When I was a kid, I loved it when my birthday would fall right after Thanksgiving. Yes, the leftovers were fantastic (who couldn’t fall in lust with fried stuffing pancakes rolled in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried?). Yes, I was and always will be, thankful for the delicious food I was exposed to as a child and into adulthood. But the older I got, I realized life offered me so more more to be thankful for, especially now as I’m heading into my 50s with full-force.
It’s not that I haven’t stopped to realize that I am thankful every day, but like most of us caught up in the daily grind of life, I simply forgot to set aside a little time to stop. Pause. Breathe. Close my eyes. Let the rest of my sensory perceptions take hold.
This weekend is no different but yet it is because I am not in the same situation, place and time I was last year. Last year this time, I struggled with “Bertha” – for those of you that have read my previous blogs months ago, I probably shared a lot about my health issues, the importance of being healthy for yourself not for others and the “health responsibility jar.”
While those are all important to me, what’s more important with time passing are my connections with people. Especially my personal relationships. My marriage. My step-daughters. My parents. My brother. My close friends near and far.
Being thankful can be simply letting those you love around you that you care enough to stay connected to them. If you haven’t given much thought lately to your loved ones, I highly recommend that you do that especially since the holiday season often demands our time away from them with our duties and obligations.
Yet, shouldn’t our love and commitment to our personal relationships outweigh duty and obligation? It should not just be a duty and obligation, but rather a fulfillment to aspire, inspire, encourage, stretch and challenge ourselves to improve the quality of those relationships?
Think about it. How many of you are devoted, lock-stock-and-barrel loyal to your job? to your profession? to your career? What is the single-most important thing to you at this very moment?
More than likely, it is probably not a personal relationship. It could be, but most of the time what from what I observed in my short period here on earth (only 5 decades and 2 years worth, that is) – is that people get so caught up in material concerns, things that will probably not matter in the eternal scheme of things.
Yet like fish in a bowl, we keep circling around the same route daily, in and out whether we like it or not. Why is that? Why don’t we change the route? Why don’t we create a different environment?
Why don’t we take the time to stop and be thankful for the way our heart continuously beats so that the blood circulation in our bodies continue without impediment or congestion?
Because a lot of times, change is not easy for human beings. We may think we are flexible, accommodating and even willing to bend over backwards for others who don’t even give damn that we do.
yet when it comes down to personal relationships – people who love us and care about us – we often overlook and take for granted thinking they will always be there.
Turning 52 yesterday wasn’t a big deal. What was a big deal was spending the day with the man I love. He actually arranged to work over-time on Thanksgiving so he could take the day to spend time with me on my birthday.
He remembered our wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago and brought me flowers and a beautiful card (he always gives me beautifully-written cards). He is not a man that shows a lot of emotion on his face. In fact, hardly. He can come across as detached, logical and very laser-focused on anything technical. A basic geek. But, he’s MY geek. Mine alone.
His feelings show in the cards he gives me. Taking me out to wherever I want to go for lunch or dinner. His feelings show in the actions though in our private times he is very affectionate, loving, gentle and tender. To the rest of the world, he is not afraid to simply flip the bird and shut them out when it comes to me.
I saw that same devotion and love in how he took care of me last year when I was recovering from a rotator cuff surgery. Not my favorite time since it practically wiped out any reason to celebrate last Thanksgiving, birthday and Christmas.
But he was still there. Being my caretaker and caregiver. Making sure I was comfortable. Even built me a rolling TV card and set up a computer monitor so I could watch my old fave detective shows on YouTube. He even measured the width and depth of the card so the space under it fit when I pushed up the recliner.
Was I thankful? Definitely.
In more than words can ever say, this man – my husband, my partner, my lover, my companion who always has more thoughts for me than I probably do for him (and I’m being truly honest here) is the reason I am more than thankful he is in my life.
He is a gift that I often feel am not worthy for – yet we are together.
He is a blessing that I often feel don’t deserve – yet by the grace of God, this wonderful, funny, Estonian Viking, Blonde, grey-blue eyes and gorgeous to me….is all mine. Mine to have and to hold for as long as we both shall live.
Knowing he is going thru his own set of health challenges (don’t we all, as we age?) and him being willing to adjust to lifestyle changes (especially since we’re both foodies–but now on a more plant-based slant)…willing to quit drinking alcohol and wanting to be healthier….he inspires me to be even better without ever realizing it.
I am thankful for my life but it goes way beyond just being thankful or even grateful – my life is all about change and growing in character – even now in my 50s – and I’m willing to embrace every single moment, good or bad, because that is what life is all about. Change. Growth. Life. Death.