This past weekend was Thanksgiving.
A time to reflect and be thankful and to express what it is that we are blessed to have in our lives.
This year for the first time in almost 4 years that’s something I thought about this weekend.
That thanksgiving passed by without even an acknowledgement from me. That was 8 months after my son passed and just a couple of weeks before what would have been his birthday. It was a time that I was quickly spiralling down into depression and suicidal thoughts of my own. Just getting through each day was hard. Never mind being thankful.
The next year, 2013, was still in a free fall of depression and trying to be “fine”. A conscious refusal to acknowledge a holiday tradition of expressing thanks was firmly rooted in order to maintain my internal facade of getting by. Thinking about being thankful for what I had in my life only spotlighted what I didn’t have. Too raw.
2014, last year. A little glimpse of being able to say that I could be aware that I still had good in my life. A little flicker of awareness that life nights still be worth living and sticking around for. That was it though. To think more deeply than a surface level ripped open the hurts and losses. Nope. Not going to much into that last year.
This year, still bouncing around that this weekend. Out for some alone time yesterday and my thoughts wandered to past thanksgiving weekends with my kids and the tradition we would have of sitting together at the big meal I had made and talking about what we were thankful for.
It occurred to me yesterday as I walked that I was thankful that I had those memories. That even though it brought tears up and hurts so badly to not have that as my life anymore, I am thankful that it once was my life and that I can look back and hold those times in my heart.
From that… My thanks in my life this year are with consciousness and awareness.
Thankful that my kids make me smile with the familiarity of myself that I see in them – and the uniqueness of themselves that I am constantly amazed at. Thankful that they make me growl with frustration at their independence and stubbornness. Qualities that I adore and am glad they have.
Thankful for loss. Because it is showing me how fully I need to appreciate what I still have.
Thankful that I have the freedom to live how I choose and to pursue what I want to.
Thankful that I am the biggest obstacle in my path. Because I can change that.
Thankful that I have an abundance of friends and a tribe that is there for me – even though I still find it hard to see that most times through my journey right now. Thankful that I have some who remind me of that when I need to be reminded.
So very thankful to have a partner in my life who I love deeply and who is some one who I can laugh with and cry with and be ridiculously myself with. A partner who has reminded me that dreaming isn’t frivolous, but necessary to really live. Thankful that she has let me in to love her how she deserves to be loved.
Thankful for fear. It clarifies for me what I desire and what I want and need to strive for. It shows me, brutally, to get off my ass or to risk regret.
Simply, I am thankful this year that I am looking forward to the next year.