Every once in a while I get a little smug. One of my offspring will randomly shock me with their awesomeness, and I give myself a little pat on the back for how great they are. For instance, one offered to say grace in a restaurant one day totally out of the blue. Like in a coffee shop. If there had been anyone to high five I would have. But then, high fives have gone the way of the dinosaur so it’s just as well we were more or less alone.
The whole family went to church, for the first time since COVID became a thing, on a Sunday morning over the summer. It was an absolute disaster trying to get out of the house—a situation I brought on myself by completely forgetting I was supposed to be participating in the service! So we were running late and tempers were high. But we got to church and they sat and cooperated, and cuddled, and I was like, “Wow, I sure do feel like I have it all together right now.”
Then inevitably my pride and I (rightfully) get taken down all the notches when the boys act like young boys instead of adults (go figure), and I have to separate them from whatever physical altercation they are having in a very public place. Regrettably, we haven’t grown out of those yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed for someday soon since they are getting too big for me to manage these days.
What I am saying, I guess, is that there are days it is easy to be thankful for many things. Health, happiness, family, friends, it is all pretty wonderful. Then there are days when things are less wonderful. Working the job I do, in the industry I am in, at the 18 month mark in a global pandemic isn’t all fun and games. Add in two boys who still require a lot of supervision, engagement and general hands-on time from the parental units, who also still work full time, and it gets pretty chaotic, stressful, and exhausting.
While I am always thankful, and I try never to take the blessings for granted, sometimes I have to dig a little deeper to get there. I think we all need to dig deep sometimes to unearth the gratitude and appreciation we have buried under the day to day struggles and frustration. We need to pause and really look sometimes to find compassion for ourselves and each other, to show love even when we don’t feel like it, and to send up a prayer of thanks that we can even be here to fight the fight. This Thanksgiving, let’s take time out and really look around. How can we show our gratitude? Where can we find compassion? What is most important to us?