Thanksgiving is the time, of course, for giving thanks, and you don’t have to think very hard or look very far to start counting your blessings. I like to consider myself a thankful person, even in the face of adversity. I’m not always as positive as I should be, but I’m thankful. When I was a young girl, I used to make a little production about writing my blessings down on paper on Thanksgiving Day. They would be simple, something like: Thank you for my mom and dad and brother and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Thanks for Gigi my dog who follows me wherever I go. Thanks for my best friends Gayle and Tommy. Thanks for our color TV. Thanks for my teacher Miss McGurk…I really like her a lot. It was all very simple and to the point because at that age you don’t think into the depths of what true thanks entails.
As the years have unfolded, giving thanks on Thanksgiving Day has become deeply reflective and maybe a bit more complicated. Not everyone gets to live in that Norman Rockwell painting depicting the perfect Thanksgiving. I’m embarrassed to say that some years, depending on where I am at that point, I become a bit arid on the subject. Circumstances like the loss of loved ones or financial blows or job changes that didn’t turn out for the better or health problems or loneliness. I’m sure others who are going through the ups and downs of life may have similar feelings. It’s just that sometimes our perspectives get strained and fuzzy, and it’s hard to imagine that things will ever get better, even though they usually do.
At these times I like to try really hard to look at my daily life and at the little things that make me happy. It mostly revolves around nature and pets. Like admiring a gorgeous pink and blue sunrise over the bay or making wishes on the thousands of brilliantly twinkling stars in the clear night sky. Enjoying the splendor of a full, round blue moon. I admire the spectacular magnificence of the ocean or the colorful array of autumn leaves or the ability to breath in the clear cool air on my daily walks. I snuggle with my pets who make me laugh as I enjoy their amusing antics. I try to savor good food and try new recipes. Mostly, I try really hard not to dwell on the “what ifs?” It’s not always easy.
So, if I can offer a suggestion to those who need a boost on this Thanksgiving Day, if you’re losing hope…give thanks that tomorrow is a brand new day to begin again.
If you think you’ll never get ahead financially, give thanks that you have enough for this day.
If you’re lonely, have faith that you never know what surprises may be in store for you.
If you have a roof over your head and heat to keep you warm on these frigid winter nights, remember you are luckier than many.
If you’re sick, be hopeful in your doctor and medicine and that in time it will get better.
If you’ve had a good dinner and your belly is full, you are truly blessed.
If you can get up in the morning and move at all, try to remember there are those who can’t.
Minimize the negative; accentuate the positive, even when it takes all the strength you can muster up to do so. And just keep it simple.
For my expanding family, friends and loved ones. My faith. My crazy pets. A place to live. My health. Work. Good food. Creature comforts. The beauty of nature. The promise of hope. In all of this I give thanks to my dear, sweet, generous God.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Yesterday afternoon was chilly and stormy, and I got to do what I love best on a day like that – curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch an old (1995) romantic comedy. Honestly, nothing is better than that for me. I’m very low maintenance.
I was lucky enough to come across one of my old favorites. I hate to call it “old.” I prefer the word “timeless.” The movie was “French Kiss” starring Meg Ryan (of course – she seems to be in all my timeless favorites) and Kevin Kline (as opposed to the usual favorite Tom Hanks). In this movie we have a headstrong, conservative “have life all figured out and organized the way she wants it to play out” Kate and a scruffy, rough-around-the-edges, living life on the edge Frenchman, Luc. Kate’s planning her wedding as her fiancé Charlie flies off to France on business. While there, he meets and falls in love with a sexy little French kitten, and a monkey wrench is thrown into everyone’s plans. (I love animal metaphors.) When Kate flies out to win Charlie back, she meets Luc and is instantly repulsed by him, of course. Well, this happens and that happens, and one thing leads to another, and yes, you know the ending…her life is turned topsy-turvy, and she ends up falling madly in love with Luc and living in a stone house on a hill with a breath-taking view of the French wine countryside where they live their lives in the end cultivating their own vineyard. Heavy sigh….
I love crap like this…I really do. Nothing warms my heart more than watching the intricacies, however predictable, of human nature where life doesn’t work out the way you planned but love conquers all in the end. It’s what I live and breathe for. I guess I can be labeled as one of those crazy, hopeless romantics. But I just can’t let it go.
Life hasn’t worked out the way I planned, indeed. But I know my twisted turn of fate is coming soon where I’ll meet “the one” across a crowded room (I’m obsessed with that scenario), and I’ll live happily ever after. Until then…there’s always the Hallmark channel…and I think “Sleepless in Seattle” is on this weekend. 🙂 Time to grab my blanket!
If you have a moment, take a listen to some of the songs in movie, including my theme song by Van Morrison, “Someone Like You.”