There are lots of things to be grateful for at Thanksgiving: You don’t have to go shopping (except for food), you don’t have to wrap gifts, (or return them), you don’t have to do a lot of decorating, (okay, pumpkins, and gourds, and maybe those dried corn husk things, but it’s no big deal.) In the end, it’s all about cooking and eating and talking about cooking and eating…and loving every single bite.
Oh, and there is one other thing: It’s supposed to be about using this once-a-year moment to remind ourselves – and the people we love - of what’s good, what’s joyful, what’s working in our lives; what we’re grateful for. That might be a switch for a lot of us right now since a focus on what’s not working and what’s lacking and what’s just plain wrong has pretty much taken over our attention. But we can change that.
I saw this quote recently and it hit home: “Abundance is a state of mind derived from gratitude” - Ann Pereira. Good, right? So here’s an idea: Along with the cooking and eating, the joking and laughing, the hugging and kissing…what about celebrating and actually being grateful for…what we already have in abundance?
It could be almost anything. It all counts. Here are just a few things on my “abundance” list. But I know I’ll be adding more any minute…
- An abundance of love: All of us love each other. A lot. My daughters, Kate, (and her wonderful husband, David,) and Abigail and all our wonderful, loving animals (thanks to Abigail) with more added all the time, of course… And not only do we love each other; we tell each other – especially on Thanksgiving…
- An abundance of humor: We get a huge kick out of each other – (humor shows up as a key theme in most of our conversations – or actions.) To say we crack each other up with frequency is a gross understatement.
- An abundance of gutsiness: We’re not reckless but, thanks to the support we give each other, we can put ourselves out there – and take what comes – with open arms…
- An abundance of energy: If one of us runs out of steam, another of us will fan the flames of his or her enthusiasm and help them get back in the game.
- An abundance of beauty…and warmth: Thanks to the “creative spirits” in the family, I know when I look around that Thanksgiving table, I’ll be thrilled with everything: the lighting, the music, the way the food looks on the plates, the way everything smells, the way our daughters’ beauiful faces glow in the candlelight…(we all have candle fetishes…)
- An abundance of the wonderful “little stuff” that adds up: Like our crazy, loving, just-turned-a-year-old puppy, Domino stretched out on the sofa by the fire, taking in the delicious smells and waiting for the chance to grab a morsel when no one’s looking. And the sound of her teeth grinding on her “Thanksgiving Bone,” all the while thumping her tail to let us know she’s grateful, too. And our new addition, Mack, a gorgeous black and white cat we adopted from The Little Guild of St. Francis where Abigail is the impassioned Executive Director.
For me, it just doesn’t get any better than this. I don’t need anything else. I’m not lacking anything. My life abounds in abundance. And I know it.
Whenever precious moments like these occurred in my life, my mom always said, “Wrap your arms around them, Sweetheart.” I can hear her now.
“I will, Mom.”