Wow… Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Can’t believe it. Sometimes these things sneak up on us. Not that we aren’t prepared, we are. It’s just that I can’t believe it’s already that time of year. We have entered the holiday season. And again I’ll say… wow.
Now that I’m getting over my shock at the time of year it is, I want to give some thanks, as has become my tradition here at the think tank every year. I am thankful for so many things….
First, as always, I’m thankful for my honey. I just spent a couple of weeks away from her and let me tell you, I’m no good without her. I mean this in a metaphorical sense people so don’t go making assumptions about my lack of self esteem… my self esteem is in tact. It’s just that I don’t like being without her. As I explained to my Mom and my brother, Karen is my home. A house is a structure that, if done correctly, reflects who we are, feels cozy to that end, and shelters us from the elements. A home, on the other hand, is where our heart lives. Mine lives with Karen. Hers with me. We are simpatico in this. Which makes it all the more real and heartfelt. My home is with her, no matter where we live, and I am beyond thankful for that. I’m blessed to have met her, lucky to have snagged her, and honored and humbled by the fact that she continues to love me, and love me more every day. I can’t begin to express what this means to me, and really I don’t think there are words to describe it. She is my breath, my light, my warmth, my love. She is my split apart, and I am hers. I whisper, thank you thank you thank you, out to the universe every day for her.
Mom and Kev… We are, and have been for a long long time, the three amigos. Having spent time with you these least three weeks (one here and two there), I appreciate you even more, if that’s even possible. There is a magic that happens when we are all in the same room. I’m so lucky to be a part of that. So lucky to have you… I feel love and gratitude for you every day.
Mary, Martin, and our little man… Thank you. Thank you for allowing me into your lives, into your family. As I’ve said before, I never had my own children, but nevertheless I consider you mine. I feel a part of a family, with children, and grandchildren, that I would never have without you and your acceptance and love of me. I love you guys and am so very grateful for you every day.
My family and friends… I tear up thinking about all of you, near and far. For one person to be blessed with such an outstanding group of people in my life… I am so humbled. You bring the zest, the encouragement, the support, the fun, and more love than I thought possible. I’m amazed every day by the depth and quality of the people in my life. Not only the sheer numbers of you, but by the people you are. Each and every one of you is a stellar human. I mean this. Family to friends, each of you brings something so uniquely you to my life. I treasure that. I treasure how individual you are, how loving you are, how fun you are, how many smiles and laughs you’ve given me over the years, and I feel so fortunate to have all of that with you. I am blessed beyond measure for knowing you, for having you in my life, and for continuing to get to spend time with you when I can. No matter the distance it seems we always manage to pick up where we left off, be that a year ago or yesterday, and I am honored by that, by your presence in my life. I feel you with me every day and I’m so very thankful for you.
The pups… I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but they are so important to me and every day I’m so loved by them, and grateful to them for their little selves in my life. They are my home as well, and I am so lucky to have them. They love without condition, without pretense, without judgement or agenda. They’re always excited to see me, even if I’ve only been outside for a moment, and they are always completely genuine. I love them more than I can measure, and am so very thankful for them. They bring a joy to my life, our lives, that can’t be measured.
I always say the only thing in life that truly matters are the people we love and who love us. I mean this. Everything else is set dressing, though nature, in all it’s glory, is a wonder and something I’m also grateful for every day. To that end I’d like to include the following poem by e.e. cummings. He’s my favorite poet, and I’m humbled by and grateful for his words, words that have helped, at times, me to get through periods of struggle. Words that have at times helped me to better explain the world to myself. This is one of my favorites of his… and it pretty much sums up the rest of it, the rest of what I’m grateful for…
i thank You God for most this amazing
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
I grew up with the idea that it was OK to disagree, appropriately of course, and that having more than one opinion in the room is often a good thing. It provides a discussion with more than one side, which I feel is always a good thing. Granted, sometimes it can be uncomfortable, but if all parties remain respectful it can also be the best way to wade through a problem, working it from more than one side.
What floors me so much about the political landscape of our country right now is that we are so black and white, right and wrong, us and them. Polarized. It’s ridiculous.
Those who know me know I’m a liberal. I tend to vote Democrat down the line, but the reasons I do this aren’t very popular even to me. I do it because I care, deeply, about my personal rights. I care about social issues very much. It’s not that I don’t care about economic issues, foreign policy, education… I do. Very much actually. It’s just that in the current climate where people who I don’t even know are trying to tell me who I can and can’t marry, which impacts them not at all, I have to stand on the side of me, of my partner, of our life together. I have to stand for my friends, and for millions of people who just want to love who they love and have everyone else stay out of their personal business. But I rant, and this is not really about that at all.
So I vote the way I do based mostly on social issues, but if those weren’t an issue how would I vote? Honestly, probably somewhere in the middle. Probably sometimes for a Republican candidate, or a third party candidate, that I thought was the best person for the job. I’d vote the issue, or the candidate, and not the party. I used to vote that way. I’d love that.
I disagree with extremism. My idea of what this country was founded on is about freedom. Freedom to think, pray, work, live, prosper, and thrive as we each see fit. As we each make our way. There are different ideas about how to get there, but when did we become so polarized? When did we forget that this whole thing was set up so there wouldn’t be just one way to be, one way to think, one party who had all the power. We didn’t want a kingdom, we wanted a free republic that respected the thoughts of ALL of it’s people.
I may disagree with some of the more outlandish and extreme points of view, but I also feel like everyone needs to have a say. I was raised to value all sides. Weren’t you? We’re better together. Better even when we don’t agree with each other. And in fact we are probably stronger because of it. One nation. So let’s get on with it. Let’s get on with the real business of trying to right what’s wrong, expand on what’s right, and move forward together. We are, after all, still living in the greatest country. We are honored, and blessed, to live here. We should remember that.