Around the same time last year, many were hosting “socially distanced” Thanksgiving celebrations. This year most can meet again if they are so blessed.
If we’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s to be grateful for the normal, mundane and – dare we say – “everyday” things.
Happiness and health are a gift. If we can add turkey and stuffing, that’s just the icing on the cake – or whipped cream on the pumpkin pie, as the case may be.
There are so many amazing and wonderful things we can be thankful for this season: our health, our home, our business, our careers, our commitments, our scholarships and more. I have a warm home, a happy family, and adorable squirming dogs who are happy to see me every day.
I think what I really need to do is sit down and list so many things I need to be grateful for this year. I encourage you all to do the same.
I am eternally grateful for:
Snuggle up with our adorable dogs. Yes, my dogs are headlining. Not because I love them more, but because they love me so much. There’s a reason parents of empty nests tend to adopt dogs. They make amazing child replacements.
If properly spoiled, dogs need care, food, baths, snacks, meals, and entertainment, and behave like I’m coming home from abroad every time I get home. It’s heady stuff.
Almost losing our Nova this year made me appreciate them all the more. Dogs are part of our world and we are all theirs. I cherish my time with these souls.
Compliments to our children. I am first and foremost a parent, regardless of the age of our children. I like to hear that they are nice and accomplished people. As a mother, raising good humans was my ultimate goal. The comments that our “build your own human, no experience necessary” experiment was a success are always nice to hear.
Great conversation. I like a good story. Make me laugh or make me cry, but make me feel something. Engaging conversations are food for the soul.
Fan mail. Speaking of conversation, whenever someone takes a moment to share their life and joys with me, I really appreciate them.
No alarm in the morning. I’m not very keen on sleeping late in the traditional sense. I tend to be an early riser. I have these adorable dogs after all. There is just something special that I can wake up on my own – or at least with the cute wet nose of a loving dog – rather than with an alarm clock. There is something about the cafe in a quiet house that restores me.
Puttering. This is what I call being able to just dive into a project at home. Whether it’s painting, renovating or just fitting out a closet or rearranging furniture, I love being at home. A whole day with nothing ‘to’ do and nowhere to be is about the best thing in the world for me.
Clean house. A clean and organized house that smells good and meets our needs is my happiness. When Mr. Wonderful is on board and working with me – often to make him bigger and better – that’s about the best feeling ever. We’ve been together since 1996.
Jokes and family stories inside. When my cousins and I take our family to the deepest level and laugh about it, that’s the best. From “Target? I will not target! Against a vacuum cleaner (you had to be there), to the umpteenth story of the time my uncle, a young boy, finished reciting the dinner prayer “God Bless Grace… and all the other pretty girls”. Shared stories are the fabric of the family. Laughing over and over at them reminds us of that again.
Clarity of the Church. When a moment of church service really touches me, I feel immense gratitude. I am far from perfect. My mind wanders. Then, at some point in each sermon, a moment of clarity zaps through my brain. Words become feelings. It is deeply spiritual.
The people of the boat. How I love to float in “Party Cove” off the boat and listen to my family and friends laugh and splash. We are boat people. It’s nothing new, but our boat is one of my favorite places in the world. The smell of sunscreen will always have my heart.
Love. Finally, I give thanks for the words “I love you”. I say “I love you” often and to a lot of people. Family and friends deserve to hear it because it is absolutely true. I cherish my people above all else.
As we give thanks this year, I will appreciate those gathered around the table – and those who are near and dear to me, if not my immediate locality.
On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks for who – not what – we were blessed.
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