Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude. Bah Humbug.

I've been feeling an awful lot of that "humbug" feeling lately. The holiday season is upon us again with all its demands on our time and dollars, heralded by the turkey trumpets of Thanksgiving. I'm too busy and worn out to do the holidays this year! And then I started reading how grateful everybody is, which made me roll my eyes. Oh joy of joys, here we go again. Once a year we all haul out our blessings list and start sharing. Whatever.

This anti-Thanksgiving grumpiness was getting out of control, so today I FORCED myself to think about what I'm grateful for. Come on, Terena, give it a try. You're reacting to the demands other people create around the holidays and how they should be celebrated. Really, Thanksgiving is a relaxing and friendly holiday; all we do is share food with our loved ones and think about what makes us thankful.

After taking a deep breath I proclaimed, "I can do that."

So here's my list of what I am grateful for:

I am grateful that my daughter still knows how to laugh despite all the annoying doctor appointments and therapies and the endless blood tests.

I am grateful she is growing and learning and becoming more beautiful, inside and out, every day.

I am grateful that we've managed to keep our house this long, even though we're both unemployed.

I am grateful for indoor plumbing and heat.

I am grateful for my friends who stand by me and Queen Teen no matter what, and who are not afraid of her disabilities.

I am grateful for Whole Foods Gluten Free Peanut Butter cookies.

I am grateful that my car passed 200,000 miles and still runs so well.

I am grateful that I'm in grad-school learning a trade that will not only provide me with a good paying job, but will be beneficial to others.

I am grateful to the internet for allowing me to share my thoughts and read the stories of others.

I am grateful for my husband who loves me and supports all of my wild ideas (a small press?!) and who chose to be Queen Teen's dad even though he knew she was disabled and would need a lot of extra help.

And I am grateful that my husband and I have the same, dark and twisted sense of humor. It keeps us going.

After I wrote this list, I realized that I have a great deal to be grateful for, from the mundane (I'm grateful for a washer and dryer in my own home) to the global (I am grateful I don't live in Afghanistan). Even though life is difficult right now, with so many challenges there are days I literally have to bury my head under a pillow to scream, I still have so much in my life that is good and joyful. Okay, I get it. This is why people write down their blessings and focus on being grateful. The hard, scary, weary times can quickly block out any feelings of happiness in a day if you let them. By remembering what is good in your life, the bad times lose some of their power.

It's what Thanksgiving is about. I'll try not to forget that.

Go ahead and write your own list, and if you want to share your gratitude's, I'd love to read them.


CC said...

You DO have a lot to be grateful for! Great list! :):)

leah said...

That's a good list. I had avoided doing the oh-so-cliche "Thanksgiving" post, but maybe I'll do one anyway.

Ellen said...

Terena, I love your voice. And dark, twisted sense of humor. I was actually thinking about doing the stuff I'm NOT grateful for (e.g., therapists who tell you do do 345,975 activities with your kids—BY NEXT WEEK), but chickened out.


Elizabeth said...

I like the dark and twisted humor part -- I think that's what's drawn me to your blog because I share that. I often say that what gets me through is a half-assed belief in grace and the divine and a wicked sense of humor.