Sunday, November 29, 2015

List: 2015 Thanksgiving Gratitudes

My multiple, ample, excessive cups runneth over.  I am pausing to appreciate the bounty.

Gratitudes:

1.  My husband with infinite patience for my job and its demands, as well as my habits... He's a rare find, this man, this father, this more-than-co-partner.  He inspires me with his patience, awareness of local and global issues, and earnest desire to teach, guide, and love our girls and pets.

2.  My daughters, who in their own unique ways give to their world, to their family, and to me.  As they and I grow older, I more deeply recognize how they reflect and gently guide me to be their better model and supporter.  Big Sis has discipline and drive as well as creativity and tenderness for family. Middle Sis celebrates a joie de vivre (goofiness) that is contagious, and a natural penchant for taking care of younger children. Tootsie is a force of nature, survivor of minor mishaps, talented copycat, and keen observer of all that occurs around her. Thank goodness she, our last, is a snuggler, too.

3.  My parents who are here and available for great conversation, family meals, childcare, professional mentorship, cheerleading, appropriate course corrections, financial assistance, grandparental cheerleading and support, and a safe place where we can flock.

4.  Extended family and friends who are wise and honest as well as forgiving and loyal and generous, and who step in, pick up our kids, create cousin company and aunt and uncle admiration, offer guidance, make us laugh, reassure, invite us over as well as come over, and support us unconditionally through life's mishaps.

5.  My job, which affords me the opportunity to bask every day in the company of people who exemplify what's possible:   Inspiring, creative, selfless professionals dedicated to enriching young people's minds and souls; and teenagers who are hilarious, infinitely intelligent, bursting with energy and potential, generous, insightful, wise beyond their years, and daily reminders that we adults don't know or control everything. Working in a public school is real work with real people and real rewards, and I'm grateful that the days that await me are full of problem solving, dreaming, teaching and learning, and evidence of what matters. 

6. Our neighborhood of community givers, activists, artists, business owners, non-profit supporters, hard workers, volunteers, and dreamers. How I love this place we've invested in and where we've bought two homes. Our environment boasts canyons, parks, playgrounds, trails, craftsman homes, hills, narrow streets, old trees, raccoons, coyotes, opossum, skunk, hawks, squirrels, rabbits, and tumbleweeds. 

7.  Our daughters' schools:  We are in our tenth year of appreciating the play-oriented, multi-age, loving preschool which has helped raise our girls. Middle Sis is attending our incredible neighborhood elementary school with its loyal and passionate teachers, tireless parent and community volunteers, and unparalleled performing arts, garden, and enrichment programs. Big Sis attends a large urban middle school where her teachers and peers, who represent true international diversity, inspire her. We love that these schools give awards for qualities and attributes versus achievements, and invite us to both shadow and participate in our kids' daily educational experiences.  

8.  My health and the health of my loved ones, which I do not take for granted. 

9.  Our house, which has had to compete with our cozy first home, but which has won me over with its peace and quiet, windows, space, views, safe cul de sac for Big Wheel races and skateboarding, and room for guests and gatherings. 

10.  Human tenderness:  One of life's pleasures is noticing the sweet spots, when siblings love on one another, when teammates share a victory or poignant loss, when acts of kindness happen spontaneously out there in the world.  I feel like I am often front row for those beautiful moments which make living worth it and humanity make sense.  

 Additional Gratitudes:

1.  Good books, good art, and good music.  I am so fortunate to know people who create all three, and my early mornings and late evenings rely on their accessibility and power to deepen my sense of my own existence.  
2.  Those who "let it go."  Ain't got time to hold on to grudges, dwell on disturbances, and generally make big deals. I am increasingly grateful for and drawn to people who keep moving forward, focused on solutions, and with a better, peaceful world in mind.  (After venting over a pint or glass).  
3.  Our coffeemaker with a timer (and the guy who loads it each evening).  My morning cup of coffee, secured before my morning pee, is an indulgence I appreciate EVERY DAY. 
4.  My iPad:  Its lit screen has allowed me to read with the lights off while our baby/toddler slumbers beside me. My books, my music, articles, photos, Facebook...all here.  
5.  Running.  Also known as jogging, limping, leaping, stumbling...we'll take it all.  
6.  Youth Soccer:  Our daughters play a lot of soccer and we spend a lot of time at games.  But the sidelines are where we've met amazing families and learned a few things about the culture of our neighborhood, kids' sports, and parenting.  
7.  Beautiful things and places:  The moon, my friend's living room, beach rocks at sunset, cloudscapes, that necklace, twinkling lights, flowers, architecture, fonts, the pattern on that fabric, your haircut, a garden.  
8.  Food:  I'm fortunate to have a brother who is a chef, a daughter who is a foodie, and a CSA box full of fresh vegetables each week.  I love cooking; I love combining flavors; I love the privilege of eating something different every day.   
9.  Comfy clothes.  The older I get, the more I appreciate an outfit comparable to mashed potatoes.  Soft, warm, unobtrusive, dependable, goes with anything.
10.  Funny stuff:  jokes, memes, videos, stories, our toddler, your mishap, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert...it's such a serious place, this world.  Cats afraid of cucumbers can make it all okay.  

1 comment:

Laura McNeal said...

That was even better than coffee. What a nice thing to read first thing in the morning!