I guess if there is a week to be thankful, all out in public and everything, this is it. So I guess this is also the week to write the obligatory thankfulness blog post. I’ve been posting statuses to Facebook about things I’m thankful for… so I will start there.
Okay, here we go: I’m thankful for the employees of the NWA Mall AT&T store, my office Thanksgiving lunch (including The Best Banana Pudding in the Universe), friends who stop by the coffee shop on the way to work, paychecks for my kids, good friends, a large dinner table, more coffee shops, books in the hands of my kids, books in my own hands, friends who write books, people who serve our country, good sense, vintage buttons, amateur art, free chicken sandwiches, paintbrushes, the opportunity to vote in an election, my health, second chances in life, and this kid…
I have a lot to be thankful for. That half-serious list doesn’t even scratch the surface. Throughout the year, every year, there are numerous reasons popping up here and there for me to express my thankfulness… my gratefulness for the life that I live. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still hold on to a little envy or a pocketful of regret. I silently ask the universe “what if…?” from time to time.
This year I have rejoiced in the thrill of feeling like my tires are all-weather and my internal gps is fully charged. I have celebrated milestones and made memories with my family and friends. I have also mourned the loss of a dear friend, and I have been at sixes and sevens with my inability to comfort a loved-one who was disappointed when their own gps was off-course. I have been blessed with a sweet grand-daughter in my home, while hanging by a thin thread at the end of my rope as I dealt with her mother’s challenges.
But in the end, the thankfulness always wins. The challenges that I have faced in my life have led me to the blessings in the end. The good things are always so much sweeter – like the taste of sweet tequila on the tongue mixed with the salt around the glass.
I will continue to wish that I had learned some lessons in my 20s that I had to wait for my 30s (or 40s) to get right. I will continue to wonder what might have been had I gone to college right after high school. Or, had I moved to New York when I was 21. Or, had I loaded my Toyota and headed for Colorado to become a ski bum when I was 22. Or, had I not become pregnant the first time… or the second time.
But one of those things I learned in my 30s was to be quiet (some of you may not believe this one). I strive to appreciate the things that come along unexpectedly and briefly, and to create moments to be thankful for. During this week of thankfulness I encourage you to look for those moments in your life. No matter how large or small they may be. A sunset you happen to see as you walk to your car after a frustrating day at work… a coupon for pizza when you don’t have time to make dinner… Happy Hour at Sonic… a clean PT scan. Be thankful. Be grateful. Live this life you’ve been given with joy and laughter. You might have to choose to do it sometimes. But it will be the choosing that makes the moments even sweeter. Choose the tequila.