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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holding It All Together...

I love nights like tonight. I love feeling like I am holding it all together, and doing it well.And I love nights like tonight where there is a clarity, and there is the ability to go above and beyond. That's my favorite part. I like doing more than I expected, and doing it better than I expected.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing out of the ordinary that I did tonight. I simply had a good day, my headache went away this afternoon, and Gabriel and I did some shopping. Except we didn't actually shop. We went, and browsed, threw some things in the cart, I played with his feet and held his little hand, watched him giggle, and then decided that I didn't really need anything, so I put it all back and left empty-handed. I was actually just enjoying spending time with him, and reflecting on how thankful I am that he is in my life, and that I get to play with his feet, hold his hand, and watch him giggle.

When we got home, he took a good nap, and I got a lot of my grading done, attended a meeting, did the dishes, and even held an extra seminar for my class.

My class, so far, has been what has thrown me off. Well, one of the things. But, it is one of the big things. I have always been proud of myself as a professional, and taken pride in my work. I have always felt that I needed to do well in my position, as a way to define myself. If I didn't do well, then I often attributed that to my lack of being a responsible or worthy person even before I had grief to deal with additionally. However, today, I held it all together.

My students helped me hold it together tonight. Gabriel is teething, so his schedule is not as perfect as I would like it to be, but somehow, I still (barely) got him to bed on time, even after his long nap. During seminar, I had 9 students show up, even though it was not graded- optional- which meant that other than information, they got nothing out of it. They showed up. They showed up for me, and more importantly, they showed up for themselves. I cannot believe how much this group has grown. In the beginning, I was so worried that I had taken on more than what I was able to, and in the beginning, I was worried that I was not a responsible or worthy person. But, tonight, I have seen the growth, and the potential of these students, and realized that I have a part in that growth and potential that is starting to shine. It is a wonderful feeling.

I love November. I have always loved November. I love it because it is Thanksgiving, which is truly one of my favorite holidays. I love reflecting on what I am thankful for, and I love seeing others reflect on what they are thankful for. I love having the entire month of November to celebrate Thanksgiving, before heading in to the craziness of consumer-Christmas.

After grad school, I substitute taught at a preschool in my hometown quite frequently. One day, we were putting together a Thanksgiving book for the students to take home. What a great idea! I am definitely going to do this independently with Gabriel when he gets older. Some of their responses were so cute, and definitely should be cherished. I remember one little girl saying that she was thankful for her Mommy and Daddy. Another was thankful for his candy. Another was thankful for her pockets, and another was thankful for his belt! And, while we laugh at their cuteness and "simplicities", it also makes me think that I am thankful for the big stuff, and also the little stuff.

Ultimately, I am thankful for the little stuff, and the big stuff. I am thankful for my couch, my TV, my books, and my "woobie". I am thankful for my dog, my family, my friends, my baby, and my Angel Husband. I am thankful for my life; if you would have asked me that several months ago, I am not sure I would have been thankful. So, I am thankful that I am here. Now.

The coolest part of thinking about what we are thankful for is because it gives a moment, even if just a very quick moment, to think about how blessed we are in our life, and helps us forget about some of the sad things, or things that we wish we would have said, done, or had happened differently. And, it also helps us have a new perspective on those items that we maybe would have said, done or had happened differently. No matter what happened, or what was said, or what was done, ultimately, it has brought us to be the person that we are, with the blessings that we have.

More and more, I see how much life is a ripple effect. I see how much it is a chain reaction. Sometimes links are broken, but it gives us a new perspective. And when the chain comes back together, it is stronger, reinforced, and it takes more to be broken again. I did post a "thankful" blog last year, on December 6. I am still very thankful for all of those things today, and maybe even moreso. I think it is important that we stop and observe what we are thankful for, and maybe we should do it more often than in November. I feel like I have changed so much since then, but am still the same, just maybe a better version of me.

Tonight, I held it together. Tonight, I was good at what I was doing, in all areas of my life. Tonight, I realized that I am having more nights like tonight, just as I was promised by so many a year ago. Tonight, I know that they will eventually continue coming along, and I can continue healing.

Tonight, I am thankful for everything.

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