Necessary Gratitude

Confused Trees

(trees confused by a 65 degree November day)

Rain

(fairy lights waiting to freeze)

November is hitting particularly hard here. Even halfway through a four day holiday weekend, I feel submerged. I am having trouble dragging myself through basic routines, much less finding creative and social energy to be a teacher/student/sister/daughter/friend – much less do a good job at any of the above.

The good news is that I have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.

  1. My family, of which I have both quantity and quality, who I got to spend time with this week – including far-off siblings from Missouri and the Northern Michigan alike.
  2. My sister, who I will miss spending holidays with, but who is happy and thriving in her new religious life. (She and the rest of my family were interviewed and appeared briefly on a certain popular daytime television show.)
  3. A job I care deeply about and which never bores me.
  4. Students who amuse, frustrate, challenge, and inspire me daily.
  5. Hugs and student artwork that can combat any amount of sadness.
  6. A reliable vehicle. (This is a strange new development for me, even months later.)
  7. A salary and healthcare, in a state where many are lacking.
  8. The knowledge that I can put food on my own table (or into my mouth while standing at the counter, driving my car, or working on lesson plans…)
  9. A house full of fine folks and fuzzy felines.
  10. Creative opportunities to fill in the in-between spaces.
  11. A very nice lens to look at the world through.
  12. Friday night teacher dates.
  13. Sunday morning breakfasts.
  14. Expensive coffee, cheap wine, and local beer.
  15. A dying garden and local food canned in the pantry.
  16. A town full of things to do and places I can walk to.
  17. Nearly a quarter century(!) of experience and insight.
  18. A seldom-appreciated goldmine of mistakes I can learn from.
  19. Most importantly, a plethora of amazing people who I can really never get enough of.
  20. Even in grey November emotional sludge, enough perspective for at least 20 bullet points of gratitude…
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