I’m a little ashamed to admit that thankfulness isn’t routinely part of my daily consciousness. While I have a general understanding of how much we have, somehow I manage to go about my daily life always wanting more. Unable to appreciate the simple luxury of a down comforter on a cold night I am still grouchy that our windows leak and we can’t afford to fix them. Instead of appreciating my closet full of sweaters I must have that one in the Anthropologie store window.
Last Thanksgiving as we sat around our overflowing table I distinctly remember thinking how thankful I was that my husband had a job. I also remember feeling a twinge of guilt at not being more grateful, in that moment, for my kids’ health and my family and all of the other most basic things I was blessed with. I wrote about feeling disappointed that I wasn’t doing a better job teaching my children that every day was an opportunity to be thankful for our bounty—that it took a holiday for us to celebrate our good fortune. This fundamental part of mothering has gotten even more challenging in recent months and somehow Thanksgiving takes on an even more heightened meaning for me. This year, with what feels like less to be thankful for, it seems even more important to take stock of what really matters.
Just a note before my list: please don’t read this as me disregarding the importance of job security. What we are going through—what hundreds of thousands of Americans are going through—is scary, frustrating, emotional and depressing. By focusing my energy on what we still have, please know that I’m not trying to remove any significance from that.
I am thankful for:
1. Sunrises. Every day we get another chance.
2. New friends. I love that my life keeps moving forward and I have room in my heart to make them. And that they’ll have me.
3. Old freinds. It’s comforting to be ‘known’.
4. My parents.
5. My community. I love living in a place where that word means something.
6. COBRA. (I’m being realistic. And yes, it’s very expensive. But at least we still have health insurance.)
7. My extended family. I’m really lucky in this department. Really.
8. Antidepressants. (If you had diabetes you’d take your insulin, right?)
9. Emotion. I’m thankful for the very thing that makes me feel scared and depressed and angry. Because it also means I can feel wonder and elation and delight. And I do. Every day. Even in the midst of this tough time.
10. Freedom. Cliché? Maybe. No doubt our system is imperfect. (I’ll spare you my politics here.) But the bottom line is that I grew up taking my freedom for granted and—without being so bold as to think I can speak for my entire generation—I think many of my peers did as well. We get angry and entitled when things don’t go our way but I’m certain that many of (most of?) the alternatives are worse. I value my freedom and today I’ll give thanks for it.
Thank you to all of you who entered the photo giveaway. Each of your thoughtful comments made me smile and for that I am also very grateful.
The print goes to:
JenB who said: ‘Happy Anniversary and congratulations on getting back to your photography roots. The photo in this post is amazing; makes me want to spread out on a blanket with my dogs and read a book.’
Congratulations Jen! Will you email me your address so I can send you your print?