I got hung up on posting because I got stuck at Thanksgiving. Normally, I have a lot of thanks at the ready, but frankly, this past year hasn't been the kind you would be readily thankful for. Should I be thankful for the disastrous ending to my dream of going to the Isle of Man? How about thankful for one of my best friends being in the hospital with a major head injury and no good prognosis (I still think he'll do well, just slowly)? Maybe about my grandfather passing quickly and too soon. And then sprinkle in the crappy work environment I suffered for months, the bleak occupational outlook and accompanying feelings of being trapped and being a failure, the speeding tickets, the weight gain and generally feeling like ass, the horrible luck we showered onto my brother's house, the inability to move into a new place, and, gee, while I'm feeling sorry for myself, we lost the good cats!
Well, OK, you know, all said and done, this has been a shit year. So the thanks didn't come readily, but where I can find them, they are meaningful.
I'm thankful for the late night conversation I had with James when he crashed at my house. I got to tell him exactly how much he meant to me, point blank. I'm thankful that I showed him how much I admired him. I'm thankful that sitting on the couch at the SFMC alone one evening, he said to me "that's the nicest compliment anyone's ever given me." Because I don't think we'll ever have those times again. But I made myself known. James was one of those presences that changed my life for the better. I'm glad I told him that when I had the chance.
I'm thankful for the home and family that my grandfather built for me. I'm thankful for the wisdom and meaning he passed on to me, for the time we got to spend basking in his character and frighteningly broad intellect. I'm thankful for all the love, and for the love I witnessed him giving to the world at large. I'm thankful for all the too-strong hugs and the courage he's given by example. Mostly, I'm thankful for the last time Paul and I made it up there to help with the garden and enjoy my grandparents without the rest of the noise when we had the chance. There's just not always another chance when you think there will be.
I'm thankful for the courage I've been given, to tell people what the mean to me, in the time that I have with them.
I can't find too much thanks for missing out on the Isle of Man, but I did learn this, and it's got to be worth it:
Paul and I have had a lot of good times, so many it seems unreal. But good times are easy, and it's easy to love someone when times are good.
I'm thankful for the knowledge that Paul and I can withstand extreme stress. I know what it looks like when we are angry at each other. I know how Paul will care for me when I overextend myself, when I have great loss, when I feel overwhelmed, or face failure.
Overwhelmingly, this has been a shit year. Next year, I hope to be thankful for much less heavy things, but for now, these will do.