Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. I’m extremely fond of my dad; I think he’s a great person who married another great person, and I’m a little biased, but I think they both did (/are doing) a pretty great job being parents. Yesterday was a Monday and Kyle and I took my parents out for a birthday lunch that got quite long and involved some very good local beer and possibly the best ribs I’ve ever eaten. So we were sitting in an otherwise-empty restaurant, rolling into hour two of lunch, finishing off flights and putting in an order for a deep fried brownie, and I thought, It’s so nice that this is happening.
It’s not always been the case that my parents and I have lived in the same town, or that my husband and I have both had flexible enough work schedules that we can take long lunches. And it won’t always be the case, though I do hope it all lasts at least a little while longer. But it was the case yesterday, and I was very happy, and I am grateful.
Our pastor talked this week about counting blessings. (Possibly yours did, too! November church!) I’m pretty good at general blessing-counting, in that I’m aware that I have a lot of love in my life and a lot of privilege, a lot of good things and good people. But I am also prone to feelings of dread—or, on a smaller scale, to just not living in good moments. My mind races ahead.
So, for example, I know I have a good job that I went to school for and that was more or less created for me, but I almost never pause in the middle of a piece of editing to register that I’m getting paid in that moment to read and correct comma usage. I know that living in a town with a wealth of good breweries is a delight, but I can’t remember the last time I stopped after a sip like I did yesterday to look at where I was and who I was with—probably the three people who love me most in the world, and I don’t think I take them for granted, but how often do I consciously appreciate them? Like, yeah, broadly speaking, life is good, but also: this is good. This moment is good. This moment is magical.
So that’s my goal for this lead-up to Thanksgiving: to let go of how much I hate not knowing what’s going to happen and settle in more to the good things that are happening. I have not yet found a way to apply this thinking to the knowledge that everyone I know seems to be seeing snow and I am not. But I’ll work on it! Maybe you are already great at this, but if not, maybe we can work on it together. (Not the snow thing in particular. Unless you also experience deep snow envy.)
And I made you another playlist! For Thanksgiving/everyday giving of thanks.