The Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone and I did not carve out a special time to honor my favorite holiday.
I headed due west and spent the holiday weekend with my mom. I seem to have a way of turning that five hour drive into six hours and naturally, I thought with all of that free time on my hands my thoughts would turn to gratitude. They didn't.
I suppose my wandering thoughts were generously seasoned with gratefulness. I believe they usually are. But I didn't sit down and count my blessings. Possibly because I have so many.
First and foremost, to have the means, the desire, the time and freedom to pack up for a weekend away, is nothing short of a miracle. All I have to do, is look around me and I know far, far too many who are unable to do the same.
I made my decision to go, three days before I left. I could have decided the day before. Or the same day. Such, is my life.
The ingredient I have been lacking most in my life lately has been the desire to pick up and leave for a weekend away. I love, love, love being home. It is probably a very good thing that I have to leave it on a regular basis because I can honestly see myself becoming very hermit-like if necessity did not dictate my actions. I could have very easily enjoyed a quiet weekend at home but I was elated when I did not cringe at the thought of leaving. For me, that was big. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I have felt rather committed lately. Between tying up the loose ends of our family 'book project', working and simply living life-as-I-know-it, I have not felt like I have had an abundance of time to plan weekend excursions. I am not complaining. I created this myself and it was what I needed to do, in order to complete what I had started. To find myself with three consecutive days off at the end of that 'tunnel' and nothing that I had to do, was a bit of a gift.
Add to 'all of the above' the simple fact that I have the freedom to make these choices that govern my life and what I do with it. I fulfill my work obligations, I am present and accounted for, for my Youngest Son. I invite him to come along with me wherever I decide to go, but he is also of an age where he has the freedom to decide whether or not he wants to tag along. My life is very simple.
I have an able-bodied car that takes me where I want to go. I have the money to fill the gas tank. I can drive wherever the road takes me. I have the health, the stamina and the courage to set out on a mini adventure of my own making. I have a life filled with choices.
Now that some of my bigger goals are crossed off of my list, I am looking at the days and months ahead of me and starting to dream again.
The ability to dream is one life's greatest gifts. I know each and every time I lose the ability to dream, I lose something near and dear to me. I feel the lightest, happiest and most hopeful when I am looking towards the future with hopes and aspirations.
This year ... I am grateful for the goals I was able to attain. I am grateful for the family I have come to know. I am grateful for the relationships within my life which have grown stronger. I am grateful (beyond words) for my physical and mental health, and that of my family. I am grateful for the ability to sit here and write out loud and acknowledge the little things that all join together and become great things. I am grateful for the challenges I have encountered, which make me appreciate what I have, that much more. I am grateful for all things big and small.
I am a dreamer. Even when I feel like I am spinning my wheels and not able to dream, I feel like that dandelion that manages to find the sun, within the crack of the concrete. There have been times when my ability to bloom has been thwarted but I'm grateful for the stamina that keeps me coming back for more.
I am grateful for the fortitude and the hope I have for the future. I know the world is a big and scary place, so I don't take on the world's problems. I just keep trying to create what I hope for within my own world, join forces with those who I believe in and one by one we can all make our world a better, more hopeful place.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, but if live your life with a sense of gratitude you will not be disappointed.