Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude (and the Siren Song of Kahlua)

As a grumpy ass teenager I can remember being all like 'Ugh... Thanksgiving. What the hell's the point of being grateful over a dead bird carcass? Why the hell do we commemorate a day of bamboozlement and the eventual slaughter of native peoples?' And well (and this may be the two too many White Russians talking right now) I still sort of feel that way. But on the flip side, as I've grown older (egads... I'm nearly 30!) and wiser (pffffft!) I've come to appreciate the small traditions (Macy's Day Parade!) and the break from reality to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Oftentimes in the day to day hustle and bustle, when things become overwhelming or stressful and when all I want to do is curl up in my bed and never re-emerge and deal with people again, I neglect to be grateful. To count my blessings and remind myself of all the things, big and small, that enrich my life. I get so caught up in the grumps and the darkness, which is sadly so familiar to me, that I forget to look at the bright and shiny bits. And so, tonight, with the help of my friends Vodka,Kahlua, and milk I'd like to take a few minutes to get all sappy like and enumerate the things for which I am glad. Yes, I have work in the morning - for twelve fucking hours at a bank on Black Friday with just a new guy for help - but I'm going to brush that off for now and revel in the moosh.

I am grateful for books; which I use both to learn and to escape and for fresh coffee which keeps me from strangling anyone.

I am grateful for my family, because even though they sometimes cause me great pains and headaches and heartaches my life would be more empty without them in it. I am who I am today, for better or worse, because of the memories, tests and trials I've been through with them. They are my roots.

I am grateful for my husband, who loves and supports me in everything that I do no matter how outrageous or ridiculous it sounds to him. For believing in me, for picking me up when I fall down, for healing me and for freeing me. If I ran away tomorrow to join the circus, came back a year from now and my only explanation was 'I needed to do it to find me' I have no doubt he would continue to love me and wrap me up in his arms. Yup, I'm one lucky, very loved girl.

I am grateful for my girlfriends who have known me and stood by my side, no questions asked, for over 20 years. No matter how far or long apart we are, we can always pick up exactly where we left off. Through good time and bad, through boy troubles, family issues, my self hurting and subsequent substance abuse, through moving away and falling off the face of the Earth, to hiking in my sacred spaces and beercations, these girls have stuck by me. I can't imagine who or where I'd be without them.

I am grateful for my furbabies, the kitties and the pup. They have taught me patience and compassion that I never thought myself capable of. They have shown me what it is to have a life rely on you completely for their survival and well being. Even with the pee issues, the resource guarding, training sessions and terrifying hospital stays I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I am grateful for tasty beer - not that yellow colored piss water - because, well, it's tasty. And I like beer. :)

I am grateful for my niece, who has helped my sister begin to be the woman she can and needs to be. She's so damn cute and I enjoy being a doting aunt as often as I can be!

I am grateful for art, which has saved and healed me more times than I can count. From the first time I held an implement of drawing at age 3 through holding my brush today, art has been as integral to my health and well-being as breathing. Which, I realize, may sound crazy to the outside observer but is absolutely true. If I go too long without creating, without expressing a feeling or exploring an idea on the paper in some form or another I feel unwell and get in to a funk that is hard to break out of. Art helps me to see myself from a wordless perspective; to put what I'm feeling out there, to purge the shit and the junk when I am unable to do so in words. It has helped me cope with horrific events and to immortalize happier times - all just for me, if I wish it to be so.

I am grateful for my best friend, Michael, who at this time last year was fighting cancer. I am thankful that he is still here to talk me out of (or in to) crazy things, for rubbing some of his ridiculous love of Christmas off on to me, to talk comics and movies with me and to be a shoulder to lean on when I need or want one. Given my penchant for affection and his aversion to it, we make a truly unusual pair, but for late night chats or opinions on honest assessments of myself, I wouldn't turn to any one else. He's like the bestest brother ever and I've never told him (because we're bros like that and he knows and would brush it off anyway) but I'm so happy that he kicked cancer's ass and is still my BFF after nearly a decade of putting up with my shit.

I am grateful for the sun, moon and stars over my head and the ground beneath my feet - for that is where my path is laid out and where my spirituality and stability derive from. All things which I need to know in order to grow and flourish can be found in the rhythms and patterns of nature. I am grateful for the Deities who have taken my hand and mussed my hair over the years, in whom I keep faith even when my faith in myself has burned low or out.

And last, but certainly not least, I am grateful for each and every one whom I call friend or family - Even if we don't talk or see each other as much as we'd like, you've all got a very special place in my heart. Without your wisdom, love and friendship throughout the years, I'd be a ship lost at sea. If it weren't for our talks and the support we've given each other over so many issues and ideas depression, mania or hopelessness may have settled in for a long stay.

And so, thank you. All of you, for holding me close, picking me up, listening and helping me stay the course as best I can in times troubled and bright. I love you all.

P.S. When my friend coffee kicks in tomorrow morning, I promise not to correct or delete any of this. Not a single letter.


  1. Wonderful post - you nailed the meaning of Thanksgiving.

  2. Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Danni! I am thankful for you too. Hope you don't have a headache this morning! (Rub some lime juice on your forehead/temples if you do.)

  3. A beautiful post! Everyone should count their blessings every day, through both the light and dark times! While growing up, I learned that Thanksgiving was about celebrating the Pilgrims, yah-di-yahda... But as I have grown older Thanksgiving isn't about Pilgrims or Indians or any of that. It's about being Thankful. And I am Thankful for wonderful Bloggy Friends like you! ♥

  4. I like the way your friend Kahlua led you down this lovely path of realization and confession. And I'm sure your friend coffee will help your after party situation. But I am absolutley sure that you deserve all the wonderful things life has to offer and have grown from the ones that have made you stretch into the wonder you are. And for you I am grateful. What a nifty chick you are. What a delight to call you friend. Oma Linda

  5. Kahlua is a true friend and a lovely zen master :)

    Great post!!!

  6. I am catching up on my favorite blogs and I have to say this is such a heartwarming tribute to the positive and loving parts of life. Sometimes we get caught up in the drama and negativity that we forget to part that curtain and see the beauty that is behind me. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. My birthday is either on it or days before or after. Growing up my ENTIRE family gathered for DAYS and we ate, laughed, fought and had an amazing time together. Now that I'm older, and those traditions have passed when the Matriarch (my mother) died, I cry in remembering those times. It is now on my shoulders to create a new kind of memory for my own child and while we do.....I still wish he had the childhood Thanksgivings I did. Sigh.


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