My friend Nancy has this nice little tradition on Thanksgiving. As we sit around the dinner table, in lieu of saying grace, and before we stuff ourselves silly with enough food to feed a small nation, we each share those things, tangible and not, for which we are most thankful.
Yes, it gets sappy. But there’s no better time to tell those around you that you are grateful to have them in your life than when you are poised to shove a gazillion calories into your system.
I won’t be with Nancy for Thanksgiving this year, but it wouldn’t be the season if I hadn’t been thinking about my list.
I’m thankful for beautiful, challenging, intelligent, funny children who bring me great joy, even when they are exasperating.
I’m thankful for good health, even if I complain about aches and pains once in awhile.
I’m thankful for a career that allows me to work on issues I care about and be surrounded by smart, innovative thinkers.
I’m thankful for a community of dear friends whose strength I draw from, whose love I rely on, and who make me laugh during even the most stressful of circumstances. They’re also good at giving a good kick in the pants when one is needed and offer a shoulder, shelter or a glass of wine when that is what the situation necessitates.
And since I’m not limited by having someone sitting next to me at the dinner table waiting to go next, allow me to continue. I’m thankful for my family. An imminent vacation in Hawaii. Good wine. Nice shoes. Clean water. The right to vote. George Clooney. Freedom of the press. A perfectly crisp fall day. Public education. Paved roads. The laughter of children. Dark roast coffee. Baseball. Truffle salt. The calm before the storm. Cashmere. Nice people. Healthcare. Snow. Purring cats. Songs you know the words to after years of not hearing them. Good kissers. Gin. Shooting stars. A riveting book. End of the day meetings that get canceled. Salted caramels. Ibuprofen. Good hair days. Sunsets.
And that’s just off the top of my head.