Once again, Theresa found the perfect sentiment for this day (in the States).
Before you head off for parts known, before you begin developing a familiar intimacy with your ovens and stoves, before your refrigerator begs you to refrain from adding one more thing…
There are so many clichés associated with being thankful – and I doubt that I will come up with anything new. Yet, in advance of the arrival of our family, I felt the need to extend my thoughts to all of you. I’m thankful for so much and words fail me (which I submit is a good thing). I am truly blessed with a family I adore, a husband who humors my nuttiness and sons/daughters-in-law who accept that their mom is as corny as a Hallmark commercial. I have an amazing sister who I adore and will miss on Thursday (along with my nephews and niece who will be having their own family Thanksgiving in NY). I can appreciate the beginning of a new day and I can delight in the feeling of snuggling into bed at day’s end. I have a body that complains each day and yet we’re still getting along. I know bountiful love. We’ve got three pups – two of whom are perfect and one who is re-calibrating the spectrum of mischief that I used to consider part and parcel of puppyhood. Our home is my sanctuary; I have never felt safer.
I am thankful for all of you who have come to read this blog, write to me and share your thoughts, inspire me with your encouragement and humor. I love that I have learned so much from your posts, taking to heart much of what you have written and incorporating it into my being. My friends – in cyberspace or in my physical reality – you are in this orbit of gratitude which circles rhythmically through my life. And so, you all should be told as often as possible, just how much you are appreciated. Would that we took the time to say these things more frequently than once or twice a year. For those who are celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday – I wish you stuffed tummies, full hearts, TUMS and love. Actually, this thought holds regardless of whether there’s a turkey in the oven. I’m heading deep into the heart of cooking territory for the next few days, so I send this to you now. Thank you for being who you are to me.
Loving and letting go may not seem to go hand in hand – and yet..
“Love is sometimes shown in the things you don’t say, don’t keep track of and don’t notice. The greatest kindness is often shown in letting things go. None of us is perfect, but we can all be perfect friends and perfect partners by allowing those that we love to be imperfect. Give those around you the “break” that you hope the world will give you on your own “bad day” and you’ll never, ever regret it.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
If you have yet to discover charronschatter.com, you are depriving yourself of a consistent reason to smile, marvel and delight. While I appreciate her acknowledgement in this post, I appreciate her generous talent even more…
“When I was One I had just begun
When I was Two I was nearly new
When I was Three I was hardly me
When I was Four I was not much more
When I was Five I was just alive
But now I’m Six, I’m as clever as clever
So I think I’ll be Six now for ever and ever” — A.A. Milne
So, my cohort group is turning sixty next year. Sixty. It’s an impressive number. Jo will enter this decade first (though at the end of the day, first or last the goal is to get there and keep going), and it prompted a lot of conversation about what the heck it means.
In an effort to avoid the obvious, we didn’t come up with anything particularly cogent. And that got me thinking, which as you know, is typically dangerous.
As we grow up, we measure our accomplishments by how old we are. At six or seven, there’s first grade and entering real school. Turning ten, at double-digits – one proudly has succeeded at no longer being ‘little’ and has become by rite of age, way cooler than anyone who is younger. Celebrating the introduction to being a legitimate teen-ager at thirteen, it’s even sweeter at sixteen. When eighteen knocks at the door, it brings the perceived gift of becoming ‘legal’, getting out of the house and the anticipation that for all intents and purposes, society will consider you a grown-up in three short years. Of course by the time one is thirty, the realization that learning to be an adult is no longer an acceptable excuse. And so on and so on…
Our self-definition and stories are inextricably tied to our age. What we learned and when we learned it. I think we could have extended conversations about the decades we have lived – tying our stories and our years together in crazy, multi-colored bows.
Somewhere along the way though, we realize that life is measured not in years but in exquisite moments of attention. When the question that begs to be answered is less about our individual successes, accomplishments and somewhat self-absorbed chatter, and more about what we have brought to the table. Did we offer life a groaning board of our best selves or did we just sit there expecting to be fed? (Given that Thanksgiving is next week, it seemed like a good analogy). Though we got here while acknowledging chronological landmarks along the way, such landmarks no longer define the road. We are left now to figure out the topography, and the area is large.
And the dialogue changes focus – am I giving the best I’ve got? Am I more about others and less about me? And if I live another sixty years, will I create a path that others will choose to walk with me?