Here we are, the final day of thanks for the month of November. I think every day, in my normal life, I say a mental and emotional thank you for something… the way my honey laughs, the excited way the pups greet me every time I walk in a room, the smiles of my grandsons, the beauty of the sky or the day or the soul of a friend. I appreciate things. Even so, this has been a lovely exercise in purposed thankfulness. Being cognizant of what I have in my life. I have a lot.
30. I am thankful for love. Love of all kinds. Love from friends, family, my pups, the grandsons, the kids, my Mom, my siblings, and most of all my honey. I am blessed to have so much love in my life. More love and more joy from that love than I could ever dream possible. I feel it like a wave sometimes, immense and overwhelming in a totally good way, and other times it’s presence is like a vast and endless calm sea supporting the weight of this tiny ship. Most importantly, I feel it. Always. I’m lucky, fortunate, grateful, thankful, honored, blessed, graced, and humbled by the magnitude of it. I am loved, and I love. It’s beautiful.
17. I’m thankful for laughter. The way my honey laughs with her whole body, how my brother slaps his knee when it’s a real good one, the grandsons giddy sounds, my friends smiling eyes when they laugh, strangers passing by who are cracking up, my family’s sounds of laughter at a family function, and my laugh when I’m crying because something is just so wonderful. Laughter is the music of the soul. It’s joy out loud. I’m greedy for it, in myself and in others. Nothing beats a good laugh.
11. I’m thankful for the sacrifices the men and women in the armed forces give us every day. My family has a long history of serving and I’m so proud of that history. Without our veterans we would not enjoy all the freedoms we do today. I’m thankful for what they’ve done, and for what they continue to do.
The photo is of my grandfather, grandmother, aunt, and my mom as a baby.
9. I’m thankful for the visual world. I am made breathless every day by something I see. It seems everywhere I look there’s beauty and magnificence. It constantly amazes, enlightens, and nourishes my soul. Leaves blowing from trees, blue sky, rain drops falling just so, structures made by man, light in all it’s forms. Everything has history and a story to tell. All of it inspires awe and is magical.
Day seven and these feelings of being thankful are still going strong.
7. I’m thankful for my brother, Kevin. We’ve been through so much together. No two people have the same experiences he and I share. But more than that, he’s a fantastic brother, and a gentle soul. He’s also famously the best hugger in the family. In fact, when someone gives someone else a big hug they call it giving a Kevin. Funny, but true. He’s my partner in dorkiness and has one of the best belly laughs I’ve ever heard.
November fifth brings the fifth day of thanks.
5. I’m thankful for my little grandson who spent an hour today pretending with his Grandma Tam. He’s spectacular. There’s no better way to spend time than hanging out with that little man.
As most people in our lives know, Karen was very very sick in late November and early December. She spent 6 days in a critic care unit at Sunnyside Hospital. It was a very scary experience for both of us. Nothing is worse than being so sick or watching someone you love be so sick, and not being able to just will them to get better. It was terrifying actually. Then… she got better. It was wonderful. And the reason she got better was because of the great work of the people at the hospital. They did their jobs well and they did them with grace and by truly caring for Karen as their patient.
A couple of weeks ago I sent a letter/email to the nurse manager of the unit Karen was on. I’d kept a list of all the people who worked with Karen during her time there and wanted to let the management know, and the staff themselves, how much their work mattered to us. How much it meant. How much we appreciated them and how grateful we were.
I thought to myself… you know, people don’t say a genuine thank you enough. They just don’t. We aren’t always the most considerate of a species. We should be. We should say thank you when someone does a great job waiting the table or pumping the gas (for all you Oregonian’s out there) or giving us a smile as they check our groceries at the store. We should say thank you when we are treated with kindness and a smile at the doctor’s office or when someone we don’t know holds the door for us. We should appreciate these things. We should smile. We shouldn’t take it all for granted.
Everyone is quick to get testy. To be annoyed. To judge, to make fun of, to rant about what they see as little slights. We tend to be so negative as a people. Why is that?
I say let’s get on the happy train. Sounds silly? It’s not. Let’s start noticing what’s right and beautiful and worth while in the world. Let’s concentrate on that. Let’s be awed and inspired and thankful.
I’m not saying we should ignore what’s wrong or put up with things we shouldn’t. I’m just saying we ALSO need to notice what’s good and honest and wonderful. Beautiful gracious things happen every day. People do things every day that are helpful and caring. So let’s concentrate on that. Put our focus there. Notice. I wonder what would happen. I wonder what would happen if when we looked up and around we saw the trees moving in the wind and the smile on a mother’s face as she talked to her child and how lovely it is to just be here, alive, living… being happy in this moment. I wonder what would happen if we all did it…. if we all noticed… how the world might change for the better. We need to celebrate our spirit our tenacity our willingness to step in for each other and our caring selves. It’s a wonderful place, this world is. Wonderful things happen all the time. It would be a place of even greater wonder if we all just considered being a bit more considerate.