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thursday, november 28, 2002

i couldn't let thanksgiving go by without focusing on its purpose: being thankful. in my house we particularly need to think about being thankful because it has been a very rough year. the worst of that is the unemployment - my grade still hasn't been posted so i'm still in limbo (over qualified for everything except what the degree is supposed to give me access to, under qualified for the because the degree isn't official yet) and the job saxy thought he had doesn't seem to be panning out, at least they haven't called him in for training yet and it's been 2 months. yes, we really need to be looking on some "bright side" kind of things.

what am i thankful for?

» it is both a miracle and a blessing that saxy's and my marriage got through the hard times and we're still together. yes, the unemployment is hard, but it can't touch the near destruction of 2 years ago. we went through a separation, i even served him divorce papers, but then i gave him another chance. i'm very, very glad i did. i love him more than he knows.

» my kids. as much as i complain about the grades and teenage attitudes and everything else, i love my kids. i wouldn't have any of them be different than from what and who they are (well, ok, jewel could listen a bit more and not be so klutzy, but i love her anyway). watching them grow has been a joy more than it's been a struggle. i have very good kids, i really do! they don't do drugs, they aren't running around, they are generally polite, they behave well in public. so what if they struggle with grades and our home rules? it will get better, and they are growing into wonderful adults. with all they've had to get through, they are doing very well indeed, and i am very proud of them.

» for my friends, both current and past. each of them has given me a part of themselves and taught me more than what i knew before. whatever else becomes of us (or has become of us, in the case of those who no longer speak to me), my life has been enriched more than they will ever know. i can only hope that knowing me has done the same for them, no matter how painful any separation we endure now may have been.

» for those who have accepted me as i am, don't try to make me something or someone different, appreciate my honesty, and accept my words at face value. every time someone does not do these things, i question myself - who i am, whether or not i should play the stupid games people play, and whether or not i should start developing the masks society tries to demand of us. those who support me during these times, those who tell me i am fine the way i am, give me much more than they know. my confidence is easily shaken, and, for that moment, they become my confidence for me. like all people, i do change from the events in my life, but it's nice to know that someone out there accepts me as i am and doesn't try to change me or see me through the skewed glasses provided by the world.

» the roof over my head, the food in my belly. being poor is not easy. but at least i'm not out on the streets and can provide something for my family to eat that is more than rice and beans and water. we do well for where we are at financially. so what if the bills (beyond housing) get paid too slowly, at least the major needs are taken care of. and, along the same lines, i am thankful that the housing authority took the gas leak seriously enough to fix it the day after it was reported rather than wait till monday.

» gypsy and ororo. gypsy has already been a wonderful addition to our household. as expected, taz is less interested in her than he was, but the two are still bonding. she will provide a whole new world for him. beyond that, she is a sweet, lovable, affectionate dog. and ro, well, she likes saxy more than me, but i love her anyway. at least she doesn't mind my affections early in the morning when everyone else is asleep. her purr is one of the things i love waking up to.

» dreaming. what an incredible, wonderful group of writers! i have learned so much and grown so much in my own writing from the past 8 or 9 months. the encouragement alone has been worth the creation of the group, but knowing these wonderful writers has been an experience i wouldn't trade for anything. they rock! i so look forward to more time with them.

» my own optimism and resiliency. without these two things i would never have gotten through so much in my life. things go down, but they always get better. and i'd rather react and get through the bad than to let it eat me alive and turn me bitter. there's too much life to be lived to let the past be an anchor around one's neck. things will be what they will be, and i honestly believe it is our challenge to accept them for what they are - the circumstance of the moment - and to rise above them and become better people through them. one cannot do that without being resilient. and the optimism keeps us going through the worst. as a teenager i was depressed and suicidal. i am glad that i have risen above those things. and i must thank god for them. he's the one who brought me out of my teenage years alive and well.

as we go into the close of the year, a time when depression and suicide soars to incredible numbers, we all need to keep in mind the blessings of our lives. there are so many things we have that make our lives interesting, even if we're missing everything the holiday machine declares we should have. money isn't everything, but a job is something to be thankful for. family may be unavailable, but friends are wonderful to have, and often have less conflicts with you than family! every experience we have, good or bad, changes our lives and gives us choices. it is our choice to decide what to do with them, but even the least of incidents is something to be thankful for. it all becomes a part of who we are.

and i am thankful for that too - being who i am. it took me a long time to realize that the only way i wanted to touch other people's lives was through being who i really am and to do that i had to accept myself. that doesn't mean i don't change, change is a constant part of life and no one is outside of that. but i am a unique individual with my own strengths and flaws that and beliefs that make me into the unique person i am. it took me a long time to strip away all the bullshit the world taught me was the way to be, to get rid of every mask the helped me hide my true self from everyone, but i did it. and in the process i not only learned to accept myself, but to appreciate things about me that others may or may not appreciate.

i am thankful for the uniqueness that makes up each of us. it is that uniqueness that makes life so interesting.

happy thanksgiving everyone. may you too find something, no matter how small, to be thankful for.

site of the moment:
ring of the moment:
word of the moment: resilience

the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress; an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change