A Short But Meaningful Thanksgiving Post

After spending way too many adult years acquiring possessions, status symbols, a big home, and all the goodies in life I was deprived of in my lower middle class (actually a bit poorer than that) youth, I am back to basics in my wants and needs. (My acquisitions were a reaction to the deprivation I experienced, all learned from my psychology degree.)

Getting back to basics wasn’t just due to the floods that came calling in my neighborhood; it was also an honest assessment of what I really cherished in life, and what I needed for contentment.

To put all I need in a nutshell (*plus a few things more described at the end of the blog), I recently came across this Irish saying and substitute the word tea for coffee, and there you have it. It now hangs on my refrigerator.

After so many friends, neighbors, and other people I know suffered such horrific devastation in floods and fires — those walls for the wind and roof for the rain words take on so much more meaning. I am grateful for my warm (in feeling) and cozy home where I entertain so many visitors (Family and Friends) who bring me the gift of laughter, friendship, and love.

At Thanksgiving weekend, we became just cool enough at night to use the fireplace now; and the several gatherings that took place this Thanksgiving weekend took on Hallmark-card-worthy warm and fuzzy feelings about home and hearth, family and friends, and laughter as the best tonic of all.

These visits were a gift for which I am endlessly grateful. What is more valuable than time together where we just enjoy each other’s company? The sheer simplicity of what makes me happy is absolutely astounding- the company of family and friends. (And yes, I still love my long distance friends too who I am able to keep in touch with thanks to technology.)

With my adult children in their own homes nearby (as above described as “Those you love near you”) is another gift that has given me all that my heart desires. Our regular visits and being able to depend on one-another in a pinch, is something I will never take for granted.

The friends and the community I have here in Houston is another blessing that I continually marvel at for the richness it brings to my life. It is truly all for one and one for all in this part of the country.

Yes, when I get down to the basics of that Irish saying, what I really want in life and all I really need is right here with me, and I feel incredibly lucky and blessed for it.

Since the saying ends with “And all that your heart may desire,” that calls on further reflection, and it is true that I do need and want just a bit more. My regular visits to our beach place in Margate, NJ truly nourishes my soul. Being on the beach with my community of friends there has become absolutely necessary for my sustenance and happiness.

But wait, there is just a tiny bit more: my entertainment events such as my oldies concerts, and an occasional bit of travel to a fun location.

Certainly, and not lastly either, are the readers for whom I write. I regularly hear from so many and it is a gift that my writing touches so many near and far. I am forever grateful that people relate to and respond so enthusiastically to my writing and that is a gift beyond all measure.

Isn’t it great that we have a holiday that makes us pause from our life to reflect on all we are thankful for, that everyone regardless of religion can celebrate together? Gratitude is a very liberating feeling that we should all practice more regularly, and I try to do just that.

I’d love to hear your thoughts too – either on the blog or in a message. Wishing all of you a happy and content holiday season.

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