Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Counting My Lucky, Thankful Stars

November has swept past me. It was here. I know it was. It always follows October and slides in to cushion and prepare me for the holiday onslaught of December.  But somehow it got away from me this year. In a flurry of strangely warm weather, a couple of long classes, good ol' daily work, lots and lots of forced isolation and introspection over the keyboard (more than usual) and plenty of plain old fun, November has nearly vanished.

One of the highlights of the month (other than the 32,000 plus words I've managed to hammer out so far) has been reading the grateful/thankful posts that a lot of my friends have been filling their status updates with this November. Mostly it's the little things that I've enjoyed reading. Many of them related to the people and children that populate our lives. Some things as simple as being grateful for the ability to heal or walk down the stairs, sharing coffee with a friend, or how the sounds of giggling kids jumping on the bed can't help but make you smile. There is a lot out there to be grateful for today.

And in the midst of all the media coverage of the new super intimate swimsuit place invasive TSA pat downs, some monarch's impending 40 million dollar nuptials which the Today Show is covering daily in the first half hour where they used to actually show news worthy stories, possibly game changing bombings in South Korea, Sarah Palin tromping around Alaska and talking all adorably about reloading and Blackberrying, and the constant barrage of bad news, economic woes and foreclosures, it's nice to just look at the tiny, manageable good stuff in our lives.  And since I'm a slacker, instead of posting something each day and actually participating, I've cheated and cobbled together one little blog post chock full of thanks. I'm going to blame it on NaNoWriMo, which I've done a lot this month, what can I use for my excuse in December? Help!

Like many of you, I have a lot to be thankful for this year, this month, this lifetime.  I like to think that I'm generally a thankful person all through out the year and not just the last Thursday of the month in the thirty seconds I get as we go around sharing at the dinner table on Thursday. I hope that I tell people often enough how much I appreciate them and I hope I write on this blog enough about the good stuff. But what am I thankful for, truly thankful for right now? Who and what am I counting my lucky stars for on this Tuesday before Thanksgiving:

1. Being born a woman in the 20th Century, and not in any other time period. Though things aren't perfect for modern women, they are so much closer to equal. My choices are endless and I have the power to decide who I want to be and how I want to spend my time: working, raising children, neither, both, it's my decision. I think I've been watching too many historical movies/television shows lately.

2. The ability to speak my mind and have people listen and the endless forums to do so in. I feel heard now more than I ever have in my life. Though I may only have fifty or so readers, I feel heard. I have found my voice. When I speak in a meeting now, I feel heard. When I post something here, I feel heard.  And even if I'm just talking about making donut holes, I feel surrounded by people who care about what I have say and want to engage in conversation with me. So thank you. I am grateful for that connection. I want to hear what you have to say too, well, at least most of you.

3. My husband. I don't want to get all gushy and cheesy and overshary, but Joe is my heart.

4. Family. That crew of miscreants, button pushing nut bags and goat getters, where would I be without them? Happy and sane? Possibly. But bored and alone, more realistically. Mine from birth, mine by marriage, and those selected masochists who entered into my framily by choice. I'm grateful and thankful for you all.

5. All the tangible materialistic items that make my life softer, safer, easier and less scary. Decent paying and satisfying job to cover mortgage and car insurance and the washer/dryer and groceries, my fluffy warm comforter in my heated home, coffee every morning, this generally safe Midwestern suburban life. I got lucky. I was born in the US to middle class parents who liked books. I went to college. I worked hard on occasion, but whatever helped set up this cushy, safe secure life right out of the gate, thank you. Luck, destiny, God, Goddess, roll of the dice, I'm grateful. I haven't had to struggle as much as other people. I've had it pretty easy. Not perfect, but easier. Thanks.

6. Butter.

7. The fact that when delivery people or door to door shilling gentlemen come to our front door, they always see the wall of photos in our hallway and say "Wow, that's a lot of photos." Yes, it is, yes, it is, sir, I say with a big toothy grin.

8. Eating greasy delicious onion straws last night with my mom. She looks beautiful and healthy and has made amazing changes for herself in the last two years. She's got her spark back. It had been gone for awhile and I had missed it. Though she still strikes up conversations with strangers everywhere she goes. Though it's less irritating now than when I was thirteen.

9. Joe always getting the dog riled up right before it's time to go to sleep.

10. Books. Someone asked me the other day if I could only choose between books or music, which one would I choose? I deliberated long and hard. Roughly thirty seconds.  Some songs are little stories, some books sound like music, but I'd have to go with books.

So what are you thankful for today? Little kids swinging in the backyard? Cupcakes? Good sex? What's on your list?


bethany actually said...

Every word, phrase, and punctuation mark of #4 is why I am so looking forward to reading this novel of yours someday, when you're ready to share it. I love that whole paragraph!

Also, AMEN to #6.

#10, ooh...that is a REALLY tough choice. I thought about it for a few minutes, and as much as I love books, I think I would have to give them up before music, which is actually quite a surprise to me. I love words and stories, but music is a part of me in such a way that I don't know quite who I'd be without it. I guess my choice makes sense because I've always chosen, when given the hypothetical choice between being deaf and blind, to lose my sight because I cannot imagine life without music.

So in addition to being thankful for all the things you mention in your last paragraph, I guess I am thankful for music, Netflix Instant, the ability to think logically, Brenda and Lena being here to help us out and my mom coming in a few days, and almost being done with a relatively easy pregnancy.

Heather said...

One thing I'm grateful for is reconnecting w/ you--even if only through your blog & FB. It is fun to hear your voice in your writing. It is silly, but I hear a lot of the Kassie I was friends with so many years ago in your writing. That's a good thing! The heart is the same :)

margherio said...

Damn goat getters.....

kassie lou said...

Bethany, thank you for saying that about #4. You got me to write another 1,000 words tonight when I wanted to quit. And Netflix Instant, yes!
Heather, thank you. I'm glad we've had the chance to reconnect too. Reading about you and your boys always warms my heart. We should grab coffee/tea sometime!
Margherio, that line was for you and Joe. Two skillful goat getters.