Grasping for Gratitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’ve been floundering trying to figure out my gratitude list. I think we’re all in agreement that 2016 has just been a complete shitshow of heartbreaking celebrity deaths, the rise of White Nationalism, terrorism and shootings, school bus accidents and personal struggles. I’ve spent most of this year in an anxiety spiral, bursting into tears at the drop of a hat, not sleeping and hoping that today isn’t the day I die from a ragestroke.

But I love Thanksgiving! I love cooking all of the foods. I love staying home on Thursday and maybe visiting family on Saturday. I even like going shopping on Friday. Most of all, I like reflecting on the year that has passed and finding my joys. It is an accounting we all do far too infrequently and that’s what makes this holiday special to me, even during terrible times. And in that spirit, here are the things that I’m grateful for right now.

  • My family, of course. My guy, who makes it possible for me to be crazy sometimes without my world falling apart, who supports me and keeps me in clean underpants. Cal, for kicking ass his first year in high school and for being the sweetest even as he enters the teenage hell years. Charlie, who started a new school as well and we can see the progress he’s made and how much happier he is now. My giant crew of parents, siblings and nieces (15 total so far) who I don’t see nearly enough, but love to the moon and back and know I can turn to at any time and also mostly share my political views so I don’t have that stress that so many others do.
  • My bad ass girl gang, who clicked into place this year and has been a source of constant joy in my life. They make me laugh and cheer and fill me with inspiration.
  • My doctors, who have maybe finally figured out all my physical and psychiatric problems. I feel better mentally than I have ever before and I’m on my way physically. To anyone with a chronic illness, you know how magical it can be to suddenly feel well.
  • The internet – which, yes, can be a cesspool of hate and violence, but is also filled with amazing, inclusive, supportive communities that have opened my mind to the struggles of others. I also find rad recipes and dumb animal pictures and these are the little celebrations that get me through the day.
  • Books. Always. My first and deepest love (sorry Scott), books have always been there for me and they always will. Reading is my favorite way to spend my time and this year has rocked on this front. There’s an amazing app called Litsy that has given me a community of bibliophiles that is positive and focused and gorgeous. I’ve read some truly amazing books that delve into race and feminism and have made me think and cry and work to be a better person.
  • My job with an estate sale company because I love my bosses and going through other people’s stuff and organizing. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to a desk job again.

I’m sure there’s more, and as I’ve written this, I’ve realized that even though there are things going on right now that scare me and infuriate me and fill me with sorrow, I still have so much. Life is a constant balancing act and right now I’m trying to focus on the positive. I hope you can do the same. Happy Thanksgiving, may your day be filled with deliciousness and relaxation. And please don’t let your family get you down. xoxoxo

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