We’re less than a week from celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday based on two “g” words–gathering and gratitude. Interestingly,Thanksgiving–not Christmas–is the only holiday where many U.S. workers routinely get two days off from work. And while the day after, the official kickoff of the Christmas shopping season, is capitalism at its best (or worst, depending on how you look at it), the Thanksgiving holiday itself is not measured in shopping days.
So I’m grateful for Thanksgiving itself–that such a holiday still exists in what seems to be an increasingly cynical age.
A few other things I’m grateful for, in no particular order (except the first one!)
- My husband. Bruce was my champion, caretaker and ombudsman during breast cancer treatment and is one of the best sounding boards out there (when I’m willing to listen. I can be a bit bull-headed.) Forgive the cuss word but I don’t know how else to word this, other than to say he has one of the best bullsh*t detectors I know.
- My family and friends. I’m so lucky to have so many wonderful, caring, intelligent, funny people in my life. I don’t get to see some of them often enough but they are always in my thoughts.
- My online community. Ditto what I just said; I’m grateful for the intelligent, passionate, funny people I’ve come to know online. I will never agree with those who think online relationships are somehow less real than offline ones. That’s like saying people who got to know each other primarily through writing letters (remember letters?) had relationships that somehow were less authentic or passionate. Bruce and I conducted much of our courtship via letters while we were engaged to be married. He was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the days before cell phones, texting and tweeting. I still have them in a big cardboard box, 37 years later.
- Critters. Doesn’t matter if it’s a junco at the bird feeder or a dog with its head hanging out of a car window or a cat sunning on my deck loveseat; critters make me happy. Bruce and I were in the hot tub listening to geese fly over last night and it doesn’t matter how many times I hear it, I’m grateful that wild things are still out there.
- Life. This is the big one and I can thank breast cancer for that. Women who have been through it are widely divergent on whether cancer is something to be grateful for; I’m one who’s a bit higher on the gratitude meter. I think some of this is semantics; you may not be grateful for cancer itself, but you may have grown and be thankful for that growth, or grateful for the support of family and friends. I’m very lucky mine was caught early (and I should mention how grateful I will always be to my medical team). And early as it was, the experience made me realize how lucky I am just to be here. I used to take that for granted; I don’t any more.
Those are just a few of the things I’m grateful for, and I’m sure you have a gratitude list of your own. If you’re on Twitter, you may have seen Deb Thomas’s series of tweets on the #gratitudealphabet. I loved her Q list in particular; Q being Quiet. Deb said she loves when she can quiet her mind and make space for other great things to happen. I couldn’t agree more.
You don’t have to be on Twitter to try coming up with your own gratitude alphabet.
P.S. If you’re reading this, I’m grateful to you for being here. Thank you.