Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Turkey Day.

Open your newspaper.  Go on...  War, poverty, crime, politics.  Ok, a little bit of quarterbacks and comics, too.  Even look inside our own lives and sometimes it feels all you find is frustration, stress, and burdens that seem too heavy to bear.  In the midst of all that, there's something to like about a holiday whose entire purpose has become to force us to reflect on what good there is in our lives.  Instead of focusing on the negative, we get this day to look deeply into ourselves and find what it is we have that makes it worth getting up in the morning.

Family.  Love.  Food to eat and a place to live.  Friends with which to share our joys and hardships.  A job to work.  Your morning cup of coffee.  That moment of quiet after the children have gone to bed.  The first bite of chocolate.  The pink that tinges a morning sky.  Health.  A whispered "I love you, Mommy."

There are no "yeah, but"s on Thanksgiving.  We don't get to find our blessings and then explain them away, focusing on what's NOT okay.  No, today is about the good.  We take the time to find it.  We get to wrap ourselves up in it, revel in it, wear the good as a badge of honor.    On this day, we don't even have to apologize for the good.  On this day, embracing the good and ignoring the bad doesn't make you a braggart... it makes you Thanksgivingified.

When you sift through the hard stuff, what do you find?

This year, I find myself especially thankful for friendship...  new friendships, old friendships.  I'm thankful for forgiveness.  I'm thankful for understanding.  I'm deeply thankful for trust.  I'm thankful for friendship in the ordinary, and friendship in places I never expected.  I'm thankful for those who accept me for who I am, and love me anyway... I'm thankful for compassion, laughter, and words of kindness.

And if you're reading this, I'm probably thankful for you.

Tomorrow, when I get up... and it's no longer Thanksgiving...  when the turkey has been eaten, the last bit of pumpkin pie consumed...  there will still be hard things.  But there will also still be good, and I think the good will always outlast the hard.  I will still be very blessed... going to sleep with a smile on my lips, and waking up with a song in my heart.

*kinda feel like I should cue the Full House music right about now*

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Personal Challenge

"Be the actor of your own life and not the spectator of mine."  

That's perhaps worded more strongly than I would write the sentiment... but maybe it's the force of the statement that made me sit up and wince.  Have you ever been guilty of this?  I know I have.  What is it that makes us get so focused on what the people around us are doing, and completely neglect to give the same attention to our own actions?

"Did you see what Jessica wore to the party on Friday??"  "Have you heard what Kevin said to Terri?"  "Can you believe the way Erin was throwing herself at Rick?"  "Dear Jesus... please forgive Lori for her drinking problem."

On the one hand, I'm not sure what it is that makes us think that we are so perfect that we could survive the same scrutiny from those around us.  But on the other, if we gave the same attention to our own actions, devoted the same energy that we do to criticizing others' faults to minimizing our own, concentrated on making our own lives better, rather than ripping others' apart... how much richer would our lives be?

I challenge myself to this in the coming week...  every time I'm tempted to criticize someone else for the choices they've made or the actions they're taking, I will instead look to myself and find something personal to devote that energy to.

We'll just see what ends up happier...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

Joel:  I cannot find sweet potatoes anywhere.

Me:  What do you mean?  They should be RIGHT THERE by the potatoes.  Are you looking at 7-11?

Joel:  No!  I've looked at Fred Meyer and QFC... I swear they aren't there.

Me:  I think you're on crack.

Joel:  Yes.  Yes, I said 'I can't find any sweet potatoes... I think I'll go get some crack instead.'

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