This time last year, I dedicated my blog to Thanksgiving blessings. I called it my “grateful” list and I shared some of the aspects of my life for which I felt extremely blessed. I thought about re-posting that blog as “new” since, really, what is the likelihood that any of you actually read my blog last year? But then I decided that would be cheating.
I actually drafted this yesterday but, as a result of my experience last night, I had to add another item to the list. I’ll put it first since it’s fresh on my mind. I am thankful that hangovers don’t last forever and that eventually, no matter how many margaritas you drink, you sober up. Ouch.
I’m still thankful for many of the same things as last year, like my family. I’m not always great with change; in fact, changes makes me a bit uncomfortable, even though I eventually embrace it. One thing that rarely changes is my family, specifically my sister Marjorie. Through the years, we’ve both gotten older, but I can still make her laugh with little effort and usually over the dumbest shit. For example, I will sometimes text her lines from movies we saw in 1985, commercials we made fun of twenty years ago or just a random memory. I’ll just write, “He likes to butt things with his head” and she’ll respond immediately cracking up. It needs no explanation. And she makes me laugh too. If she gets to my parent’s house before I do for a Sunday dinner or a holiday and is hungry, she will always text me to see how far away I am in annoyance that we can’t start eating yet. We try to plan these things perfectly so we arrive at the same time. I usually shrug it off if I’m the one waiting. When she’s annoyed, I get the “Where the hell are you???” texts. Her predictable impatience makes me laugh. It’s just so “Margie.” Or, if the Yankees are playing a really shitty game, you can bet that I will received text messages IN ALL CAPS with lots of curse words, i.e. “I FUCKING HATE JOBA CHAMBERLIN.” I hate him too and I’m usually just as disgusted by the game, but the ALL CAPS angry emails never fail to illicit a chuckle. I love her and she tops the list of people I am grateful to have in my life.
Another example, my mother. I find much comfort in her predictability. I have a new man in my life and even though he lives across the country, my mother will inevitably ask me during every phone conversation, “Anything new with Jason?” I’m never really sure what she expects to hear, perhaps, “Yes, mom, he proposed last night via Skype.” But when I *calmly* tell her there is no “news” to report, she usually laughs because even she is aware of how predictable she is when it comes to my love life. I can roll my eyes, tell her to let things play out naturally, scream and yell, demand she mind her fucking business (I’d never say it that way…) but all it would accomplish is tiring me out because she will not change. And for that I am grateful because I love my mom exactly the way she is.
Just like last year, I am incredibly blessed to have such great friends. There are ebbs and flows in all friendships and I notice that the amount of time I spend with some friends fluctuates depending on what else is going on in our lives. Life is constantly evolving and it takes effort to keep up, but it is a job I gladly work hard at because the awards are worth it. Not only are my friends fun, but they are accepting and loving. Sometimes they are brutally honest, but they are never fake. Sometimes they are long-winded and sometimes they don’t call you back. Sometimes they act like complete morons and I want to shake them silly and sometimes they make me laugh so hard I think I might pee in my pants. Sometimes they inflict peer pressure to do shots on Sunday nights (or margarita Mondays) and sometimes they support “dry” activities. My friends never expect me to be anything more than I am, although they encourage me to be better. I never feel the need to impress them, one-up them, compete with them etc. I love all of my friends but honorable mentions this year go to Ronni, my forever-friend, who recently got engaged and asked me to be her Maid of Honor; Abbe who, when told my family Thanksgiving was not being until Saturday, immediately invited me to spend Thursday with her family who has *threatened* to get me trashed (bring it on Mrs. Kalnick, BRING IT ON!!); Jenny, my brilliant and hilarious soul sista in Kentucky who constantly reassures me that I’m not as screwed up as I sometimes feel, usually by generously offering an example of how she is more screwed up than I; Shanna, who I wish I saw more often than I did, but we’re working on it; Dee, who lives too far away to see with any real regularity but with whom I have enough memories to last a lifetime; Megan, my fun, creative, incredibly intelligent, ex-mid-week drinking buddy who moved away but who I still love like the younger sister I never had; and Alan, who has a dual role as boss AND friend. Not only is he an amazing boss, but he is the funniest man I know and he likes working with me so much, he takes me with him wherever he goes. After 15 years, he still hasn’t had enough. Boggles my mind, but I am eternally grateful.
Finally, I am extremely thankful to Jason who made such a great first impression, I was inspired to take a risk well outside of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I did.
Besides the aforementioned people, I am grateful to writing, When I am stressed, afraid, confused or in any other state of “upset”, within five minutes of sitting down to write whatever novel I am working on, I am transported to a fictional world and completely lose touch with who I am and my own issues. It never fails and I pray to God it never does.
Finally, (for real this time), I am thankful that with every year, I am becoming a better and happier person, I might have the same fears, but I gain more courage to overcome them. I might have the same insecurities, but I grow more confident that most of them are in my head. And I absolutely make mistakes, but not the same ones as the year before. It’s not easy to be so self aware and it’s sometimes painful, but I much prefer it over living in a bubble, never learning, never growing and just remaining stagnant.
Ok, that’s it for me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Watch the tequila!