My past two months have been even worse than the Denver Broncos, like a Rumba zoomed over a pile of shit and tracked it to every last corner of my life. I lost my beloved grandfather to lung cancer. I would give anything for him to still be alive to collect his winnings from our football bets (even this season when I am surely losing big). Before my grief had time to settle, I was diagnosed with heart failure. At present I am waiting to hear if another open heart surgery is in my future.
It just so happens that today is the twenty-third anniversary of my first open heart surgery, the thing that saved my young life and is the only reason I type before you today. Every year on this day I take inventory of the life I was not supposed to have.
This year I am nothing if not thankful.
I am thankful for the atrocious road construction in Denver, for the jobs it provides and the improvements it will lead to. I am thankful that sitting in its traffic reminds me to be patient and provides me with space to be mindful.
I am thankful for my house plants, for the harmony they bring and the joy they cultivate. I am thankful that because plants cannot move about in the continuum of space, they exude a profound acceptance from which I can learn.
I am thankful for my goofy dog, for the excitement and love he shows and the mess he makes. I am thankful to have his hair on my clothing wherever I go. I am thankful to know he sits at home shedding some more.
I am thankful for yoga, for the reflection it necessitates and the self-approval it nurtures. I am thankful for half-moon pose and triangle pose, for sleeping pigeon pose and shavasana. I am thankful for copious amounts of sweat, for sore muscles, for sweet release.
I am thankful for country music and the woman who shapes my eyebrows. I am thankful for my boss and her unending support. I am thankful for more than a few of my colleagues. I am thankful for my social work clients, for the experiences we share and the resilience they embody.
I am thankful for the song “Horse With No Name” by America. I am thankful for each of my beautiful friends and for my darling Clementine. I am thankful for my comfortable bed, for my oversized bathtub, for essential oils and bananas. I am thankful for gluten-free chicken and waffles. I am grateful for arcade games and pinball machines.
I am thankful for my parents, for the people that they are and for their unconditional love and care. I am thankful for my sister and her strong will, for my brother-in-law and his humor, and for my rescued nephew dogs. I am thankful for red wine and whiskey and margaritas and sunshine and rain and snow and laughter and sorrow. I am thankful for the moon and the mountains. I am thankful for Maui and Montana. I am thankful for dog parks.
I am thankful for good days and happy thoughts. I am thankful for sad days and negative thoughts and for the opportunity to be present in whatever space there is. I am thankful for rainbows and turkeys and trees. I am thankful for my fingers and my toes, for my heart and my brain, for my body and my spirit.
I am thankful for this finite life, for today, for right now.
My thanks giving is perpetual.