It seems that lots of people are now in the habit going online to enumerate their feelings of gratitude on Thanksgiving. It's a good habit to get in, and not just once a year. I'm often aware of feeling grateful for so many small things - regular things - the stuff of daily life. But in the spirit of enumerating, here's a list about this year in particular, but not reflecting a fixed order of importance - gratitude should rotate.
1) I'm grateful to have made it to India (and fervently hope to go again). For many years I've wanted to go, and now I understand a little more about why. I experienced a warmth and gentleness among people that felt, well, familiar. I was knocked out by the incredible visual feast, the seen-it-all energy, and the ancient sensibilities butting up against resourcefulness and modernity. In a very real way, it felt like my pilgrimage to Mecca.
2) I'm grateful for physical therapy, about which I knew little until my knee wrenched in London in July. A diagnosis of torn meniscus + "joint degeneration" didn't faze my PT expert, let alone require surgery. Four months later I don't have to think about my knee very often. Sometime I might investigate arthroscopy, but knowing that PT really works is a huge relief.
3) Ten years after I bought it, I still love my haven of a home. And still haven't run out of places for all the wonderful art finds I discover!
4) I'm grateful for my far-flung friends, who saw me through two painful deaths this year: my darling mom's last December, and my wonderful pal Mary Catherine Lamb, who left us in August. And I'm glad for new friendships with members of M.C.'s extensive Portland tribe.
5) At the risk of sounding super-corny, I'm grateful for our 44th president. What a massive difference he has made in so many ways - in processes, in perceptions, in expression of values. Even when I worry over inevitable missteps and shortfalls, having him in office is truly something to be thankful for, especially given the awfulness of what came before.
6) Social media aren't new, but this year feels like a real taking-off point - a more mainstream adoption - of Twitter in particular and lots of other tools that enable sharing, expressing, reporting. The widespread adoption means people I knew at age 7, and people I'd like to know better, can be "small pieces loosely joined" in my constellation - and so can I be in theirs. It's an important new aspect of living that's not going away.
7) I'm still very appreciative of Google - quirky, life-changing, energetic, never dull. As an employer, it sets a very high bar, and I still feel engaged and loyal.
8) As always, I'm grateful for the pile of books, magazines, music and films that are now and forever at my beck and call. The new challenge is really about how to consume anything: Hard copy, digital, streaming, real-time, small screen or large? I appreciate having the options.
I could keep going, but these represent the sorts of things on my mind today. As the NY Times said so eloquently in an editorial today, "Most of what life contains comes to us unexpectedly ... It is our job to welcome it and give it meaning. So let us toast what we cannot know and could not have guessed..."