Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving of Thanks

I'm not really a big fan of Thanksgiving. As a longtime vegetarian (20 years), turkey does nothing for me. Big groups are never my thing, either, so going to someone's house and making small talk with relative strangers is unappealing on many levels. But this year might be somewhat different. We're hosting our families and we're doing most of the cooking, which is nice because we control the parts that we might like. I'm even cooking the turkey this time around, and I got a free-range organic 20 pounder so that I feel better about the whole endeavor.

The only good thing about this so-called holiday is that it prompts reflection on what we're all grateful for. It's like a pause in my otherwise busy and overly self-critical brain. A reset. In fact, tomorrow I'm home from work doing some of the preparatory cooking, and I'm planning to take at least an hour and make a private list of the things I'm grateful for, just to remind myself of the joy of being alive.

I'm reading a cool book at the moment written by Jon Kabat-Zinn and his wife Myla Kabat-Zinn called Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting. Sometimes it gets a little woo-woo for me, but mostly, I'm digging it. And it reminds me often to stop and really see W, rather than just manage his day. Being a manager sucks, but being present with him and enjoying him (even when he's screaming and crying because he's overtired) is the best thing I can do.

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