One of the strange gifts of age is that time seems to pass so quickly, the theory of relativity is not just theory. Time flies whether you are having fun or not. Of course, having kids does that as well; mine seem to be discussing their Hallowe’en costumes on the Fourth of July and planning the next birthday party before the cake is finished. (I can’t imagine where they get that…) So when we start talking about The Holidays, I have a mental glitch that makes me think I probably have a few months to get ready. Reality check – um, ok, a couple of days. We’re good. We can do it.
I’m lucky to have several friends who keep ‘gratitude journals’ online, and share every day about the the things that they are grateful for. It’s a delightful reminder that while we all have challenges, there is always something to appreciate.
I can look back on previous times in my life and think about the difficulties I’ve been through; just recalling the Northridge quake puts it in perspective. Or the summer I was so broke I had to sell off my cookbook collection to buy groceries. Or the gang wars in Venice that left bullet holes in my fence. I have so much to be grateful for; my daughters, my health, my students, my house, my friends, church, neighbors, schools, new loves and old friends, and so much more. Wealth unparalleled.
I’ll be feasting with my family, at a huge table at my sister’s house, surrounded by 18 or 20 of the smartest people I know. I’m sure the conversation will included the cease-fire, the election results, project-based learning, novels being published, software releases scheduled, and weddings being planned. There will be a pi joke to go with the pie – there always is.
How could I not be brimming with gratitude? I woke up in a bed.
Just as my friends from the southern part of the country refer to the “War of the Northern Aggression” and my friends from the south part of Los Angeles recall the “Rodney King Uprising” it gives me pause to recall the “Recent Unpleasantness in Regard to My Freedom.”
I spent many months – just short of a year – sleeping on couches, floors and the futon in my office. Not too bad really, but not bed. Even practicing several hours of yoga every day, sleeping on a futon can get a bit stiff. So when I wake up and feel my head on a pillow, the sheets around me and my favorite down comforter just as soft as fresh snow, I am thankful. Even after two years (time flying by …) it’s still a delight. I think of all the women and children who are sleeping in the streets, or in shelters, and I hope that they get to have a bed in their lives soon.
I hope that you and yours have a feast, and lots of fun. When you close your eyes – be it on the couch in front of the game, or in the hammock in the yard, or even your own bed, there’s no better caption on any day than counting your blessings.
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