November 22nd, 2010

At the risk of sounding trite, this is obviously an apt time to note the things for which I am thankful.  It is not an original idea, but it is an important one.  After all, for all the Ten Dollar Thoughts we may think, if none of them is grateful in nature, then all the others suffer for it. 

I will clarify up front that I am interminably thankful for all of the things that most people are thankful for: good jobs, a fine home, health, family, and friendships.  But to keep this post at least moderately interesting I will shift my focus to less likely (or at least less obvious) objects of my gratitude.

  1. I am thankful for my new camera.  It was a gift from GAP and IEP for Mother’s Day and it has re-energized my interest in photography.  I dabbled in photography a bit as a kid, but had fallen away from it over time.  With my new camera in my life I find myself looking at the world with a more artistic eye, and applying much greater appreciation to the lighting and composition of films and photos I see.
  2. I am thankful for hot chocolate.  Since I don’t drink coffee or tea, for much of the year my mornings typically lack a marquis beverage.  But when fall turns the corner into winter I have a big mug-full almost every morning.  IEP has adopted my habit of dipping his buttered toast into the chocolate and I love that we share our breakfasts this way.
  3. I am thankful for the large park near my office.  On days when I just have to get out of the building at lunch I can take the long way to my favorite sandwich shop and cut through the park.  The road that runs through it takes me past a large pond with a path where I watch people walking and jogging and getting fresh air, and through a densely wooded area that allows me to pretend – if just for half a mile or so – that I am out in the woods, as opposed to out in the suburbs.
  4. I am thankful for steam vaporizers.  When winter colds hit (as they did in full force the last two weeks), a steam vaporizer is one third of the cold-fighting trifecta (along with sleep and NyQuil) that usually gets me back on my feet within a couple of days.
  5. I am thankful for my favorite silver ballet flats.  They are comfortable.  They are attractive.  They match everything.  And when I realized how much I loved them I had the good sense to get back on Zappos and order a second pair so that when I inevitably wore out the first pair (a day that’s coming soon) there would be a backup pair waiting in the wings. 
  6. I am thankful for my church.  I’m thankful that I don’t always agree with the sermons and that I’m forced to confront the gaps in my understanding of my faith.  I’m thankful that when I go there I feel at peace.  And I’m thankful that even when I feel my spirit drifting from God I can let Him know, just by walking into the sanctuary, that I’m trying to work my way back.
  7. I am thankful for my dogs.  I am thankful that because they are large and our yard is small I am obliged to walk two miles with them every day.  In a year I walk an extra 600 miles or so (we skip a day here and there), which is exercise I almost certainly wouldn’t get without them.  (Not to mention that the dogs themselves are princes.)
  8. I am thankful for books.  I am thankful that my shelves are littered with titles I’ve read and loved, and titles that are waiting to be explored.  I’m thankful that every time I open a book I learn something new, and that in this country I have the opportunity and the right to read whatever I may choose.
  9. I am thankful for blogging.  This medium, which I’d never even heard of until a few years ago, allows me to keep my long-distance family apprised of IEP’s latest adventures and developments (I also write a private family blog).  And it allows me to explore my thoughts and engage in virtual conversation with interesting people every single week.  I believe that I approach my life in fundamentally different and better ways because of my blogging. 
  10. I am thankful for IEP’s hugs.  Truly, they are unparalleled.  He only hugs when he’s really feeling it.  And when he’s really feeling it he hugs big.  He squeezes his little arms with all his might.  He presses his plump cheek into yours and holds it there.  He giggles a little.  And then he does the entire thing three or four more times just to make sure he got his point across.  There’s nothing in the world quite like it. 

I would love to hear what things you are thankful for, be they the classics I mentioned at the top of this post or altogether different.  I believe that sharing our gratitude makes us more mindful of it ourselves.  I also think it offers a fresh and interesting glimpse into the essence of who we are.

With that, I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday.  May you travel safely.  May you hug your family and friends.  May you eat well.  May you wear elastic waist pants.  May you have seconds on pie.  May you fall asleep on the couch.  And may you enjoy the rest of the weekend in whatever way pleases you most. 

PS – I won’t be posting on Wednesday or Friday this week.  See you back here next Monday.

5 Responses to “Thankful”

  1. anne Says:

    What a lovely list. This makes me think about the small, as well as the big things, for which I’m grateful. At this moment, I’m going to go with Pomegranate seeds. Seriously. They rock sprinkled on my cereal.

  2. Gale Says:

    Oooh, I’ve never put pomegranate seeds on cereal. I put them on almost every salad lately, though. Yum, yum!

  3. Kristen @ Motherese Says:

    I’m thankful for reminders like this to stop and enumerate the little things that make me feel so fortunate to live the life I do. One that #8 on your list made me think of? I’m grateful to live in a household of readers. I enjoy few things more these days than reading with my boys.

    Have a wonderful holiday, Gale!

  4. Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for many things this year, including our friendship :)

  5. ayala Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Gale! Lovely post!