While you, oh reader, are reading this in December, I am writing this on Black Friday. As I sit at my computer, I am basking in the glow of a delicious Thanksgiving meal and a day spent with family. If you will, bear with me as I transport you back a week in time.
I am not one of those who posts on Facebook what I am thankful for everyday during the month of November. Nor am I one of those who purposely sits down to make a list of things I am thankful for. My list tend to happen rather spontaneously, as it did this morning in the car. My list looks a lot like most lists, I suspect. At least the start of some lists. While this may be the case, they are things I am genuinely grateful for.
1. My husband: This man has encouraged and challenged me in the decade that we have been together. He loves me in spite of all my faults and regularly shows that love to me. Without him, I would not be the person I am today. I hope I can support him half as much as he supports me.
2. My children: I have the sweetest children in the world. I also have well-behaved children. But I may be a very biased mother. I am extremely proud of my children. I am proud of what they can do and what they have accomplished in their few short years. Every time I have a child, I wonder how we lived life before they were born. I donít feel like I have the ability to bottle up and treasure these early years of their lives as I should. They are so precious. While I look forward to who they will become as they get older, I know I will miss these early, preschool years. My children are so precious.
3. My natal family: Doesnít matter what trouble I seem to get myself into, my family is there to hold my hand and help me along. If my car breaks down, I know someone will rescue me. If I need help moving, they will be there, even though they probably hate helping. While I donít feel like I always know how to get along with them, we somehow manage to get through situations with our relationship intact. And yes, we do spend holidays together and I like to hangout with them when I get the chance. Over the past few years, I havenít gotten to see them as previous years. I think they have missed seeing me and the grandbabies.
4. The sunshine: There is a reason I live in the Columbia Basin and not in Seattle. Well, besides the fact that I grew up here and have family here. I love the sunshine. It doesnít matter how cold it gets, as long as the sun is shining. Seeing the sun always starts my day on a much better note and is an indication that I will have a better day. (I wish it were an indication that I would be warm all day. Sadly, it isnít. I freeze way too easily.)
5. My co-workers: It is important that you like the people that you spend your day with. I seriously spend my work week with some of the best. The staff in our office is amazing. We celebrate birthdays, weddings, births, retirements and random occasions. We have a party each week where we review the good things that have happened that week and look forward to what is to come.
In the little corner where we writers hang out, I have been challenged to expand my view of the world, consider opinions other than my own and have learned new things. I see the work that my fellow writers do and am inspired to improve my craft. I really do work in one of the best offices in Moses Lake. And yes, you should be jealous.
I could also add a roof over my head, reliable transportation (and people with jumper cables for when my battery dies), grocery stores like WinCo (who get most of my grocery dollars), my cell phone (that helps keep me in touch with my family and the rest of the world and is a source of knowledge that I can carry in my pocket), my church and many other things.
I feel like any list I make is trite and doesnít list all the grandiose things it should. But in reality, my life isnít grand. It is common, ordinary, normal. It is OK that I am thankful for the common and ordinary things in my life. While I could say that I am thankful for air travel, I rarely fly. It has little effect on my life. But my husband, children and house do. So it is appropriate that they be on my list, even when those same things are on other peopleís lists.
Before I wax too much more eloquently (or not) on the contents of my thankful list, I think I will stop and say, I am thankful for the ordinary and common things in my life, as well as the extraordinary. I am thankful for the life I have and the people that are in it.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her co-workers are thankful to share an office with her.