I find that acknowledging thankful out loud is a lot more A-ffective for me than thinking thankful in my head. I believe I’ve always been a pretty naturally-grateful person. I feel trOOOOLY lucky every single day (even when the proverbial… ah, stuff… hits the fan). I’m blessed to have these three amazingly beautiful children in my life; a husband who has a kind and gentle nature; wonderful, if not sometimes too many and/or too rambuctious pets; a dilapidated old home I don’t think we’ll ever be done fixing up, this extraordinary life I’ve been gifted; and my good health… even when it goes just a tad south (key words: just a tad). You get my drift! Some would consider half of my blessings a bit of a hardship (have you seen my house or met my dog Tyson?), but not me! Lucky, I tell you! I’m blessed!
Still, saying it out loud more than once in awhile — so that I, my kids, husband and pets, or any one else that’s listening can hear it — registers differently than just thinking it inside my head. Perhaps it gets processed in a different part of my brain when it comes from the outside in, via my ears. Like when you’re shocked hearing the sound of your recorded voice or when an “expert” tells you something you already knew but now you believe it even more because THEY said it. When I acknowledge my blessings out loud, it seems to make them more tangible. It hits harder and deeper within my heart. I FEEEEEEL it more powerfully in my soul. Sounds GOOFY, right? But it works for me. It also helps those around me to know — despite the craziness that is our life — that they are loved and appreciated… even when things get chaotic and I’m not acting so much like I’ve been blessed… versus possessed!
That’s a long lead in to my quick list of blessings. So, in the cliched words of my dear old granny and, following in her footsteps, my dear old Mom:
“Thanks be to God” for the amazing family — immediate and extended — that I’ve been gifted. It’s not always easy to see the blessings above the drama on a daily basis… but the word love feels inadequate to describe the depth of feeling I have for my children and my husband, and for each and every one of my family members… by bloodline and marriage! We sure are a colorful and humorous bunch (whether we mean to be or not LOL)!
“Thanks be to God” for a fun-filled summer fraught with overcome-able challenges — work and schedule changes, planned-then-postponed foundation work, sick or ill-behaved dogs, injuries, and plain-old lethargy. We’ve nearly completed our Summer Bucket List with minor exceptions (read: purposeful deletions where Mama made a judgement call and crossed off a very few of the “I wish we could” activities that I just couldn’t, or wouldn’t, fit in). We’ve managed to accomplish everything — if not quite as often as we’d like — on our “Things we Really Want to do this Summer” list of must-have-experiences. We’ve been swimming, biking, swimming, kayaking, swimming, going to the movies, swimming, enjoying outdoor concerts, swimming, playing with our friends, swimming, and camping. In these final two weeks, we’ll hit the beach again, swim and camp some more and, if we can, visit a few local zoos as well as the aquarium to round out a fulfilling two months. I love summer on LI!
“Thanks be to God” for the gift of my husband’s intelligence, uncanny ability to test well, and inate talent. These God-given and aptly-applied skills brought him a well-deserved and prestigious promotion at work and amazing musical opportunities that we all get to enjoy as well. (I will never listen to Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train without feeling awe at my husband’s talent again!) I am so unbelievably proud of him and his accomplishments!
“Thanks be to God” that my dear old dog, Csiba, is still with us after 15 1/2 people years (108 in dog years). This is a welcome surprise given her relatively recent-but-significant arthritis and kidney challenges, and all the meds and special foods she now requires. But Dr. Ng at Terry Animal Hospital in Rockville Centre has been a dedicated champion of my dear old Chow Chow. Her superb medical treatment and “Bubba’s” dogged (pun intended) desire to continue to peacefully co-exist with our menagerie of pets and kids is a testament to just how blessed I really am!
At this juncture, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make an honorable mention of our new cat, Rusty, who picked us despite our best efforts to avoid adding yet another pet to our already-too-big collection (3 dogs, 3 cats and 2 fish). He is the kind of cat you can’t help but love and he’s been a wonderful companion to Csiba (if not a nemesis to Willow), always laying nearby wherever she chooses to rest her weary old bones.
A couple of months ago, as I began to contemplate my upcoming birthday, I thought I might be upset about turning 50. However, thanks to one significant question in what I thought was a silly “O” magazine test on the subject of knowing yourself and getting the most joy out of life — taken while blissfully floating around the swimming pool surrounded by my splashing children — I discovered that it’s not the year on my birth certificate but the number on the scale that I’m actually bummed about. So, with my work contract resigned and the kids heading back to school in a couple of weeks — though I’ll miss them and the “Dog Days of Summer” tremendously — “thanks be to God” for the opportunity (again) to work not only on this old house but on this old gal. Both need a little… OK, a lot of TLC and I’m up for another round.
And finally, “thanks be to God” for allowing me to celebrate my upcoming half-century birthday just a few weeks away, and with it, not perfect but pretty darn good health (LOL). I’m giving 50 a good run for the money despite too many pounds and a finally-confirmed but fix-resistant shoulder injury! My life is rich with family, friends and fun. I’m kayaking, biking, camping, swimming, playing with my kids, walking and even occasionally running (though that’s not a pretty sight) and, if I believe my husband, no one would believe I’m anywhere near 50!!! (This might be because everyone’s looking at the beautiful little children I’m surrounded by instead of the laugh lines around my eyes.)
Life is good. And my dear friend, Lori Zinser-Green, pointed out during our once-every-two-years, girls-night-out for salad and a diet pepsi, this “over-the-hump” age brings with it much wisdom and choice, but best of all the freedom — or, perhaps, nerve — to exercise both. I’m looking forward to that too!
So, thanks for listening in this morning. My hope for you today is that something I’ve said registers on the Richter scale of your heart and mind and helps you to feel a tad more thankful for the gifts in your life.
…Even if it’s just that you’re glad you’re living your life and not mine. LOL