Late Thanksgiving

Here’s what happened to me in a 24-hour period earlier this week:

  • My client came back with feedback within three hours of me sending a deliverable.
  • The cold temperatures caused the pressure in my tires to drop, triggering the display on the dashboard of my car.
  • My friend’s cats whom I am watching while I stay at her house barfed all over the carpet.
  • Because of the tires and the barf, I’m going to be late picking up Thanksgiving lunch for my cousin and me.

And here’s what I thought to myself because part of the 24-hour period happened on Thursday, November 28:

  • I am thrilled (a) that I have clients and (b) that this one is so thoughtful and responsive, which is infinitely better than clients who respond with radio silence or vague feedback that is unfathomable.
  • It is SO GREAT to live in a time when THE CAR tells me it needs air in its tires instead of me driving hither, thither, and yon with not a clue about potential safety issues.
  • I am lucky to have friends who leave me unattended in their homes with a breezy, “Mi casa es su casa, including all the wine,” and trust me to keep their family members alive.
  • I am lucky that I have family with whom to spend the holiday.

I watched on Facebook as several friends listed on a daily basis what they were thankful for during November.  I’ve never done it myself, not because I’m not grateful for my blessings but because I think it requires more comfort than I have with a substantial amount of vulnerability.  Then I watched as people posted snarky comments about how people who spend most of the year complaining on Facebook turn thankful for a single month.

I didn’t say anything, because I guess there’s a grain of truth in that sentiment, but that shit pissed me off.  Sorry for the language.  What’s the harm in taking some time each day to remember how blessed we are?  Even if it’s only one month out of a year, is it so offensive to the rampant cynics out there that they have to make their arch arrogance known and felt and insult people who are trying to recapture some grace in their own lives?

It’s late, but here’s my late Thanksgiving list of 30.  If you have a Grinch heart, I hope it grows three sizes before the end of the year.

  1. My parents – it took so long for me to understand my parents.  I’m grateful the universe gave me the time to get there and hope it gives me a lot more time to laugh with them.
  2. My sister – she is a living lesson in perseverance and efficiency.  Even though our dispositions and personalities are so different, having her in my life makes my perspective on the world richer.
  3. Extended family – relatives confirm that you are not isolated in your crazy, plus, they often make the best friends because of shared, common experiences.
  4. Friends – I am SO LUCKY to have the friends I do.  They are all smart and fun with wicked senses of humor and the warmest and tenderest of hearts.  I learn how to be a better, more patient person with every interaction.  I also learn a lot about how to be evil in a completely hilarious, harmless way.  Win-win!
  5. My past – I think I’m about to be in a good place in my career in small part because of my accomplishments but in greater part because of my mistakes.  I’m looking forward to making more of them.
  6. Online dating – it’s a total nightmare, but I get a lot of stories from it. 
  7. United Airlines – it’s not the greatest airline ever, but it’s not the worst, either, and because of the perks they extend for 100,000 miles of loyalty, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to faraway places in relative comfort and, if I’m honest, with a totally smug attitude about how special I am.  I try to keep the gloating to myself and any travel companions.  Apologies to anyone else who gets exposed to this ugly part of my personality.
  8. Starwood Hotels – I will argue that Starwood is the greatest hotel chain ever.  I get upgraded into ridiculous suites at gorgeous hotels in some of the greatest cities in the world.  I often sleep better at these hotels than I do at home.  Sad, but true story.
  9. Person of Interest – it’s hard to explain how nice it is to see both men and women with agency and intelligence on a screen.  It reflects my experience with work and friends, but I’ve discovered in the last few years that my experience is rare.
  10. Uniball Vision Elite pens – they suit my handwriting to a tee, and they don’t explode on planes.  Yay!
  11. My friends’ children – I’ve written before about my offspring situation; my friends are generous in sharing their kids and the depth and richness and noise and mess and irritation they bring to our lives.
  12. Travel – I think we’d all be more patient with each other if we spent more time not at home, in all incarnations of that word:  our houses, neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, continents.  It’s hard to broaden your perspective without practice. 
  13. Rye – you can’t make Sazeracs without it.  Also, I like that it’s spicier and less sweet than bourbon.
  14. Bourbon – dudes, it’s still delicious.
  15. Pistachios – without them, I would be violating my new dietary requirements on a daily basis at 3pm with Cool Ranch Doritos.
  16. Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos – I have only eaten them once as my weekly cheat meal, and they were totally worth it.
  17. Stevia – occasionally, I want my coffee or tea to be sweet, and stevia lets me make it that way without messing with my blood sugar levels like other sugar substitutes do.
  18. Butter – that is all.
  19. Zappos – I love them and their products and how easy it is to find knee-high boots that will fit around my gigantic calves.
  20. Skype – this and Facetime are total science fiction come to life, but it makes faraway friends seem not so far away. 
  21. Facebook – I know what the experts say about Facebook, and I will confess to not being diligent enough to tend to my relationships with friends who are not on Facebook.  That said, I have many, many, many friends with whom I have stayed or even become close BECAUSE of Facebook, so even though I think the management team is douche-y, I think they make a great product.
  22. National chains – yes, they have committed many sins, but it’s a comfort to know that if I forget something on a domestic trip, it’s not a big deal, because this is America, and you can always find what you need at a store within ten miles of your location.
  23. Fleece and flannel pajamas – they almost make me want to move somewhere cold.  Almost.
  24. Streaming video – this is also science fiction.  I have the option to watch PoI on my computer, on my Kindle Fire, and on my cell phone because of it.  Not that it’s awful to have to watch something on a large TV while sitting on a couch….
  25. Kindles in all incarnations – I used to have to make the choice between clothing or books when I traveled abroad, and I used to have to check a gigantic suitcase when I was unable to make the choice.  Now, I can get all my clothes in a carry on because every book, magazine, tv show, movie, etc. is all on one, tiny book-sized device.  We live in a wondrous age that is saving our backs.
  26. Cruciferous vegetables – my new favorites:  so easy to roast and so healthful. 
  27. The United States of America – we have so many problems, it’s true, but we get to have dialogues about those problems and criticize our leaders and not worry about getting arrested and disappearing in a secret prison. 
  28. My Korean heritage – I get to pick and choose what I want to incorporate into my life from each culture from a perspective of genuine understanding.  It’s not easy to immerse yourself in other cultures, and it was an accident of birth that I got the chance, and I think it has enriched my life beyond measure.
  29. Caffeine – I’m pretty sure I would still be in bed without it.
  30. My health – it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me to enjoy the holidays in moderation and to travel the world and pay my bills.  Given the way I used to eat and never exercise, I’m lucky to be where I am.

Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving and are warming your hearts with loved ones.  

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