Happy Thanksgiving! After spending the day with my family, I find myself alone, wrapped up in one of my favorite blankets in a comfy chair on a quiet evening at home. My stomach is full, and my heart is even fuller, as I wrap up celebrating one my favorite holidays awash in memories of the people I love, both near and far. It is in the stillness and darkness of the night where my gratitude and love shine the brightest, and on this Thanksgiving night, this could not be truer. I am in tears, happy ones at that, when I recount all that there is to be thankful for, not just today, but every single day.
I will be the first one to admit that I am an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist, meaning that it is easy for me to believe in others and trust that all will be well with them, while believing in myself and trusting that everything will work out for the best for me tends to be more challenging. I continue to work on extending the same love and positive regard that I offer to others to myself, and that is a work in progress. Focusing on gratitude has been part of my progress, and more and more, I come to appreciate and understand the transformative and healing powers of being grateful, especially during the painful times.
So, even though this month’s series of daily gratitude posts is winding down, I will continue this practice off-line, where it matters the most. On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for so many people, places, and things, and here are some of them:
- My two extraordinary daughters and their dad. While I miss my girls, it makes me happy that they are spending time with their dad and some of their aunts, uncles, and cousins on an amazing vacation. When I spoke with all three of them today, I loved hearing the girls’ laughter and excited recap of some of their adventures this week, and when I talked with their dad, I was reminded how thankful I am that we are devoted parents and the best of friends. Our family is not broken; we are functioning happily and lovingly.
- My family and friends who are like family. I enjoyed celebrating today with my family of origin, as it was punctuated with great food, uproarious laughter, and good conversations. The phone calls, messages, and texts from my friends who feel like family that arrived throughout the day only made me more thankful that they were thinking of me on this day and that they are there for me the other 364 days of the year.
- My breast cancer. No, you did not drink too much, well, perhaps, you did, but you read that correctly. I am giving thanks for my breast cancer. Shortly after arriving home, I came across a commercial for a cancer center that featured a girl who was diagnosed with cancer when she was the same age as my oldest daughter. At that very moment, I gave thanks that I am the one who was diagnosed with cancer instead of one of my daughters. I also am grateful that I was diagnosed with it, instead of someone who may not have the support system, medical resources, and financial means to treat it and beat it. I still plan on getting out of this club, but when I think of the people I know and don’t know who could be in it, I will accept my membership with a more grateful heart.
- My sense of humor. I am quick with a joke and a smile, and never have been more grateful for this than since I was diagnosed with cancer. It has helped me deal with the stress and fear of both the diagnosis and the treatment, and it also helps to put others more at ease. Today, when my sister asked if anyone wanted a smoothie maker she no longer needed, both my dad and I expressed interest in it, and some light-hearted banter ensued about who would go home with it. I know that my diagnosis has weighed on my parents, understandably so, but today, it felt good to crack up my family when I responded to my dad’s rationale with why he should get the smoothie maker by saying, “Dad, I didn’t want to do this, but remember, I have cancer.” Drops the mic and scores the coveted smoothie maker! I mean no disrespect to others who are coping with cancer, but for me, if I can make fun of it, I can overcome it. Also, if I can joke about it, it reminds people that I am still me and that cancer cannot change that. Oh, to prove that the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, after my dad carried the smoothie maker inside my home, as he left, he jokingly said, “I hope you get a stomach ache from eating too many smoothies.” Touche, Dad!
- A four-day weekend. Since starting my new job this past July, this stretch is the longest non-medical related time off of work that I have had. I enjoy my job, but I really loved being off today, especially knowing that three more days of time off are to follow. I need this time to regroup physically, mentally, and spiritually, and I am grateful for that time.
It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope that you were able to find much to be thankful for whether you spent it in the company of others or enjoying your own company.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day