It's November. I've turned 34 and had a most excellent birthday. The entire day was special and I felt very loved. My dear friends were glorious and I just wanted to squeeze their little necks to death. I mean what more could a girl ask for? But now it's time to turn our thoughts toward Thanksgiving and what that means to Americans. Dear god that's a loaded statement.
When I was a kid my family used to take turns talking about what we were most thankful for. As my sister and I aged, so did the maturity of our gratefulness. It went from "I'm thankful for my toys" to "I am thankful for you". This year I have done a lot of reflecting over the past 12 months since the last Thanksgiving and I know what I'm most thankful for. So, here you are in no particular order.
I'm thankful I never dated guys named Paul, Barry, or Don. For some reason I've never found myself attracted to these names. But as Shakespeare would say..."What's in a name?" A lot apparently. I'm so picky.
I'm grateful for plenty of vegetarian options. When I stopped eating mammals and birds 7 years ago, I was a little frightened that I wouldn't find much in the way to delicious food. WRONG! It's very easy to find eats and create non-meat options.
I'm happy for pets. Pets are such a gift and can be a very rewarding partnership on lonely nights when you just want a warm body to curl up with. They don't judge or hold grudges. They just love on you and expect you to be their heated furniture on cold nights. I love my fur babies!
I'm thankful for music. Without music my life, our lives would lack beauty and creativity. Music helps us express our feelings and find solace. It can be a good friend and a muse when the words just don't come to us. With or without lyrics, music is the acknowledgment of the spirit and soul. Brilliant minds like Beethoven and Mozart gave us symphonies to enlighten and delight our senses and wake up our hidden feelings - good and bad. Music can lead to dance, dance can lead to expression, expression leads to freedom. Thank you for the music!
Lip balm! Thank god for lip balm! It's one addiction I'm not ashamed of and should I ever be an investor, it will be in Chapstick. I'm proud of my moisturized lips and I will never be caught without a tube of lip balm on my person. It is as essential to my well being as water and rest. Love you lip balm! You've never let me down!
I'm so very grateful for the moon. What a beautiful, mysterious, glorious gift in the sky. When she's full, she's magnificent. And in the crescent, half, new, or barely seen stages, she's always there to remind me that natural beauty is always present to those who choose to look up. The moon is a gift that can be enjoyed alone, or with the people you love. There is a magic to stopping and staring into the sky to gaze in wonder of something so huge, so far away, but always and forever looking down on us begging to be noticed. I'm very sorry for those who don't take time to peer. Just look up!
Finally, and most importantly, I am extremely thankful for my family and friends. 2011 has been a challenging year of loss. From death to separation, it has been overwhelmingly rough at times. And all throughout those difficult moments, I've been blessed to have the love and support of my dear ones. I could never ask for more nor could I have ever imagined how beautifully lucky I would be to have these people in my life. My parents and sister are a treasure. Together we've experienced grief and pain and pulled together as a tightly knit unit to lift and uphold one another. We've also experienced indescribable joy together from delighting in the most simple moments in life. My parents taught me that love is the center of our life force. It is the unexplainable emotion that drives us to live passionately and love without regret. My sister taught me to express my heart and not fear the truth that lies deep inside my spirit. I love my family. I look at them and see where I'm from and where I can go because no matter what, they have granted me with the gifts of love and I carry them in my heart at all times. Thank god for you, family. Thank god. I love you with every piece of my heart. I love you.
Likewise with my beautiful friends. I cannot fathom a life without wonderful friends. What a gift to have a family to love you and then find friends who love you as much as those who welcomed you into this world. They are my companions, my confidants, my entertainment, and my favorite part of each day. And no matter how many times I tell them I love them, it never seems enough considering how much they've given me that can never be counted in material wealth. And no matter what lies in the future, I have been gifted to share this time with them and I value every beautiful second. Thank you my loves. You inspire me to be my best and allow me to be my ugliest. You are handed to me from God and that should never go unacknowledged. I love you all.