Sunday, November 27, 2011
I have been reading all the thankfulness posts on Facebook over the past few weeks and obviously my mind has turned to what I am thankful for during Thanksgiving. I will admit to a certain amount of patronizing eyerolling at some of the status updates on Facebook. By the second week people are usually either reaching pretty deep or repeating themselves and I find the whole exercise a little contrived and disingenuous. Most people are thankful for what they have in comparison to people who lack. While I think it is important to be aware that the average American life is extremely luxurious when compared to a global standard, I don't necessarily think that should translate to a guilt-filled gratitude.
I do feel grateful for my house, and my car, and electric blanket but when I think about the things that are really important to me - possessions don't rate high on the list. I don't feel guilty for having something that others may not but I know that I could make do with less as long as I have what really matters to me.
What matters to me, what I am thankful for is time. When I was a child I thought time was infinite. An hour was forever, a day incomprehensible, and a weekend an eternity. As I age, as I experience joy and tragedy and loss, I have realized that time is finite. Last holiday season was so stressful because I was afraid, every time I looked at my mother, every time I thought about how sick she was I panicked. I really thought that my time with my mother was almost up and my heart was breaking. I felt the lasts - the last thanksgiving, the last Christmas, the last birthday. So my house and my things and even my beloved electric blanket seem pale when compared to the time that I still have with my mother.
That time will come to an end and I am sure it will be earlier than I am ready for but for now I can be thankful that what I thought were the lasts weren't.