Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Counting one’s blessings

Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday mainly because I have a love-hate relationship with turkey and stuffing. I love to eat it, and I hate to get on the scale the next day! Why I weigh myself the day after is a different story…. After last year’s eating season I decided to stop dieting and make a lifestyle change instead.

The good thing about a lifestyle change vs. a temporary diet is I can keep climbing back on the wagon after I’ve fallen off. I may be battered and bruised, but I’ve stopped beating myself up for being a diet ‘failure.’

It’s an ongoing process, and that’s how I want to view being thankful. A special day set aside to be grateful for our blessings is wondrous and gives us time with family and friends. But saying thanks for the people and things enriching our lives should be something we do on a continuing basis.

So, in the spirit of gratefulness, here’s my list of what I’m thankful for this holiday and year-round:

  1. The fact I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner. I hate to cook (RIP Peg Bracken). Now I’ve baked many a pie over the years, including our first year of marriage when, in frustration, I lobbed a lumpy batch of homemade crust at the ceiling. I’ll do dishes til the cows come home, but I’m always thankful on the last Thursday of November and year-round for a husband who cooks.
  2. My children. I like and love them. What more can mother ask for?
  3. My mother. She’s my best friend and writing partner. She never hovered, allowed all four of her kids enormous independence, yet was always there if any pieces needed to be picked up. She still is.
  4. My siblings and their families. Admittedly I did try to lose my youngest brother at Disneyland when he was just a preschooler and once my sister and I did tie him to a tree (there’s home movie proof), but we still love him. Happy Birthday, Mark!
  5. Friends. Through all the years and all the places I’ve lived, I’ve truly been blessed, and continue to be blessed, with the best friends in the world. Seriously.
  6. All the ‘boys’ I’ve ever crushed on, from teenybopper icons to the real deals. They were all precursors to the man who cooks, and how can I not be grateful this season and year-round to those who made my heart go pitter-patter?
  7. Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Yes, I’ll eat too much and want to toss the scale just like that long-ago pie dough. Then I’ll climb back onto that ‘wagon’ the following day, grateful for hearth and home…and the people I love.

Now it’s time to think about pies…I’m also thankful this year for Pet-Ritz!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

P is for Procrastination

Note: Planned to post this Tuesday…but take note of the title.

November is officially halfway over, and I’m just now packing away my summer clothes. “Packing” may be pushing the definition. So far I’ve taken about half a dozen shirts off hangers, folded, and tossed in a clear plastic bin. At the rate I’m going, it’ll be spring by the time I finish the job.

I wrote those words yesterday but am tackling the job anew today. The container is filling up, and soon I’ll be ready for a second one. Putting sweaters into drawers is a job that can wait for another day. Soon I’m heading out to meet my neighborhood walking pal.

Folding haphazardly…I never worked retail and that’s probably a good thing…I’m blinking back tears. Summer, like the rest of this year, was filled with soaring highs and dipping lows.

As the sun begins to set on another year, I’m filled with infinite joys and sorrows for reasons I can’t even articulate.

Never did I think a pink polo shirt would have the power to render me mute. Years ago almost-twenty-year-old Erik and I had a spirited discussion about whether a pair of athletic shorts that he and his dad had just purchased fit properly. I’ve long since forgotten what was really bugging me, but it wasn’t the sizing of a pair of nylon athletic wear.

Since then the phrase “It’s like the shorts” has become a permanent part of the lexicon around here. When someone gets upset about a seemingly silly thing, and it’s really about something much deeper, we dredge out that phrase and somehow we all know to back off and let the subtext subside.

So later when I place the rest of my summer clothes in the sterile containers and the tears start to flow, I’ll remind myself "It’s like the shorts" and snap the lid on the subtext.