I sign emails from work with “Thanks!” Most of the time I’m sincere, sometimes it’s a convenient signature, sometimes it’s sarcastic. I’m thinking today about the word though, and my relationship to it.
Do I say thank you enough for the things that matter? Probably not. Like most people, I get caught up in the stuff that takes a wrong turn somewhere. This has happened again recently–my birthday was neglected by someone who I hoped would remember/ notice the reminder on facebook. The same day she announced that she was dating someone. It might be the same someone from previous drama, or perhaps not. Of course, I dwell on this a bit. I neglect a little bit (not much though, I’m making progress) how beautiful it was on my birthday at my parents’ house in the woods. It snowed on my birthday. Normally I would prefer the snow to wait until after Thanksgiving, or even until after we creep into December, but this year it snowed on my birthday. It was beautiful in the way that first snowfalls are. Everything was fresh, it hadn’t been around long enough to be so thoroughly tired of the blanket of white–it felt like a new day. New days though quickly slip back into the same old day and soon it was all the normal stresses and problems again. But that was a beautiful day.
I’m thankful that I have genuinely loving parents. We’ve bumped heads in the past and will disagree and argue in the future, but I love them and they love me. That is the truth. I’m thankful for my little brother, who is not so much little as my younger brother (by only 18 months, that were an important 18 months when we were growing up and trying to find our way). I call him little brother as a term of affection. He calls me big brother. We are apart by thousands of miles, we disagree and argue and get on each others nerves. I love him completely.
I’m thankful for my friends. All of them. I’m thankful for the ones who text message me and say “we’ve just made cupcakes, if you want to come by” at 10:30pm on a Tuesday. I’m thankful for the ones I only hear from on Christmas because we get so caught up in our own lives that we forget that there are stories running parallel to ours. I’m thankful for the friends who have been there for twenty years and who I know will continue to be there in the years to come.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. After the past few years where I, first shuffled my life and work schedule around to head to my parents’ house to eat Turkey, and then last year when I didn’t and had to drive five hours eastbound to spend the day with family anyway because my grandma had died, I am staying in town this year. I’m working this evening and the day after Thanksgiving. This is okay. I’m thankful that I have a job. It’s necessary and hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy long weekends in future years. This year, I’m going over to Zack’s house to enjoy Thanksgiving with him, his mom, and his girlfriend. I’ll bring the wine that only Kris (his mom) and I will drink and it will be great.
I’m thankful for my teachers in my MFA program who are so open and so bright, and from whom I’m learning a great deal. I’m thankful for all the writers who have said “fuck it” to lives of security to write the books that I love, the filmmakers and performers who have taken it on blind faith that they will be able to make a living making movies and art and produce things that I enjoy watching. I’m thankful for the musicians who bare their naked souls in songs that make me smile and make me cry and make me pump my fist in the air. I’m thankful for art and beauty.
As for the other things, well, they’ll continue to bother me but that’s because I’m human. I’m thankful for them as well.