Everybody and his brother is writing a Thanks-giving post today. I’m no exception… EXCEPT, this blog is my happiness project and one of the tenets of maintaining my happiness is to always stay focused on all the wondrous things I have in my life right now. So for me, this day is hardly different from any other except I’m in good company giving thanks AND I happily share in a HUGE Thanksgiving feast with my family… and thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Ya know, it’s pretty easy to be thankful for the good stuff. “Thanks God for letting me win the lottery! Thanks for this big beautiful house I live in. Thanks for my good looks and big brains (or is that the other way around? LOL) It’s the gifts we receive reluctantly… the tough ones that we might think [at least initially] are a threat to our happiness and well-being that challenge our thankfulness. But I’ve come to believe those are the ones that give us the most to be thankful for. And those are the ones I’m especially giving thanks for today… Because in the throes of the day-to-day chaos of my life… those are the blessings I don’t always take the time to appreciate.
1. I am so unbelievably grateful for the extra 21st chromosome that My Boys have been gifted. These two beautiful Little Men have taught me more every single day of their short lives than I learned in all the years preceding the births of my 3 children. More about the world. More about human nature. And more about myself. I am a better, more patient and compassionate person grounded in the things that really matter in life because of them. They are masters of unconditional love, dogged perseverance, altruistic intentions, inspiring motivation, undying hope, blind faith, living for today, and doing… just because it’s fun. I would not change a thing about them… especially not that microscopic little third copy of their 21st chromosome!
2. I live in the heart of keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ territory. Never mind that I can’t compete in that race…. I have absolutely no desire to even try. My focus is on my relationships. My children. My husband. My family. My friends. NOT stuff. And, I am oddly thankful for the financial challenges I faced in my young life and for those I’ve faced more recently that not only taught me invaluable survival skills but also enabled me to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle. It was knowing how to survive with little, and knowing I would survive no matter what, that afforded me the option of leaving my high-paying job to stay home to raise my beautiful children. Certainly, this is a case of “that which does not destroy us, makes us stronger!” And I am thankful for the strength and knowledge that I call on every day not only to survive, but to thrive.
3. I’m thankful for my college education in Psychology (that’s an easy one) and for my personal experience in seeing the benefit of professional counseling (sometimes tough). Having someone with an unbiased, non-judgemental listening ear to talk with, someone whose knowledge of human behavior and ability to relate it to our own behavior to help us to see the folly of our own thoughts and actions is invaluable. I am of the firm belief that everyone can benefit from counseling and I have successfully instilled that belief in my Old Soul (which, thankfully, will serve her well in life). And I am eternally grateful for the amazing and insightful Dr. Briglio in Lynbrook, NY whose ability to see and translate what I have not managed to decipher in my life, in my children’s lives, and on so many fronts, is nothing short of amazing!
4. I am glad that I’m 48. That’s not an easy thing to say because I know that I’m getting old… And I loved being 28! But, if I found myself in the wondrous place I now occupy when I was 28, I’m pretty sure I would not have had the wisdom to navigate these sometimes shark-infested waters as gracefully (if I may be so bold) as I’m doing it now. Now if you know me at all, I’m not the “graceful” sort. And I’m not even hinting that I’m a graceful old sod now so much as I’m thinking this life might have been an insurmountable challenge for 28-year-old “Margie” but for 48-year-old Maggie with her just-another-bump-in-the-road point of view it’s no big deal. And I am grateful I am me now.
5. Whoever wrote, “with age, comes wisdom” was sooo right. So was the guy who said, “youth is wasted on the young!” And the one who coined the term, “if I knew then what I know now.” All really smart guys… full of hindsight. Yeah, 20:20 hindsight is good but being nearsighted about the present is better. I’m thankful for the ability to appreciate my sometimes shady (LOL) past, to NOT worry so much about what the future holds, and most importantly to be able to bask in the sunshine of today… most days. Master Ugway in Kung Fu Panda says to Po, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But, today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.”
So, live for today and be thankful for it. There are many who didn’t get to live through today. Many who didn’t get to eat a Thanksgiving feast. Who didn’t share their day with loved ones. I wish you all a thankful and happy heart this Thanksgiving day and every day.