Those are the ways I know how to say "Thanks!" in other languages. It's something that I make a point to say all the time, to everyone. Even if it's my mom or dad and it's the 492754982nd time they've bought me a meal, I don't want to be the one to forget to thank them. I think gratitude is the best abstract noun EVER. Even more than happiness or kindness. Thankfulness takes the cake. I think it's of the utmost importance to really be able to say in words how you feel after being the target of someone else's grace...big or small. I think it can never be said enough, just as one tiny act of giving should never EVER go unnoticed without a word of thanks.
And that's why Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. It celebrates something that we actually all practice in our lives. Because let's face it--if you can't think of ANYTHING to be thankful for, then you should probably just quit life and start over. Maybe I'm optimistic, but I don't think there is one human that can't find something for which to be thankful. And by something, I mean someone.
That's what I find myself saying thank you for 9 times out of 10. The humans I know that make life possible. Scratch that--not just possible, but they make life everything from merely bearable to superb (depending on the day). I think we can even say thanks for the humans that are grouchy and rude and mean to us, because without them, we would not be able to recognize what makes the good ones so great.
I never do this on Thanksgiving because I do it everyday. However, it's a nice reminder. Acknowledging and naming what we're thankful for.
(In no particular order)
1. Being able to live this long in such a beautiful part of the world, where I'm surrounded by inspiring physical space
3. My dear, sweet friends. Oh, how I miss them.
5. Big strong legs that help me get up and down these hills
7. Photos and taking them.
8. Pier 24 (come visit me and I will take you to what my version of Heaven looks like)
10. Family. For as crazy as we all are, we do alright.
11. Church family from coast to coast.
15. I can't help it--I thank Apple everyday for inventing the iPhone.
17. The smell of photo chemicals (these will most likely cause my death in later years)
18. Jack Fulton
19. Teachers in general
20. Learning, too
21. Gray areas
23. Snail mail
That's how old I am, so I'll stop. I am grateful every day that I can get up in the morning. I'm getting a little rusty on my Jewish things, but there is this prayer that Hasidic Jews pray as soon as they open their eyes in the morning: Thank You, God, for having the confidence in me to do Your work for another day. (Something like that.) I can't remember what it's called, but I think it's the most beautiful way to thank God for giving us life and it reminds me why I'm alive in the first place. My life is not my own, and I'm more thankful for that than anything else.
What's coming next: