Thursday, November 23, 2006


It's hard to quantify and list the things I am most grateful for this year. It's been a wonderful year, and I've never been happier. Odd, perhaps, seeing as it's not like I haven't had some setbacks this year, careerwise. But instead of feeling angry, anxious and hopeless, I find that I am utterly unworried about the details. The future doesn't seem scary. I feel hopeful in a way that I haven't felt in years, like life is full of possibilities and good things are... not even just around the corner, they're all around me. I'm thankful for that.

I have enough to eat and a warm home with nice things. Yes, I'd love to have more money, and sometimes I get sick of sticking to a budget. But I'm not making decisions like "Medicine or Breakfast?", "Rent or heat", "Pay the doctor or lose the car". I may wish for certain material things, but I have everything I really need and lots of things I want. I don't wqrry about where my next meal or the meal after that is coming from. I'm thankful for that.

I have friends and family who love me, even though many of them are far away. I have companionship and solace, we share our joys and our sorrows. I've said goodbye to some people whose idea of "friendship" was too different from my own, losing two of the more negative influences on my life in the process-- a fact that I was too blind to see until after they were gone. At the same time, I've deepened my ties to other people, gaining new and more satifying friendships. I'm thankful for that.

I do not live in a perfect society, but I live in a time and in a place where I can be fairly certain that I will not the victim of violence while going about my everyday life. I probably won't have to leave behind my family, my friends, my home, all of my belongings, everything I've worked for in order to flee violence or starvation. I can work and study, and no one will force me to marry against my will. My water supply is clean and plentiful. I won't be denied opportunities or be beaten or threatened or killed for my religious beliefs. I'm thankful for that.

I'm thankful for the beautiful days, for the starry nights, for the rise and fall of Ash's chest as he holds me close, for the friends who make me laugh until I'm physically ill, for small hands tugging at my pants leg to get my attention, for hot chocolate with marshmallows, for friendly dogs and snuggly cats, for cozy evenings knitting on the couch with all of the mantle candles burning, for fresh bread, for raw cookie dough, for the enormous bluejay that sits in the tree outside Ash's living room, for the smell of a fire on cold winter nights, for second chances, for serenity, for love. As Garrison Keillor once said, "Thank you, God, for this good life, and forgive us if we do not love it enough."



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