Friday, November 20, 2009

The Things We Don't Say

I may come from a long line of contrarians. In all the years we've celebrated together, I don't remember our family taking a moment to verbalize our thanks. It's not that we're not thankful, we just weren't thankful out loud. Or because we were supposed to be on that day at that time. Or maybe we weren't thankful. Maybe we couldn't look past the myriad challenges of our lives to realize that there was a lot positive to acknowledge. But I don't think that's true. I know that I have felt uncomfortable at other people's tables when on non-Thanksgiving days, an ad hoc grace is said. It always seems hokey, or for appearance's sake. And I know that can't be true either.

Thanksgiving does provide a moment, though, to remember what one is thankful for, even if one can't bring one's self to list said things at the dinner table. Since I spend a lot of time ranting and raving like a lunatic - in print and also at the people I love - I'm going to set aside my fears of looking insincere to acknowledge some of the things I'm thankful for.

We're healthy. All of us. For the most part. It's trite and overused, but it's one less thing to worry about.

I have a brother I adore. I see other siblings who are not close and it makes me really and truly sad. I couldn't imagine not having the close relationship I have with my brother. It defines me.

Devoted partner and I made what, for all intents and purposes, was a huge life change in moving from Manhattan to the burbs, and we did it with fewer bumps in the road than I would have imagined. We now have a life that satisfies us more and of which we are prouder.

Our friends are the kinds of people to whom we would not hesitate to give kidneys. It's a good distinction to make. I like surrounding myself with people for whom the offer of an organ requires only slightly more thought than an offer of a cold drink.

I am packed and headed for a week of diving.

This is a short list because a) I think a longer list would devolve into trite and saccharine purple prose and b) these are the important things (ok, the diving is not actually important) and being thankful for a new stainless steel worktable seems petty in comparison.

I guess, in the end, without becoming queen of the saps, I'm thankful that I don't have many things to be unthankful for. Life isn't perfect, nor do I think it ever becomes perfect, but if you can look at your life, as I think I can, and not find something to be truly miserable about, you're doing pretty well.

Thank you for reading this.


  1. Have a great trip. You can have one of most of my organs I have two of! xx