And so, here we are … another Thanksgiving. Funny how it rolls around each year about this time, huh? I guess years and holidays and such have a way of doing that. The whole “cycle” thing. Sometimes, I feel like it all just rolls right over me with big, knobbly wheels — like the ones on those monster trucks that crush all the smaller cars.
Honestly, this hasn’t been the easiest year for me so far. And it’s not even over yet. It’s been emotionally draining and hectic and annoying and … I dunno. A whole lot of other adjectives that I really don’t have the energy to think of at this moment. The thing is, I’m not sure I feel all that thankful. Lately, I mostly feel pissed off — at myself, at my parents, at my body, at the universe, at God. This is bad because I am not one of those people who handles this level of “pissed off” well. There are some people who, when faced with a giant mess of crap-fest in their lives, suck it up … dig deep … tow the line … etc. Cliched sports sayings aside, the point is that these folks use their anger to find something better or more worthy within themselves. They use this energy to make a difference for themselves or for the world around them. They don’t let life get them down, but, instead, end up sending a big, fat “screw you!” into the face of the universe, coming out on the other side victorious — with high-fives all around. I admire these people. I mean, we all admire them, right?
But, I kind of hate them, too. Just a little.
Because I’m not one of those happy-go-lucky, plucky-courage types of people. When faced with a huge level of pissed off-ness, I tend to wallow. Wallow in my anger. Wallow in my despair. Wallow in my uncertainty. Wallow, wallow, wallow. It’s not pretty. Or fun.
And so today, I have decided that I should be thankful. It is “Thanksgiving”, after all. A whole day that should be dedicated to the warm-fuzzy feeling of thankfulness. I think this is particularly important for me this year, because of the whole anger at the universe thing. So, when I got up this morning, I told myself I wasn’t going to be mad any more. I was going to be thankful, instead. I was going to find something — anything — about which I could feel happy and satisfied and blessed.
I thought it would be hard. I’m very out of practice with this, after all. But, you know what? It turned out that it really wasn’t difficult. Because I feel thankful for the little things. Today I spent time with good friends. I laughed. I watched my daughter ride a scooter. I heard her laughter carry on the chilly wind. I smelled the crisp, cold bite in the air — the promise of snow to come. I snuggled with a big, fluffy dog. And then came home to snuggle with my own (less fluffy, much more muddy) dogs. I made green bean casserole. I sat on the sofa next to my husband and felt loved. I ate pie. I saw a funny movie. I told jokes and stories. I shared old memories. I made new ones. I hugged my daughter. I watched her paint a nutcracker. I listened to squirrels scurry through the dry leaves. I took a walk.
Sometimes, when you pile all the little things around you, you realize they’re not so little, after all. Those little things really are the big things. They are the things that give us the strength to get up in the morning — even if we feel we can’t face one more day. They are the things we carry with us, to light our way through the dark times in our hearts. They are the things that will linger after we are gone. They are the very fabric of our lives: love and hope and joy and laughter.
Yes, Universe, I am still mad at you. I don’t understand the way you work, or why things seem to come so easily to some people and not to others. I don’t think you are fair. I know you’re not fair. Yes, I am pissed off.
But I am also blessed. And thankful — so very, very thankful — for the big pile of little things in my life.