(A Thanksgiving note to folks like me, for whom it does not come naturally)
This, my first Thanksgiving after leaving prison, I had many expectations. I had a hard pivot when I found out that none of those pre-incarceration Thanksgivings would resemble this one. I will spend the day with no one that is related to me by blood. I am living with people who did not know me prior to June 12th. I am the only person here who has ever cooked a turkey, pie, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, etc. So it is my purpose and pleasure to cook this dinner.
Because I also have that problem, worried to jinx my good fortune, I lean toward a lack of “gratitude”. I don’t want to feel like a “fake” by saying things that are not true or don’t come naturally. But I do get great satisfaction in cooking. I love to see people enjoy my cooking. I think I’m up to the challenge of planning such a big meal. I am grateful for this opportunity to feel valued. Such a rarity in prison, it makes this Thanksgiving my celebration. My cup runners over!
Before my son died a little over 5 years ago, I woke every morning with a mantra of "Thank you for this day, let me live my life in a way that would be pleasing to you God". I felt like it set the trajectory of my day in a positive direction. Since that time, it has been so difficult to utter those words, but I am trying. At least I now have moments of acknowledging my blessings.
Nadia, I’m 45 years in AlAnon....your story and struggle with gratitude speaks clearly. Now, 22 months after my terrific wife finished dying, I have started over in learning gratitude. She told me two days before that “We are not going to call my death unfair”. I’ve held on to that with gratitude because it’s reality. I just mention the thousands of unfair deaths in the Mideast. We had 55.5 years plus 4.
I'm grateful that you told me to take Hebrew Bible from Dr. George. Holy God that was a wild, wonderful, brutally difficult ride.
I'm grateful for a terrible fight that I had with my home-mate last week that ended with beautiful reconciliation and also he is moving out.
I'm grateful for my friends who showed up last week to help me gut my son's room and clean it after a "brown water" backflow from the street, up my shower drain, and into his room.
I'm grateful for my ex, who, when we discovered the IRS had been putting my payments toward his bills last week, happily called the IRS and told them to fix it, saving me a serious legal and financial crisis.
I'm grateful for my mechanic, who sold me his old truck last week after I locked up the transmission on my beloved Matrix and discovered the truck I bought to replace it was junk.
All this happened during finals, and I kinda can't believe that I survived it all and managed to do well on my finals. In the midst of it, I sat down in my living room floor and sobbed, and when I finished, I got up and called my community, and they showed up in force. I am so, so grateful.
This morning I am grateful for my mom. She is, as we say in my family, a "piece of work." She's 82 years old and doesn't drive anymore, but she won't let me drive down to D.C. from Upstate to pick her up for visits and she won't fly. So, she arrived last night at 10:30 PM after a 10-hour bus ride raring to chat with liverwurst stashed in her purse. Seriously, how could I not be grateful for that level of unabashed her-ness?
Just enjoying contentment in a quiet way in my forties & a non-exhaustive list of what I’m thankful for.
1. My partner Ruth & her willingness to be up for an adventure at any time
2. My pets.
3. My coworkers in the trauma center ER. Best people in the wildest place.
4. Reading a book in front of my fireplace
5. Hot coffee
6. A trail run/hike
7. Warm soft socks
I am Thankful that you acknowledge, on our behalf, how being thankful can be a challenge, especially to the entitled part of ourselves.
It's good to see ME for the truth of who I am.
And to give myself permission to be less than, something different from, what I imagine is "better." When I can relax into my reality and lean into the divine whispers of encouragement blessing it, I am free, and I am becoming.
I'm thankful for that.
You make that kind of thing available for people.
So, I am thankful for you.
In learning to deal with my negative self talk, anytime something "bad" happens in my life, I try to immediately list 3 good things. When I accidently bid a job at work that was on grave yard, one of the "positive" things I listed was that I would now find out if I could work nights. Because I took that attitude, I discovered that not only could I work nights, I actually love working nights!
I am thankful for my dog. Deeply, and irrevocably thankful. ( I am 58 and have my first dog. I had no idea about this big fury dog.)
I am thankful that I have been able to get my daughter to her Junior year in college with no student loans. It's been terrifying, but has also made me feel like super woman.
I am thankful for the optimism of morning.
I am thankful for stationary supplies.
I am thankful that I was on the planet with Prince.
I am thankful for my wife. Even when it's hard, and lately it's been hard, but we keep showing up for each other.
I am thankful for the peace that comes with driving in my car alone.
I am thankful for Diet Coke, the nectar of the Goddess.
I am so thankful that a beloved friend went into treatment.
I am thankful for Mary Oliver poems.
Given a caring and decent set of parents who loved me unconditionally. My sobriety (38 yrs) and the happiness it brought my Dad even though he struggled with his alcoholism. My grown sons are two of my best friends. Grateful for my little house and the help I have found in the community to stay afloat in these tough economic times. Finding out the love of my life is a narcissist before I was swallowed whole. (I still love him). Nature, nature, nature! For my front porch that gives me a view of 100 year old trees, all shapes and sizes. For my sister, Jane, who has my back. For all the dogs I have loved over the years, and who made me a better person. For the moon and stars. And lightening bugs.
I’m thankful for my sister Beth who joins me in The Corners, texted me just now about how beautiful your message on gratitude is and will hanging with me Thanksgiving Day. I had to google misanthropy. 😎
Your writing on gratitude resonated with me.
For whatever reason I have been singing the blues.
I have been waiting for them to lift
I will try gratitude.
Thanks for the reminder.
I am grateful for you.
I’m grateful when my inbox includes something from the corners. Mostly because your honest, snark writing finds that place in my heart that I try to hide from others.
I am grateful when someone loves or appreciates me for who I am, rather than what I can do...for them. Of course, that means I have to let them in and know they experience me with all of my facets and flaws.
I am grateful to know that practice makes progress, not perfection. So glad I don’t have to be perfect, even tho many wish I made more progress.
I am not grateful that a cold is trying to ruin my plans for getting family together at my house this Thanksgiving. But I and we will honestly deal with it since the family ranges in age from 8 months to 90.
May we all find little moments of joy. And when we do, I hope we take a moment and say thank you to the one who created that little piece of joy and shared it with us.
Thank you Nadia for all your snarky, real pieces of joy.
I’m grateful for my wonderful husband, Bruce Springsteen concerts, and the awesome video you included that made me laugh out loud! I needed that.
I’m thankful I have friends to talk to.
All I have sounds like the gratitude version of trolling for comfort, but this did happen a few minutes ago. A schoolmate from way back has a daughter who’s succumbing to a horrible cancer and with all the brutality going on in the world, this for some reason has nearly done me in. Her mother has a faith so strong it stuns me - I have no “right” to anxiety attacks, but I’m having them. So a bit ago I was making muffins, and thought about how Friend’s daughter would love to be back in her kitchen making muffins, and then thought, I am grateful to be here living an ordinary life, making muffins. Then I came here and read this post. Thank you. Grateful for that too and thinking I’ll try to see my blessings more clearly.