, friends old and new, and the challenges that await.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who took a moment to read my self-indulgent reflections. May your day be filled with good food, good friends, abundant happiness, and a lengthy list of things for which you are genuinely thankful.