A little boy just brought me a turkey. I was so confused at first. Do I know him? Should I have been expecting this? His grandmother fed him polite lines as he shined and smiled at me, and I asked out loud if it was for me to keep. It was. I wondered why. Then I saw his bag full of turkeys. This dude had spent some time crafting and he wanted to share his little paper tape feather turkeys with everybody. Oh, that’s cool. Now I get it. He’s giving. So here I am, it’s snowing outside and I can’t avoid seeing an “I’m grateful for” post every other minute on my newsfeed. So here’s my own list, for those who want to read it. Because why not?
1. I’m thankful that I get to run this awesome business with one of my best friends. I love how we share ideas and how we can be honest with each other and how we always try on the new clothes before anything goes on the racks. I’m thankful that I can go to a party and meet somebody who says “No way, you own Bloom?! That’s the hippest spot for mamas!” I never really thought I wanted to own a business and I don’t believe it’s what I’ll do for my whole life, but at this stage, for all of the challenges it presents, I am really, really, really grateful for Bloom.
2. I’m thankful for my family. I’m happy that I live with a bunch of dudes who pretty much let me do whatever I want and still love me, and I’m eternally grateful for the sisters who I can talk to when I actually do whatever I want…and still love me. I like all of my kooky cousins and aunts and uncles and even those technically not related quarter sisters with whom I develop a stronger bond every year. Thanks, mom and dad, for always being so open minded. Family is cool. I don’t ever have to feel alone.
3. I love my friends. All of them. The ones in Ithaca, the ones in California, and all of them in between. I feel really lucky that I’ve gotten to meet such cool people, and the ones who stick around make me feel thankful every day.
4. I’m thankful for every small victory over sadness and injustice. When I see a piece of wood with the word love painted on it in someone’s yard, that makes me happy. I’m happy that same sex couples are getting to marry each other in more states. I’m thankful that the little girl burned by Napalm in that iconic photo is leading a relatively normal and healthy life. I’m thankful that I see more hot air balloons than bombs above my head.
5. I’m thankful that I care a little less about the things I don’t need to care about. I have a good head of hair and skirts fit me really nicely and I’m thankful that I don’t hate the way I look anymore. I’m thankful that I don’t hold onto regret or resentment and that I feel less and less like spite is a useful relationship tool. I’m thankful that I still get really confused about love because it makes me remember that I’m young and alive and healthy and as long as I’m still breathing I don’t ever want to feel bored.
6. I’m thankful for surprises. Good ones and bad ones. Mostly good ones, but bad ones, too. I’m thankful when reality slaps me in the face and tells me something I wasn’t willing to listen to myself say. I’m thankful for the people and things who have whipped in and out of my life like a tornado and flicked me on the forehead as if to remind that there are things I have forgotten I want. I appreciate that fuzzy space, where no outcome is known, and it feels a little bit like the space between sleeping and awake. I’m thankful for the magic of potential.
7. I can’t quite describe how many quiet, breathy thank yous I say to nobody in particular every time my sons say “I love you.” I’m raising good men, and for that I am thankful.
8. Ooooh, thanks for all of the food. Farmers, chefs, grocery store employees: thank you, thank you, thank you for the food.
9. I’m grateful for that blissful pain that I can only describe as nostalgia. I’m thankful for the memories I have and for the ones I don’t but that still course through my veins in unexpecpted emotions and familiar smells and shivers down my spine that leave me wondering what it is that I’m missing. I’m thankful for a mind and body that let me hold onto things and know when to let go of others and mostly for being such full, beautiful, voracious, angry, hungry vehicles of my senses.
10. I’m thankful that I doubt why a little boy would bring me a paper turkey, because I’m thankful for every reminder that people are good. Even me. I’m thankful for feeling good.
With that, happy preparations for Thanksgiving and whatever you might or might not celebrate. You don’t need to make a list, but you might want to close your eyes and take a deep breath and remember what it feels like to say thank you. And mean it.