Friday, November 28, 2014

Yes, It's Another "I'm Thankful" Post

Every November, my Facebook newsfeed is filled with friends listing all of the things/people they are thankful for. There’s the 25 Day Thankful Challenge, the 30 Day Thankful Photo Challenge, and the #IAmGrateful Challenge.

Fortunately, I’ve never been tagged on social media to comprise any of these lists. I would have declined which may/may not cause me to feel guilty (see recent post: No More Guilt!). I tried keeping a gratitude journal back when Oprah was all about doing one. I listed five things that happened each day that I was grateful for. After a week, I decided that I didn’t need to focus so much on the past, even if it were just one day at a time.

Social media/technology has made me lazy in many ways but especially as far as thank-you messages go. I was raised to write a thank-you note if I received even the smallest gift or gesture. Now, I tell myself that I don’t have time to actually write and mail a note, that an email or a sincere public statement is enough. I know that’s not correct etiquette, and I promise to do better next year.

I’ve avoided the public showing of all that I’m grateful for, but since I’m into that huge transition into retirement, I felt compelled to list a few of the people/things I’m thankful for.

My family is the best. Like most of you, we have many dysfunctional people in our group, but we love and tolerate them or they do a good job of tolerating me. They/we provide lively conversation, whether they/we are doing the talking or family members are talking about them/us.

I’m so grateful that I got to raise children. Watching children grow and develop is the greatest joy. I only wish I had slowed down and appreciated it more instead of worrying about work or having a clean house. Now that I’m raising my grandchild, I hope I’m doing a better job of living in the moment.

Kelsey (8)
Kelsey (1)

Kevin (9 months)

Sweet Drew (9) giving a hug to his baby sister (3).

Kevin (3) bringing in the newspaper on a Sunday morning. This memory of Kevin is one that is frozen in my mind. It's like I can remember everything about him when this picture was taken. Such a sweet baby and little boy.

Kevin (6) and Drew (2) Check out Drew's ortho shoes. He was born with clubbed feet and had to have surgery as well as wear those shoes made for braces.

My nieces, Grace and Mary Griffin, and Kelsey eating watermelon.

Cloee's 4th birthday at Disney World. This trip was the best ever. It cost me $1,000 but when it was over, she said, "Thank you, Honey. I love you." It was worth every penny.

I don't mean the following statement to sound egotistical. I’ve accomplished so much in my life, and I’m truly thankful for all the help I’ve gotten from friends, colleagues, family and students. Many of my greatest accomplishments didn’t make the news; however, they have seemed really great to me. I’m so proud of what I’ve been able to give to all the people I’ve taught during my career. Any old teacher loves hearing from former students, especially when they tell us how much they loved the class, about how much they learned or about how much they connected to us. What a huge ego trip!

This may sound like an acceptance speech on some TV award show, but I want to say that I am thankful for my Lord. I may not make it to church every Sunday, may not read the Bible daily and may have agnostic periods, but when I sit and am still, I can hear Him. When I look at the majesty of this earth, I can see that someone had a hand in it. One of the greatest parts of worshipping a common power is the togetherness that you find in a church. I feel sad for people who do not have a place of safety that belonging to a church provides.

A beautiful tree in Perote, AL.photographed by my daughter.

My Top Five Contacts – I talk to these five people almost every day, and on really good or really bad days, I talk to them two or three times in a day. They are my blessings and my security.

I’m finished. I could go on and on about all the people, things, and experiences I’m grateful for in my life, but I’m afraid there’s not enough space on the Internet. Does that make sense? Does “breaking the Internet” by showing your butt make sense, Kim Kardashian? I was going to put a link to a site explaining about KK's naked photos, but I didn't want to give her any more exposure (pun intended).

Anyway, please know that I’m grateful for all of the people who take the time to read this blog. You have made these past several months some of the most interesting ones. I couldn’t have done this blog without the help of my editor/husband. Each week, he  proofreads all of my drafts and gives lots of, sometimes too much, advice. I frequently tell him that he should just start his own blog because he often tries to overtake mine. However, I’m forever thankful for him and that he picked me.

Richard and I eloped on Dec, 21, 2010. We were married in the judge's chambers in Apalachicola, FL.