I've been feeling an awful lot of that "humbug" feeling lately. The holiday season is upon us again with all its demands on our time and dollars, heralded by the turkey trumpets of Thanksgiving and the spectre of Black Friday. I'm too busy and worn out to do the holidays this year! We're broke, unemployed, my daugther's disabilities are getting worse (she's deaf-blind), and I'm slammed with school work. What the hell do I have to be grateful for? Then I started reading how grateful everybody is feeling, which only made me roll my eyes and think, 'oh joy of joys, here we go again. Once a year we all haul out our blessings list and start sharing. Whatever.'
This anti-Thanksgiving grumpiness was getting out of control, so today I FORCED myself to think about what I'm grateful for. Come on, Terena, give it a try. You're reacting to the demands other people create around the holidays and how they should be celebrated. Really, Thanksgiving is a relaxing and friendly holiday; all we do is share food with our loved ones and think about what makes us thankful.
After taking a deep breath I proclaimed, "I can do that."
So here's my list of what I am grateful for:
I am grateful that my daughter still knows how to laugh despite all the annoying doctor appointments and therapies and the endless blood tests.
I am grateful she is growing and learning and becoming more beautiful, inside and out, every day.
I am grateful that we've managed to keep our house this long, even though we're both unemployed.
I am grateful for indoor plumbing and heat.
I am grateful for my friends who stand by me and my daughter, no matter what, and who are not afraid of her disabilities.
I am grateful for Whole Foods Gluten Free Peanut Butter cookies.
I am grateful that my car passed 200,000 miles and still runs so well.
I am grateful that I'm in grad-school learning a trade that will not only provide me with a good paying job, but will be beneficial to others.
I am grateful to the internet for allowing me to share my thoughts and read the stories of others.
I am grateful for my husband who loves me and supports all of my wild ideas (a small press?!) and who chose to be my daughter's dad even though he knew she was disabled and would need a lot of extra help.
And I am grateful that my husband and I have the same, dark and twisted sense of humor. It keeps us going.
After I wrote this list, I realized that I have a great deal to be grateful for, from the mundane (I'm grateful for a washer and dryer in my own home) to the global (I am grateful I don't live in Afghanistan). Even though life is difficult right now, with so many challenges there are days I literally have to bury my head under a pillow to scream, I still have so much in my life that is good and joyful. Okay, I get it. This is why people write down their blessings and focus on being grateful. The hard, scary, weary times can quickly block out any feelings of happiness in a day if you let them. By remembering what is good in your life, the bad times lose some of their power.
It's what Thanksgiving is about. I'll try not to forget that.
Go ahead and write your own list, and if you want to share your gratitude's, I'd love to read them.