On Thanksgiving eve, my son bounded in from an early dismissal at school day and threw his arms, both of them, around my waist. Of course he then tried to make me lose my footing and fall to the ground but I choose to concentrate on the positive aspects of that encounter. He hugged me. Hard. And even though I was on the phone in the middle of an important business dealing, I took one hand off the receiver and hugged him back.
Moments like that, I’m sorry to say, are becoming fewer and farther between. My family, just like yours, is rushed. We get out of the bed, we are rushing, we get home, we are rushing, rushing to music, rushing to volleyball games, rushing to doctor’s appointments, rush, rush, rush. Rush has become the fifth member of our family and not a welcome one. But that is the pace with which we live life. A necessary evil, if you will. But on this, the day we stop for a second to give thanks, I want to slow down for a minute to count all the blessings I have.
MY FAMILY: You may all be rolling your eyes now because what in the hell else would a woman who calls herself Good Enough Mother say? But for as crazy as they make me and as my life is, I would be like a rudderless ship without them. It seemed like only a minute ago that I was in the hospital with Casey, remembering that I had NO IDEA about the size of this little creature or that the outfit I brought for her to wear home from the hospital she would literally be swimming in! She was amazing and the spirit she has now, gentle and kind, was evident even back then.
Same goes for Cole. He was a take-no-prisoners kind of kid from the time they snatched him from my womb. This was the kid with who slept with his fists balled up, like he was itching for a fight. At three weeks old. Yeah, we knew then what we were in for.
Of course, they would not be here were it not for the union of Buff and me. In all my years of kissing frogs I had yet to happen upon the prince who would help me achieve my full potential. Heck I didn’t even know what that was. At times I’m still not sure. But I know I have a partner as I try to figure that out. It’s a comforting feeling to go to bed at night knowing with all the people who have knives out for you, at least one person has your back. I include in this category, my extended family, mother and sister. Thanks everyone.
FRIENDS: I know, I know, more eye rolling but I think this year demonstrated to me in a real and tangible way the importance of friends. I have always been blessed to have people around me but again, just like Buff, it’s another thing when there are people who believe in you so much they would take a figurative bullet for you. Not because they have to but because they want to.
HEALTH: I’ve had my challenges the last several years including a preventive mastectomy and a hospital stay that precipitated my hair loss and awakened me about my natural hair but on the whole I have been really blessed. I have to work a little harder to physically keep what I’ve got and the aches and pains are a little more frequent than they were 20, even 10 years ago, but the old broad is still hanging on.
OLIVIA: Should I be thankful for my yellow lab? Well it doesn’t matter whether I should, all I know is I am. She is the most loyal pet I have ever had and honestly is the only one who is truly happy to see my in the morning. When I went through some really tough stuff at the beginning of this year, this dog never left my side. She also insists that we get out and do some form of exercise everyday. My big butt thanks her for that.
GETTING FIRED: I know that’s a weird thing to be thankful for but losing my job at CBS several years ago started me on my current path. I learned about self-reliance, how to build an audience online and honestly I found the voice I would never have been able to express has I been on air there. That is not to say there were not some hard times; anytime you lose a job and the accompanying income, it’s tough. Nevertheless everyday there is something new and exciting that happens with Good Enough Mother.
I taught myself (with the help of YouTube) that right there on my Mac, I have an audio suite from which to record podcasts and a place to edit videotape. But those are the technical things; the bigger issues were I taught myself to take/make a platform instead of waiting for one to be handed to me. I know that would not have happened had I still been clocking in right over there at West 57th street. When I lost my job, I had a friend say “this will probably be the best thing to ever happen to you.” At the time I wanted to extend my middle finger. What the hell did he know about what I was going through? Guess what? He was so right. This thanks goes to the head of CBS news who told me to get lost!
There are a few other things I have on my list, a college education, reliable transportation, a beautiful home (even with its paper shades, a remnant from our extensive renovation) and relatively little debt. So when I sit down at the Thanksgiving table, preparing to dive into the feast my husband of nearly 17 years has slaved over, I will put those things at the top of my list and know I am blessed.
But what about you? What are you thankful for this year? I’d love to hear your blessings…