Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

I’ve had people asking for the past week or so about my Thanksgiving plans.

Are you having company? How are you celebrating? Will you be lonely? Is anyone bringing you a plate of their Thanksgiving feast to share?

I’m thankful for people caring so much about me that they think about my Thanksgiving, and am so very blessed to be cared for the way that I am by people I’ve never even met. It never ceases to amaze me, although it really shouldn’t considering how invested I am in the lives of all of you as well.

In truth, I don’t have Thanksgiving plans simply because it’s not possible. My family will be at my parents’ house for a “Thanksmas” celebration, mixing two holidays into one. I obviously can’t travel, and it would be impossible for me to be around such a large group anyway because the odds of all 21 people being healthy at the same time are probably not in my favor. When I used to be able to get out of the house but couldn’t take the long car ride, I always had friends’ homes to go to, and am thankful for all the years they included me as family. But now I stay in my air-purified home and am thankful for the opportunity it affords me to breathe easier.

As was evidenced just this past Easter… I’ve never lacked in the food department on the holidays I’ve spent here alone. I often found it funny because no less than three friends, sometimes as many as five, would drop off a plate of food for me so I wasn’t missing out on the traditions… which means I probably had enough food in my house to last a week of celebrating! But this year, with the new food allergy issues, I can’t take the risk of eating foods without knowing what’s in them and how they’re prepared, so I’ll be sticking to the items in my own fridge for my Thanksgiving feast.

So, with one road block after another stopping me from the traditions of holidays past… you’d think I’d be really sad about missing out on everything. I sat down to write this after hanging up with a friend who said she was so bummed for me that I would be here alone on the holiday… because I realized that it’s really not bothering me very much at all.

And I couldn’t figure out why.

I mean, of course I’d love to be with all of my family again. Sure, I’d prefer to get out of the house and socialize with my friends. And YES, diving into mashed potatoes would have been delightful. It’s not that I prefer this.

It’s that I’ve learned to appreciate this.

I’ve learned to appreciate the simplicity in my moments. I’ve learned that being thankful in everything is more important than being thankful for something. I want to be grateful for everything in my life, not just the special moments.

I’m thankful for the years of traditions, and I’m thankful that now I get to reflect on them, remember them, cherish them. I’m thankful to know that my family will be together and my nieces and nephews look forward to seeing each other again. I appreciate hearing my friends’ stories about their family get-togethers and the insanity that always ensues. And, while I’m not in the middle of all of the festivities, I am still immersed in the blessings of my everyday life.

  • I am thankful for the system that purifies the air in my condo so I can breathe.
  • I am thankful for the opportunity to live in the comfort of this condo that is so perfectly suited to me and my needs.
  • I’m thankful for the program that allows me to hire someone to do my shopping for me and clean my home, so I can live independently.
  • I’m thankful for my home nurses who keep tabs on my health so I don’t feel overwhelmed by the responsibility.
  • I’m thankful for this online community that has adopted me into their families, offering more love and support than I knew possible.
  • I’m thankful for my faith and the peace with which God graces me.
  • I’m thankful for family and friends who love me, visit me, call me.
  • I’m thankful for the abilities I’ve been able to hold onto, and I’m thankful I had the chance to experience the abilities that are no longer mine.

I’m not in the least bit bothered to be here alone on the holiday of gratitude, because it’s the same as any other day. I am simply grateful. I appreciate my life because it’s the one He has given to me, and I don’t want to waste a moment of it wishing for anything else.

Besides, I have this ornery pup for company:

IMG_1652 fixed

What more could I possibly need? :)

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