Ah, Thanksgiving. That holiday sandwiched between flocked trees and blow-up Santas and many times pushed aside in the rush to Black Friday.
Well, corny as it may seem, I still like to take some time to be thankful for the many good things in my life—and that includes lessons that have come out of painful situations.
For instance, I lost one of my beloved dogs on August 28. Another furbaby is winding down his time here on the physical plane. Most of my other doggies are also facing some physical challenges. What I have learned from these situations is to let go of my tendency to be busy just because, and invest my time and energy with who/what is truly most important to me.
Everything is weighed against, “This furbaby may not be alive tomorrow. So do I slow down and spend time loving these beautiful spirits who have adored me without question for years or do I (fill in the blank here).”
OK, I still have to cook meals and do laundry and pick up poop, but I’m making the time to love my furbabies—and trying not to beat up myself for the times I didn’t measure up to what I think I should do.
So I’m grateful these situations led me to question what I’m doing and why.
I’m grateful my “no” muscles are stronger so I can kindly and tactfully turn down requests from others that don’t match my priorities.
I’m grateful this has led me to be kinder to myself and realize my needs must one of the highest priorities in my life. Because if I go under, others depending on me will also go down. Not an option!
Interestingly, this has made me more intolerant of bad behavior. So I’m grateful for more courage to stand up to or divert or walk away from other people’s BS.
Looking at this particular list of what I’m grateful for seems somber amid a totally crappy year. There certainly have been rough times. But I woke up on New Year’s Day 2016 feeling like this was going to be the best year yet, and I think it has been. Whether you take the analogy of a phoenix rising from the ashes, or look at a pile of poop and think there has to be a pony in here somewhere, my lessons have been deep and life-changing.
As I say in my writer’s bio, my rose-colored glasses may have bent frames and cracked lenses, but I always seem to clean them off and shove them back on my face. And for that resilience and plain old bull-headedness, I am also grateful.