Oscar Wilde wrote, “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
With that thought, I’d like to tell you about my friend, Jenny. She will zoom across any room to throw her arms around your neck and call you by your name, even if she hasn’t seen you in a very long time. To Jenny, no one is ordinary and everyone gets a share of her happy, happy love. Jenny all is authenticity. She’s confident, capable, talented, brilliant, daring, friendly, tender, tough, curious, grateful, faithful, and illustrious. She makes my world a better place. No, she makes the entire planet better.
I hope that you have someone in your life who lights up an already sunny day like Jenny does.
Native American weavers, I learned last week, put a tiny flaw in their rugs so the light can enter their creation. I believe that when God made people like me, lots of room was made for flaws, but when Jenny was created there was no need for a single flaw because she was and is the perfect, angelic light that this world so desperately needs. To love her is to love someone truly extraordinary.
This is so incredibly cool. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the “spirit of Thanksgiving” before. I mean, it’s not really about food, is it? Crap. All these years I’ve missed the joy that I’m feeling this season. Oh sure, I know the 1621 story of the Colonists and the Wampanoag Native Americans (only because I looked it up). I stick a fake turkey on my entryway table. And every year at the dinner table we bow our heads and give thanks, then we circle around one-by-one citing something for which we are thankful—all before we dig into a feast of a million calories.
But I’m feeling something novel this season. I’m feeling thankful. And grateful. My heart’s a little tender because my mind has been dwelling on people who have blessed my life and the lives of my loved ones. The photo is of my son, Collin, when he was in elementary school. Creative teachers morphed him into a pilgrim. They taught him history. I’m grateful for teachers who care about kids.
Which leads me to this…a different type of gratitude list. Hopefully, this one will do for you what it did for me…conjure up some pretty terrific memories and instill a sense of debt deep within the soul. All for people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. All kinds of people.
Granted, some of the folks on my list are dead, so thanking them gets a little tricky. But not really. I carry the memories of my parents and grandparents. I share stories about them with my kids. Every year my daughter makes Grandma’s walnut pie. Tradition lives on.
You might have to dig into your past to link back up with some people like former teachers, mentors and benefactors. That’s okay. If you can’t reach them by phone, email or social media, you can drop a snail mail note, or just send them positive energy. It works. Good thoughts have connective power. Good thoughts have the power to turn a mundane holiday into a gratitude feast!
I wish I’d gotten into the festive spirit of Thanksgiving long ago. But Thanksgiving isn’t a time for regret…it’s a time for remembering and realizing that there is always, always someone for which to be grateful.
Here’s a possibility pool:
- The woman who gave birth to you
- The man you call Dad
- The one who taught you to pray
- A neighbor who loaned you what you lacked
- The person who taught you to ride a bike
- Someone who makes you laugh out loud
- Your best secret keeper
- The friend who forgets your darkest past
- A grandparent who nurtured you in any way
- Someone who cooked you a meal
- A reader who shared a great book with you
- Someone who pardoned your error and didn’t bring it up again
- Whoever once helped you clean your room
- Anyone who helps you feel safe and secure
- The person who gave you your first job
- A doctor or nurse who cared for you when you were hurt or sick
- The God who gives you everything
- An aunt or uncle who has been your advocate
- The person who introduced you to Shakespeare
- A dance partner
- The one who helped you mend a broken heart
- Someone who took you to a ballgame
- Whoever washed and ironed your clothes
- A cousin you love
- Whoever taught you to drive (or to drive a stick)
- Karaoke partner
- Whoever gave you a cherished pet
- Someone who cleaned up a mess you made
- The person you kissed in the rain
- Your typing teacher
- The one who held you when you cried
- A road tripping partner
- A hiking buddy
- Anyone who lightened your load
- Someone who held your hair back while you puked
- The person who pushed you highest on a swing
- Whoever taught you to whistle
- Your shenanigan partner
- Someone who chastened you because you deserved it
- Someone who loaned you money
- Whoever taught you to tie your shoes
- The person you call your best friend
- The person you consider your first friend
- A sibling you could be closer to
- A soldier
- A preacher
- Someone who helped you study for a test
- A music teacher
- A nemesis who teaches you about yourself
- The God to whom we all owe our all…He deserves a double mention!