I went to bed last night feeling a little sore and stiff from sitting in front of the computer working essentially a double shift yesterday. I awoke early, feeling even more sore and stiff; not exactly welcome on a day when there are so many things to be done.
I pour a cup of coffee and check in with work. There is some good news. The great sucking sound from a project in Europe that has been the most recent source of my long hours seems to be abating. With my U.S. colleagues attempting to be on holiday, too, it looks like I can put my attentions where they should be today. On cooking and cleaning and, most importantly, on the reason for this holiday: a day to spend giving thanks.
And so it is I start this day thinking about all those things for which I am grateful.
Even though I’m sore and stiff, it means I have a body that allows me to do pretty much whatever I want. Its complaints about my choices of activity simply mean everything is functioning properly and provide clues as to adjustments that need to be made; whether that is getting more exercise, more sleep or simply eating better.
The soft hum of the furnace in the early quiet reminds me that, even though it has leaked from the first winter it was replaced and the contractor has refused to fix it since that first winter and the house is no longer worth what it was just a couple of years ago, I have a roof over my head. The bills are all paid and we are warm and snug on this cold, rainy day.
I take a sip of hot coffee and feel its warm, sweet power doing its job of waking me up. And I am grateful that I only have to pad a few steps into the kitchen of my warm, snug house to get it by doing nothing more than pushing a button. Thank you, Bob, for always setting it up before you go to bed (and for not complaining if I drink it all before you wake up!)
As my mind slowly revs up into its normal speed of 60,000 rpms, it starts to make a list of the day’s chores; the biggest of which is cleaning this warm, snug house. The dining room is Work Central and the table inevitably becomes filled with the paperwork we must use to track our lives. Today the dining room table also sports extra computer equipment since my work laptop is being replaced and though hardware setups and filing are among my least favorite chores, I realize this current mess means that I have a job that pays and allows me to hold other non-paying jobs that let me to give back to the community. And for this I am grateful.
Soft rustlings are heard as the animals begin to awaken, too. Cage cleaning and floor mopping can never really be crossed off the to-do list, but I am grateful for this opportunity to be a part of their lives. Though it is a situation for which neither of us would have ever asked, they have a second chance to live and I receive lessons that could not be learned any other way except by spending so much time in such close proximity to them. Though they will have no idea why, special treats are planned for them today and I am thankful I am able to provide them.
All of the ingredients to create a small feast are tucked away in cupboards and ‘fridge, and though it appears all the time and effort to put it together will be for just the two of us, I am grateful we may eat such traditional fare. Those who grow the food, those who package and transport it, those who stock the nearby stores from which we may buy it have my thanks for making it so easy. The handful of hours we will spend cooking it are but the smallest link in what is truly a marvelous chain.
But to think of today in terms of a chain, one must follow it to its real beginning. So at the end of the short list I give thanks for those who had the courage to go forth and begin their lives anew. Both those famous Pilgrims and, later and more especially, the Founding Fathers; all of whom risked everything and are the real reason for this day and the real reason we may celebrate it freely. It follows then that those who have defended their efforts lo these 234 years must be thanked as well. Life would be very different if any of them had not chosen to pursue and protect true liberty.