I haven’t been here on a Friday in weeks. Maybe it’s months by now. It’s not, of course, that I don’t have anything to be grateful for. Just the opposite is true. But I haven’t made the time.
I’ve always sort of been that way. Going a little bit against the grain, though not at all meaning to. November is the month of giving thanks. An entire day devoted to gratitude and, thanks to the Internet and Pinterest and all the rest, we ramp up early with gratitude trees and jars and instilling practices in our families that we hope will last the whole year through. So, of course, this is when I unintentionally de-prioritize the time I spend each week reflecting on my blessings and noting the good that fills up my cup. I still don’t know if it’s that November just gets busy and, this year in particular, my mind turned to other things because there are a great many other things. Or if the idea of making gratitude such a big deal overwhelms me and feels so unattainable, the way it’s pictured in magazines and blogs, that I put all thoughts of it aside. I still have to work, every day, at remembering that perfect is the enemy of the good. And there is always so much good to be done.
So here we are, on the eve of Thanksgiving, and I am out of practice at giving thanks. Rusty on the act of closing my eyes and reflecting on the day, the week, my life, and gathering around me the ways in which I am blessed. And it’s not just tomorrow I’m thinking about. The holidays are right there too. We’ve been working to get ahead of the game this season, making lists and buying gifts early so that we won’t find ourselves scrambling at the last minute and missing the best parts of the holiday. And that is very good. But it brings me into a mindset of things. Things to do. Things I don’t have. Things I want. And suddenly I’ve lost sight of the season before it’s begun.
So I’m slowing down. Right here, right now. Before it all gets out of hand.
And I hope you will too.
This year, I am thankful for the words that have started to flow from my little boy’s mouth and the speech therapist who helps release them. I am thankful for the teacher who looks after my girl and reaches out if something is even a little bit off so that we can help set things back in place. I am thankful for the time I have each week to sit and work and write and build my dream into a career. I am thankful that the end of another year finds my little family healthy and together and looking towards the future while working at enjoying the moment.
But, most of all, this year I am thankful for friendship. Friends that I can see and catch up with over a cup of coffee, or lunch, or the cacophony of our children playing. And friends whose voices I’ve never heard, who faces I know only through a handful of photos, who I may never meet for coffee but whose words I read while I sipping mine alone in my office. These friendships fulfill me and sustain me in a way I never thought possible.
Thank you. And Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.