This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada.
While there are many (too many!) things that still need improving in this world, it is always a good idea to stop for a moment and recognize that there are still things to be grateful for.
Randomly opened a book of quotes titled A Grateful Heart and this one was revealed:
Give us thankful hearts...in this the season of Thy Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun and rain and peace. Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and let us ever remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in larger and better form.
W. E. B. Dubois.
While life is never always perfect, all of the time, and we may not have everything on that list of Debois', it has been my journey through life to try to find the silver linings in the clouds, to recognize that I have some of those items most of the time, and to be grateful for those that I have, while not moaning (too loudly) about those that I do not.
There are days when that is far easier said than done. The past week has been one of those times. The past year has been particularly challenging for a number of reasons, and falling (twice!) was, well, rude.
On the other hand, all of the medical people I dealt with in the aftermath have been absolutely wonderful. From the clerk at the walk in clinic who sent me home to wait my turn instead of keeping me in the packed waiting room, the doctor who carefully tended the wounds, the wound clinic staff. And my knee is getting better. I can walk more easily, with less pain.
I was even able to change my seat selection on both flights tomorrow from a (cramped!) window seat to one in the aisle so that I can stretch my leg out when appropriate. Both flights are short - 60+ minutes on the first, about 50 on the second. I have long layovers both going and coming home, so no need to hustle my butt to make the connection.
Choosing to not weave allowed me to rest and let my body heal while working on conference and business administrivia.
During this season of thanksgiving, I was reminded of some of the wonderful people in my life as I grew up. National Teacher's Day reminded me of the gift of teachers who were, by and large, really great teachers. I learned so much from them, some of it even having to do with the curriculum! But also how to think about other people and their experiences. Critical thinking. Recognizing emotional trigger words. And how to stop myself from becoming ensnared by people who were trying to influence me and bend my thinking to their agenda.
I remembered to be thankful for many friends and acquaintances who have enriched my life in ways I could not list as it would take too long. Just know that I value all of you in my life, whether it is in person, or on line.
Professional people have helped me develop as a weaver, teacher, business person by helping me wend my way through the learning curve every time I tried something new. Authors have shared their knowledge in books and articles, allowing me to spring board from their information to asking 'what if...' and carry on in my own journey of learning.
Authors who write fiction have helped me see the viewpoint of others with different experiences, and authors who write memoirs have shared their experiences allowing me a glimpse into their reality.
Gratitude for my family, both near and far, who helped shaped me into the person I am today, both by how they treated me and the gift of their DNA.
Gratitude to the partner in my life, especially the past few days, helping me ease through the daily chores, driving me to appointments, and so on. And so much more.
So no, things aren't perfect. There will always be more that needs to be 'fixed', improved. There will be things like falls, injuries and general health issues - more as the years go on. Probably my biggest challenge right now is to work out what my new 'normal' is going to look like. What I can realistically expect that I can do. Hobbling around for the past few days has been difficult, but also a time to think. I have been trying to do that for several years, but my inner 34 year old keeps telling my 'in real life' exterior 68 year old that I can do more than that body really wants to do, given the past 10 or so years.
On the other hand, I am still here, unlike so many. I get more chances to do things, albeit more slowly than I am used to, but still. The rest of my immediate genetic family is gone. The twig of this branch of DNA stops here, with me.
But hopefully not for a while yet.
In the meantime, I remind myself to be grateful. I did not break a bone. I just tore up some skin, which will grow back. More slowly than a few decades ago, but it will heal.
I can still go on my trip. I will have a few days on the island before I have to teach. By then I might be able to walk a lot more easily - today is already better than yesterday. My hands are coming along and I can knit. I have packed some simple knitting and a stack of tea towels that I will be able to hem.
And I have books to read.
When I add it all up, the check marks in the positive column are far more numerous than the ones in the other.
Sending my best wishes to everyone, on this day that reminds us to find gratitude. In spite of everything.
Currently reading Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.