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Tag: Thanksgiving

True gratitude includes being thankful for the stuff that sucks too.

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We all know the things we are supposed to be thankful for. We celebrate them as often as we can- having food, shelter, family, love, good health etc. That’s the easy part.

True gratitude and insight, I believe, comes from being thankful for all the things that suck too. Without the dark there is no light, so to speak. After a three year stretch of navigating rough seas, I am trying to find light in the darkness, and understand how to be grateful for the things that haven’t been easy.

Today, I am thankful for suffering multiple losses in a short period of time. The grief was a testament to the fact that I am a well loved human. I had grief to wade through because I knew love. I knew companionship and support and joy through others, both human and animal. I loved sincerely. I am grateful that even though the loss is painful, it is there to remind me of love, and not everyone has that.

I am thankful for the lessons that the stress and uncertainty of this pandemic has offered. It showed me that we are capable of doing hard things together for the sake of others. I am grateful for the people who disappointed me during all of this, because it helped me reevaluate relationships that were draining me and helped me to better appreciate the ones that filled me up. It allowed me to learn how to say no. It gave me strength to stand up for the things that I think are important to stand for, and the tenacity to see them through.

I am thankful for pants that are too tight, or feeling guilty for not exercising enough because it means that I always have enough to eat. It means that my children don’t know what it is to be hungry. It means that my dogs eat better than some humans.

I am thankful for balances on credit cards and lines of credit and sometimes having to wait until next payday to make a purchase, because it means that I have appreciation for the things we have. It means that I understand the value of hard work and the value of privileges we enjoy. It means that I value the time of others, and don’t take them for granted. I am thankful for the lesson it teaches my children of having to work for what you have instead of expecting it to be handed to you.

I am thankful for illness and injury because it gives me empathy for others who are suffering.

I am thankful for mistakes because without them we would never learn anything new. I am thankful for doing it wrong a million times before getting it right because it teaches us perseverance and hope and determination.

Today, I want to be thankful for the things we usually wouldn’t want to acknowledge, because it’s been a rough few years, and I think the next few are likely to be challenging, and finding the calm among the storms fills me with hope.

Happy Thanksgiving.

The Stages Of Gratitude

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I’m not entirely sure about this, but I feel like getting older makes you more thankful.

When you’re a child, you have this completely reasonable expectation that all of your shit is just taken care of for you.   You assume that the world just revolves around your happiness, and for a while it seems like it certainly does.  Gratitude isn’t on your radar, because you just require your needs being met since you aren’t able to meet them on your own.   It’s your responsibility to grow and learn and become.  

And then you’re a young adult, and you are thankful for some things, but you also feel this insane sense of invincibility that makes it hard to pause and be grateful for the people in your life, and your health, and the ability to stay out drinking all night, nap for an hour, brush it off and go to work at a reasonable functionality the next day.

And then you become middle age, and you maybe have children of your own, and you start to learn what it is to appreciate something just for existing.  Or maybe you see your grandparents and parents starting to age, and you realize that time is no longer infinite like it was in your youth.  And that you need to soak in the moments around you and be thankful for the time you have to love and be loved on this earth.  Or maybe you start to see your friends struggle with their health, or their relationships, or addictions, or traumas, and you start to feel this quiet gratitude for the simplicity of your own life.  For the lack of adversity. For the lack of conflict or illness or things to be afraid of.

You read the news and start to realize how important your civil and human rights are, and how they can be at risk in an instant.  You are thankful that you have the privilege of living in the community you do, with basic comforts like running water and electricity and too much food on your plate.

Maybe it’s a maturity, or maybe it’s perspective that leads to this gradual understanding of what true gratitude is.   When I ask my tiny humans what they are thankful for they think it relates mostly to *things*, but in my world it relates more to *them* and feelings and purpose.

To all of my people, I am thankful for you.   For having you in my life and for the things I’ve learned from loving you all.   To the ones I’ve lost, I am thankful that I have grief to remind me of love.  To the ones who are struggling, I am thankful for the reminder to appreciate and invest in the important things in my life.   To the clock of life that seems to be moving faster, I am thankful for the reminder to love each moment and for all the memories that creates.

Happy Thanksgiving, Bitches. x

Happy Birthday To ME, And Happy Thanksgiving To All My Bitches.

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It’s my birthday, Bitches.

I’m not going to tell you how old I am, because age is just a number, right?

Right?

As far as birthdays go, I’m kinda whatever today.  I’ve had this shitty cold all weekend.  I had a shitty sleep, and I’m feeling like the urge to drink tequila by myself on a Monday morning would be inappropriate seeing as I still have to cook dinner for 15 and mind at least one of my children.

BUT, it’s a beautiful fall day outside, and it also happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving, so what am I thankful for?

1. That my cold is just a cold and not Ebola.  Yes, I’m obsessing.

2. For my babies.  They made me a human, gave me feelings and empathy and all that shit.

3. For my husband, because who wants to go through it alone?

4. For my family, because they HAVE to like me, or at least pretend to.

5. For a roof over my head and a plate full of food.

6. For Baby Einstein.  Julie Clark, you save me some days.

7. For the talents I’ve been given, and the balls to use them, instead of punching someone else’s clock.

8. For Canada.  For freedom. For safety. For health.

9. For friends.  Who love me in spite of myself.

10.  For you Bitches.  For this forum.  For the ability to express myself and never worry about the ramifications of my opinions.

Happy Thanksgiving, Bitches.  Go stuff yourself full of joy and food, and we’ll get back to ranting tomorrow.

Thankful

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.We all use it as an excuse to eat more than our share and then complain about how full we are.  That’s the tradition, right?

And that’s ok.  That’s the fun part.  But we humans are just so good at losing sight of what some holidays mean.  This one, being called Thanksgiving is fairly obvious.  We are supposed to think of all the things we are thankful for.

Some years its easier than others.  Some years, when we are faced with unhappy things in our lives, it does one extreme or the other.  It either makes us bitter and unable to feel thankful when there are so many wrong things, or, it helps us to see the little things we should be thankful for.

Yesterday happened to be my birthday as well.  So we pigged out on pizza and cake and wine.  It was a really nice day.

But I also thought about the things I am thankful for.

I looked around the table and thought about how lucky I am to have so many people in my life that love my children.  I was thankful to know in my heart that should anything ever happen to me, my children would have many wonderful people to provide for them and guide them.

I was thankful to be running out of room in the fridge while so many people don’t have enough food to keep their children fed.

I was thankful to complain about the cost of buying a new car this year.  I was thankful to not have to take the bus with a stroller and a toddler.

I was thankful to be able to fill a tub with warm water and bubbles while so many people don’t even have clean water to drink.

I was thankful to be in a marriage that is based on trust and love and friendship.

I was thankful to get up early in the morning because my beautiful infant son was hungry.  I was thankful to look down at his smiling face and have some quiet time with him before we started the day.

I was thankful that my daughter loves people and imaginary play more than material things.

I was thankful to have three dogs to trip over and curl up with.

I was thankful to be loved.

I was thankful to have to open the windows because my home is dry and warm.

I  was thankful for a happy, healthy life.

And mostly, I was thankful for whatever force made me decide to have children. I looked down at them and was thankful for the person they have changed me into.  I was thankful for all the things they have taught me so far.

So as the holiday season is now beginning, be thankful.  Not for the material things in your life, but for the things that you could never replace.  Cherish them, love them, and don’t waste one precious second.

 

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