First, thanks to my dear friend, Katy, for coining the word, Thanksliving, in a comment to this post. It just means practicing Thanksgiving every day. I whine and complain a lot, with WTF. It makes me less of myself, because my authentic self is not, was not ever, a whiner and complainer. I have been, and increasingly hope to be, a thankful person. At all times, in every circumstance. With that in mind, I’m going to try to write something, just some little thing, for which I’m thankful every day. If I knew how to put it in a sidebar, I would. But for now, it’s this page. At the end of each month, I’ll copy this stuff to the main page and start a new log here.
Saturday, March 1. The way the sunlight coming in the window dances on the pages of the book I’m reading, while sitting in my comfy chair.
Sunday, March 2. I was able to go out to celebrate LG’s neverending birthday with Jif’s family. I didn’t feel like doing that (or anything else), but LG really, really wanted me to. I was surprisingly surprised that it mattered that much to her. I saved all my energy and arm strength to go and eat and chat. And I enjoyed it.
Sunday, October 5. It’s been such a long time since I’ve been to this page. It isn’t that I haven’t had anything for which to be thankful. That’s not true at all. Lots of things have kept me from here; probably the biggest factor is that old buggaboo — perfectionism. If I had a day in which I felt like writing, I wouldn’t, because what if I didn’t feel like it the next day? Then I would have failed again, broken down again, etc. I’ve decided to write here today. I might tomorrow, or I might not. And whether I do or not, I’ll still be thankful. On that subject, I will say that every single morning, when I open my eyes, the first thing I do is give thanks. WTF makes breathing difficult — “air hunger,” the doc calls it. Sometimes I can only breathe shallowly; but I give thanks for breathing. If I can take a deep breath — hot damn! It’s gonna be a good day. Next I give thanks that I can move, from toes all the way up. I don’t know that I will ever shake the threat of not being able to do that. And that’s OK. A permanent reminder to give thanks for breath and movement, that’s OK.
On to today. Today I went to church, for the first time in a really long time. When I am away from my little church (usually only 100 or so in attendance), I don’t stay in touch much. I get cards from a couple of people. I email the pastor, who is also my friend, a couple times a month, might talk to her on the phone with about the same frequency. But I feel kinda out of the loop. Today, when I went, I felt like a red-carpet celebrity. The pastor gave thanks for my presence, and everyone applauded. (Applauded!) During the passing of the peace, I got hugs from people I knew. Then a woman I’ve never met came up and introduced herself, saying that she’d joined the church in my absence, and had been praying for me because my name has been in the bulletin all this time. She said that every Sunday, she looks at Jif’s pew to see if his wife is there, and she hasn’t been, until today. Then this new member’s partner came over to meet me. She introduced herself and said she had heard a lot about me and had so looked forward to meeting me. How nice was that? I was whelmed, in the best way, at the warmth, the love, the kindness. And I felt a little bit guilty, because truth be told, I could have been there more than I have. Oh, a lot of Sundays I really can’t make it. But even on the ones that I could have made it, once I was out of the habit, I just didn’t bother. I was missing more than I acknowledged, I think. I’m thankful that I went today, and got what was there for me.
I’m also thankful today to see LG growing into an interesting, clever, creative young woman. In her English class, they are learning about types of writing. Satire was the topic of the day. Satire is tough, you know? Hard to do well. Hard to even explain what it is. She used the scene from the movie, Titanic (which she LOVES), at the end when Jack is in the ocean freezing to death and says “I am going to write a strongly worded letter to the White Star Line…” I think that’s my favorite part of the movie — I really identify with the whole sinking, dying, but still trying to find something to amuse myself or someone else. And I’m glad she thinks that way. Anyhow, as part of homework, she had to take her chosen example, and expand on it, so she wrote the strongly-worded letter that Jack might have written. And it was cute, and funny, and I was very proud of her.
Thursday, October 9. Had to confront a student intern about a very delicate matter today. He took it pretty well, and I felt assured he would do what was necessary to handle it appropriately. One of those situations that you dread, but it works out just fine.
Heard the expression, “Pray like hell,” which I promptly adopted. I might even cross-stitch it!
Tuesday, October 14. In a supervisors’ meeting at work, and discussing the progress of my illness/recovery. My colleagues assured me that my speech is clear, that they never have any trouble understanding me now. This was, of course, good news except that it meant they’ve been lying to me for the past two years. Every time I would hear a garbled phrase come out of my mouth, I’d have that moment of terror and I’d say to them, “Did you hear that? Didn’t that sound wrong?” They always said no, they didn’t know what I was talking about. Now I know they were lying. I don’t like lying. And I’m thankful that they did that. Because if they’d confirmed what I was hearing, I probably would have stopped working, from embarrassment and from fear of being/appearing incompetent. Quitting work would have been a very bad idea for me. Thankful for well-placed, well-considered lies.
February 16. Had to come here and give thanks for good news that Katy (who kinda named this page) had her surgery for breast cancer, and it appears that the news and the prognosis are very good. Whew. I’m thankful to and for all those Twitterers who joined in praying for her and sending her healing thoughts. And I again give thanks for those I’ve met online who have kicked cancer in the pants, sir.
March 26. Driving home from work on a cold, rainy afternoon, took a shortcut through a neighborhood on my way to get my monthly blood draw. Except it wasn’t a shortcut because I got behind an elementary school bus, bringing kids home. And at every stop, someone was waiting for those kids. A mama with an extra umbrella, a daddy with a big off-the-ground hug, a big brother with a high-five and strong muscles to carry the too-big backpack. I felt thankful that those kids had someone, and thankful that my kid always had someone. I wish all kids did.
March 28. Took LG to see CATS. So thankful that we could afford to do that, and that we both love live theater. And even better — Jif had seen it years ago and didn’t want to see it again, so he delivered us to the theater and picked us up afterward. This might not sound like a big deal, but parking in B-city, especially on a cold, rainy day, especially with WTF, can be a bear. So that was icing on our musical cake.