Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A time for thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and though I try to remind myself daily that my life is full of blessings, it seems especially relevant to do so in light of the holiday.

I am thankful for my family. Not just for all of the generic love and togetherness stuff, but because I am lucky enough to have amazing people to whom I am related. I appreciate my mother's understanding, my father's sense of humor, my brothers' goofiness and friendship, my sister-in-law's upbeat personality, my grandmothers' ability to triumph through adversity, my boyfriend's sense of adventure, my cousins' unique fabulosity (it's a made-up word... so what?), my aunts' advice, and my uncles' protectiveness.

I am thankful for my friends. Again, it's not just because there are people with whom I can hang out and have a good time, but because my friends are unique and wonderful. I won't mention them all by name, but I will say that it's wonderful to have friends who love to talk about books, friends who are up for adventure, friends who are musical, friends who like theatre, friends who I can call late at night, friends who know my past, friends who will be part of my future.

I am thankful for a place to live. It's not just any place to live; we just moved in this month, and I love it. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to paint the walls, to decorate, to reorganize, and to clear out the clutter. I am thankful that I have room to move in this house. I am thankful that I can walk to the post office, the grocery store, and into town. I love that it's in a part of the world that I think of as home. Most of all, I am thankful to have a comfortable place to call my own (even if it's just a rental).

I am thankful for fuzzy friends like the hedgehogs, dogs, hairless rats, and other pets I have had the privilege of knowing over the years. (I am also thankful for non-fuzzy pets!) Animals give us such strength and comfort; I believe that they are every bit as soulful as people. I also love learning about the work people do with animals like Koko the Gorilla (who has been taught to sign with humans) and service animals who help their owners overcome a number of challenges.

I am thankful for language. I love to read and I love to write; I realize that if I had grown up in another country I might not have had such easy access to books and language. I might not have had an opportunity to be educated and to come to love words. My life would be very different without words and language. I also love American Sign Language — it's a beautiful language and one that I feel privileged to learn.

I am thankful for my faith and the ability and strength to believe what I want to believe. My faith is a hodgepodge of beliefs and customs from a variety of religions (for a breakdown of your own medley of beliefs, try taking the Belief-O-Matic), but it is completely me. Having faith helps me get up in the morning and say thank you before I go to bed at night, and for that kind of calm and comfort, I am eternally grateful.

Most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity to be me. I am grateful that I am able to see my family when I want, love whom I choose, live where I want, interact with animals, speak my mind, read about everything, and keep the faith. I know that many people don't feel comfortable expressing who they are because of where they live or who they live with. I am thankful to have been blessed with a pretty good life, overall, and the opportunity to be me — flaws and all!Happy Thanksgiving!


Bruce Coltin said...

Have a warm and cozy Thanksgiving, Danielle.

Danielle E. Brown said...

Thanks, Bruce -- you too!