OK, readers. Here's the post meant to at least partially mitigate the kvetching that so often appears here.
Because it's the night before Thanksgiving and I've just explained the origin of the holiday to my students (who are now busy taking a test lest anyone fear they're being neglected). It's a hard concept to explain to these hardworking kids who are stressed out and far from home and family.
So I find myself incredibly grateful for my own family. We've never had to send anyone away to earn money and we've never had to communicate with one another by long distance. I have parents, in-laws, and a grandmother who love me and are always there for me. A blessing, indeed.
There's horrible news tonight and my heart is heavy when I think of Mumbai. So for the gift of peace, I am grateful. If only the security and calm we enjoy could be worldwide.
Work has been stressful this year for a variety of reasons. Declining enrollment is disheartening, and recent changes have been uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. I don't always see eye-to-eye with everyone I work with, but when I walk in to my classroom I feel like the luckiest woman in the world because I am paid well to do work that I absolutely love. How many of us can say that?
A year ago Thanksgiving fell just after my hospital stay. I was only just starting, quite literally, to catch my breath and the simple meal we shared that night was all I could manage. A year later I am stronger and healthier than I've been in a long time. And I am so much better at listening to my body and slowing down when necessary. It's not an easy thing to come to terms with a chronic illness without feeling like a sick person, but I think I am getting better at it, little by little.
My friends have given me so much support and advice and love that I need never feel I'm in this alone. I can always find an answer, a recipe, and a place to leave my kids. What a treasure they are.
And last but certainly not least, how many of us get to go through life with the one we love best at our side year after year? I may get cranky and irritated but I do know that I am married to a man who is uniquely blessed with patience, kindness, and humor among other positive traits too numerous to mention. For these and other blessings I could not be more thankful.
To those of you celebrating the holiday (and even those who aren't) I wish you a day of warmth and peace and an opportunity to stop and breathe and love.