Giving Thanks.

Friends, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for many things this year – one of which was the Friendsgiving I attended. I spent the morning cleaning and cooking and missing my family, but as I walked into my friends’ home, I could hardly believe how much life and joy was gathered there.

Partway through the meal, I realized my cheeks hurt from smiling, and friends, this was truly a Thanksgiving miracle. For the better part of the last few months, I’ve been feeling very down. I miss a workout; the dishes stay in the sink overnight. Junk mail begins to clutter the bench in the entryway. I think about going to the gym, but it’s dark and cold outside. I wash the skillet but cannot…possibly…tackle the water bottles, which gather condensation from the old water I didn’t even bother to dump out, which probably now has Legionnaire’s disease, and then, suddenly, it’s all too much.

I’m a privileged person. I have a wonderful family and lots of friends and a very good job. I’m physically healthy. I have lots of opportunity. But sometimes, for whatever reason, I get pulled under. I often experience a tremendous amount of anxiety. Things dial up louder and more insistent until I don’t feel at home in my own mind, and that is hard to sustain. So, I think, my precious body tries so hard to protect me by dialing everything way down, making it (ironically) harder to work out and cook and meditate and do all those things that I know make everything better.

When these feelings get out of balance, it’s hard to feel like a good and worthy person. It’s hard to imagine feeling better. Sometimes the best I can do is to remind myself it won’t always be like this.

So I go to the gym, even though it actually feels impossible and foreign. And then I feel like I can wash the water bottles, which, come to think of it, probably aren’t filled with Legionnaire’s disease. I do a 10-minute meditation. I pull out the cutting board and chop some vegetables. I make a coffee using my beautiful new Nespresso machine, and for a few quiet moments, I delight in how the brewing coffee, which smells like heaven, has fogged up the front of the machine.

I find myself with sore cheeks from laughing at a table filled with friends. I lay down on my bed, where my dog (who really needs a bath) has curled herself in between the pillows. She is breathing deeply and smells like sleep, and she rests her head against mine. As her whiskers tickle my eyelashes, I am bowled over by how good my life is – how real and sweet and vital it all is.

So today I’m grateful to be here, exactly where and who I am in this moment. The prodigal daughter returning home to myself, where life is waiting to welcome me back with joy and beauty and bounty.

orange pumpkins on table

Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

 

 

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