Generally, I will not do a thing that seems so obvious simply because it seems so obvious. Things like buy an iPhone or wish someone a Facebook Happy Birthday or mass text my contacts wishing a Merry Christmas.
I do not subscribe to the idea that this is the only day a year in which we should give our thanks, just as St. Valentine’s Day is not the only day to appreciate loved ones, but I’ve been grumbly lately and I’m not always. This is a truth some will find a shocking one but it is the truth none-the-less. All the work I’ve been doing these past few years answering “Who am I?” means that I don’t give way to the grumbles all the time. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’ve surrounded myself with people who support me and my life and my choices or gotten comfortable enough to tell those who don’t they can go and hang. I don’t hate the world or the people in it. I’m happy with me, my life, and my choices even if I am still a bit acerbic at (all) times.
So I will take this time and give thanks to the things in my life that keep it spinning on its axis.
Rose: I know that Rose has taken to complaining about me here and seems to think that I prefer Analaigh’s more sedate affect to her own up-beat, here-I-come-world attitude. This is not true. When I brought home my second precious, baby girl I wasn’t sure how to love her in equal measure because there has never been just the two of us with Rose and I. But her happiness and her silliness made a spot in my heart big enough to match that of her sister’s. Every day she brings a smile to my face and helps wash away the stink of the frustrations I encounter out in the world. Life would not be complete without her.
Analaigh: Analaigh is my heart. Selfishly, I brought her home to assuage my loneliness. In a million years, I would not have guessed that adopting a puppy from the local SPCA would have changed me or my life so totally. Some see her as my dog, I see her as my child. I sincerely doubted the ability of a parent to be able to love completely a child not of their own progeny. While, I can not know fully until (unless) I have one of my own, she allows me to hope that one can. Finally, putting to bed a truth I’ve held for 27 years that may have not been a truth at all.
Caroline: Caroline I knew for 3 years (and never spoke to) then one day she signed up for a group I ran at our local climbing gym (and continued not speaking to for an additional 6 months). Out of the blue, I emailed and asked to have dinner as though we’d been friends for those 3 years and 6 months. Being a kindred spirit, with similar social oddities like me, she agreed and we started off in the middle of a friendship without skipping a beat. We’ve been inseparable since. I’m talking inseparable as in after saying “Drive home safely” we’re picking up the phone so we can talk to each other as we drive home from the restaurant (No head shaking about the safetiness of this activity). She’s there for everything, always. Even if I’m in such a rotten mood, I just want to sit there and not say a word. I think I love her so dearly because she is so very much like me that every day I just get to be me with her and she gets it without raising an eyebrow. (Also, she gave us Aidan and that kid is pretty phenom!)
Dale: Dale has helped me realize that I am now, and always have been, the person that I wanted to become. The only thing ever keeping me from being her, was me. Dale never tells me how wrong I’ve been or how to be better. Dale teaches me how to reconcile the differences.
Climbing: It is not just the physical act of climbing for which I am so grateful. But also for the amazing network of people I have met as the result of being a climber. Climbing is an intensely personal sport but you don’t do it alone (unless you are stupid and want to die). The support and the camaraderie and the encouragement I find in climbing every time I head out is amazing. If you’d’ve told me 5 years ago that at this point in my life I would drive 30-40 minutes, 2-3 times a week, to work out by climbing 35 foot walls and spend my weekends and vacations in soggy tents and buggy crags climbing with this crew – I would have smacked you in the face with my cheesesteak and told you to get the hell out from in front of the television because you were interrupting the Rocky Marathon on TNT.
My family: I may not be spending my Thanksgiving with them but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for them all the same. Sometimes they drive me totally bonkers. Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we don’t get each other. Sometimes it’s nice to go home and talk to someone who you’ve known longer than anyone. Sometimes it’s great to know that no matter what jerk thing was said or stupid decision was made they are stuck with you and can not disown you. My sister recently threatened to de-friend me on Facebook which was fine with me as I was wanting to block her anyway. But it doesn’t matter. She is still my sister. My mom’s still my mom even though I was a dreadful teenager. I’m still daddy’s little girl. I’m still niece, aunt, sister, granddaughter, cousin, and daughter.
My job: In 2008 when the world sorta crashed down around our ears everyone everywhere got a little antsy. Sometimes my job drives me totally bonkers. Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we don’t get each other. Sometimes it’s nice to go home and know how you are going to pay the bills. Sometimes it’s great to know that you can afford the groceries and Christmas and doctor’s bills for mystery illnesses which may haunt you. The company I work for has managed to avoid massive layoffs or salary reductions. I am incredibly grateful that through this all I have remained gainfully employed and there are people who work far harder than me to make sure I stay that way.
Gummy Bears: Food is pretty amazing even if it has started sassing me these days. But when I’m having a good day or a bad day or the sun is shining or it’s raining cats and dogs or the earth is spinning – I can sit down at eat delicious Haribo Gummy Bears because they are free of soy and then I can eat some more until I want to be sick. And I do. Because they are delicious.
So Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Here I go, flooding the internet with another in 1,000,000 blog posts on this day of Thanksgiving, giving thanks those who touch my life.