For the first time in many many years I will not be having Thanksgiving with any member of my family. We used to go to my mother's ... and I have to admit after a few hours, I couldn't wait to get back on the Long Island Railroad and go home. But I also looked forward to the gathering every year and the conversations and even the arguing.
This is the first Thanksgiving that my mother is gone and I miss her and I really miss my daughter, Zoe, but I am so proud that she found a job in San Francisco.
I am so grateful that I can cry now, after so many years of keeping a lid on all my feelings, because there was too much to deal with.
Right now though, there is so much to be grateful for, so I'm going to list my top ten:
1. My daughter
2. My health
3. Our newly re-decorated home (which looks amazing)
4. Abigail (my wonderful loft mate)
5. All my wonderful friends and family
6. Michael Eigen
7. Friends in Deed
8. Pema Chodron and meditation
9. My spiritual practice
10. My writing
Here's a quote from "The Wisdom of No Escape" by Pema Chodron:
"The first noble truth says that if you are alive, if you have a heart, if you can love, if you can be compassionate, if you can realize the life energy that makes everything change, and move and grow and die, then you won't have any resentment or resistance. The first noble truth says simply that it's part of being human to feel discomfort."
Thanksgiving can be a very discomforting day. It's rarely the perfect family photo op we all imagine it will be. But I think if we focus on the gratitude for what we have, it usually works out pretty well. At Friends in Deed I love the idea they talk about that the glass is neither half full or half empty, it is both. And that the quality of our lives is not determined by the circumstances.
So I hope you have a good Thanksgiving, wherever you go or whatever you do. And I do suggest pants that stretch.