It’s that time of year.
Depending on your point of view the last few weeks of the year range from obsessive commercialism to momentary bouts of religion. Or maybe lots of turkey, beer and football (American).
Over time I’ve found Thanksgiving is that most meanignful holiday, a time for celebration of family, friend and loved one, escaping the cynacism of Christmas and the vacuousness of New Year. And when things are down, maybe life not going our way, well isn’t that the moment to be most thankful? To recognize we have gifts all of the time even when we feel we don’t?
Some special thanks then are in order.
- To my wife, the smartest most focused and spiritual person I know: my life would not be the same were it not for you
- To my children – all grown, all leading their own lives – who judge people as Martin Luther King Jr. once asked not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character: they are the best thing I’ve ever done
- For my wonderful pets, Chewy the karma dog, The Hux who hates change and Elvie the princess cat who sleeps on top of me every night. You have no idea how much solace and love you bring me
- For the people who have come in and out of my life and touched me so much: the cancer survivor who sees every day as a reason to be grateful; the focused recruiter who lost her marriage but kept her sanity as well as respect for her ex; the peer whose husband died after a long illness releasing them both; my buddy who lost his first wife and vowed never to take his second for granted. All so strong
- The boss who believed in me and the one who didn’t – both taught me important lessons
- And to so many virtual friends across the #SoMe platform who reached out this year knowing it was a tough one for me: your heartfelt concern is salving and saving
You see, thanks seem to come easily when our worlds are buttoned up and tidy, but perhaps is then ephemeral as well. (A side note of thanks to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry for introducing me to the word, ephemeral). And yet true thanks or gratitude might be more profound when things are not going so well.
To reach into the well and recognize that we tend to magnify our losses and minimize our gains might be the best expression of thanks. Remarkable people have come into our lives from lovers to friends to coworkers to teachers, and if we simply open our eyes to the experience they bring we can realize so many gifts.
Gratitude is best worn as a constant garment not an occassional coat, so I strive to reflect on the constant goodness life has given me as opposed to temporal and occassional challenge.
So thank you. Thank you for touching me with the benefit of your life expereince and your friendship, and thank you for being who you are and where you are in your life. Wherever that is today, you are supposed to be there.
Thank you for the gift of you.