This year, I am thankful for:
- My new baby girl, E, and her big brother (almost two!), W. They are the lights of my life. I was in the car recently singing a song with W and I broke down in happy tears. I cannot believe that I am a mother.
- My sweet and abiding partner, Michael. He stands by me when I'm at my most crazy (way too often) and he's just as complex as I am. We do not have an easy relationship, he and I, but we have a real relationship with its ups, downs, and all-over-the-places. I am very grateful to know him and to be partnered with him in life and in parenthood.
- My job. I don't always enjoy it and I'm really wishing I had more time off for maternity leave (I start back at work next week), but in an economy like this, I am very lucky to have a job in my field that is relatively secure. It's not perfectly secure, of course (what is?), but I don't expect to be out of a job for the next year or two, and that's a big ass deal.
- My mother. She is, like Michael, incredibly complex. And like my job, I don't always enjoy her. But she's here and we have a relationship that I cherish, even when it isn't going well. We are doing the best we can, and given that she's in her 70s, I'm aware that she won't be here forever.
- My health. I'm about 40 lbs overweight (!!!), have arthritis in my knees and tendonitis in my wrists, and sometimes it feels like I'm far older than 42, especially when I've been up multiple times a night to feed E. In other words, every damn morning. But still: I have it. One of Michael's sisters is incredibly ill with multiple autoimmune diseases and a poor prognosis. When I feel crappy, I think of her. Life could be much worse.
- My brain. It works, most of the time, and even though I've got newborn-in-the-house fogginess, my mind is emerging slowly from the fog. I expect it to be back, eventually. I hope that when I go back to work next week, it works enough that I don't feel like an asshole at my first big meeting (on Monday, the day I return).
- And of course, I am grateful for the ability to feed my family every day without worry, for having shelter, for having warm clothes as winter sets in, and for not being too much in financial need. I'm thankful that my problems are first world problems, as they say, and I pledge again (and again, and again) to work so that others have the same sense of security and safety.
I suppose these are all fairly predictable things to be thankful for, so I'll add a few less predictable ones:
- My DVR. This one is silly. Remember when we had to be home at a certain time to watch tv? I love that those days are gone. I love that I can save an old movie for middle of the night feedings if I need it. I love that I can fast forward through a trashy real housewives episode so that I don't feel too pathetic watching it in real time.
- Faceb.ook. I know, I know. It's a major time suck and it's not *that* interesting. This is another silly one. But I love that I can keep up with long lost friends from high school and college. I was not a popular kid in HS and my college friends are sometimes people I cannot imagine being real friends with today, but it's pretty cool to see what happened to all of them. I could not have conceived of such a thing when I graduated college (in 1991....man, I'm old!).
- NPR. Actually, this one isn't so silly. I value that I get to hear quality programming in the car any time of the day or night. I'm a totally junkie for NPR programs, and yes, I'm a member, so I do my part (even though I share everyone else's hatred for pledge drives).
- The blogworld: another non-silly thing I'm pleased is part of my life. I'm still a newbie in this blog world, but I'm really quite thrilled that my words go out into the interwebs and are read by people who don't live in my town, aren't in my academic field, and yet who I care about a great deal. I value this community so much, even more now that I'm an itinerant blogger. Thank you, dear readers, for reading and writing!!!
I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving, if this is a holiday you're celebrating!