About Me

My photo
I am a writer, a mom, and a friend. In this blog, I explore all of that. Please join me in this conversation by leaving a comment on anything you've read. Or follow me on Facebook @ Beth von Behren (author).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Grateful Life

Last year on Facebook, I started writing a daily status update on November 9, with the goal of writing one each day until Thanksgiving about something or someone in my life I was thankful for.  This year, instead of redoing  that, because I think I hit all the major points the first time around, I'm simply going to repost it here in its entirety in my blog (having painstakingly copied each post into a Word document last year; sometimes it pays to be anal). In re-reading these a year later, what I like most is that they cover the gamut of life, from every day inventions, such as space heaters, because sometimes it's the mundane that touches us the most, to ideas and (of course) the people I love.  Some were hard to re-read, especially the one about my dad. (Note:  There isn't an entry for my mom, because I wrote a whole blog post about her, which I posted on Thanksgiving last year.)  I thoroughly enjoyed writing each and every one of these.  Starting at the beginning...

November 9:  Borrowing from Kate: "Let's see how many people can do this. Every day this month until Thanksgiving think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status." Today, I am grateful for:  Kate.

November 10:  Today I am thankful that tomorrow I am going home. I love traveling, but I like going home even more (and in fact I wrote a blog post on that subject on the plane here but when my wireless thingy died...aarrgh...guess I need to buy a flash drive before I ship it off to Asus)...okay, back to being thankful :).

November 11:  Beth is thankful today for all the women and men who serve in the armed forces currently and for all those who have done so in the past, my father and my Uncle Fred included. I'm also thinking about their families, especially the families of the soldiers who come home wounded and broken and need a lot of care. Heroes, all. Happy Veterans' Day.

November 12:  Today, I am thankful for my dog Molly who faithfully scares away potential intruders with her big booming ferocious bark, even though she wouldn't hurt anyone (but they don't know that, as my mom used to say), and who is usually more happy to see me when I get home than my kids are. Good doggy.

November 13: I’m a day early but inspired by Laurie's friend Vicki, who posted a video of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," I want to say that on Friday I will be thankful for the members of Monty Python and all the laughter and joy they've given me over the years, in this amazing and expanding universe. Eric says it so much better than me [link to the Galaxy Song].

November 14:  Beth is thankful for my Aunt Virginia, who taught me the importance of spoken language when I was about eight or nine years old. One day, in front of her, I said, "I seen," and she corrected me. Nobody had ever done that before, and I have made every attempt, ever since, to treat spoken language as if it were the holiest gift, which it is.

November 15:  Beth is thankful that my brother Jeffrey has beaten back the leukemia monster and seems to be doing very well. Robust, even. (Photo with his wife Nancy on Halloween - he didn't wear a costume; she did.)

November 16:  Beth is thankful today for my brother Michael who periodically just jumps in and fixes something on one of my cars. Yesterday he replaced the serpentine belt in about two minutes on the old Buick. Two years ago, when I was unemployed and getting ready to take Sara to college, he replaced the timing belt on the Elantra. He also brings laughter and foolishness into my world when I need and least expect it.

November 17:  Today I am thankful for my other brother Jeffrey, who keeps up with me in the wise-ass-remark department quite efficiently, who is always there when I need him, and who shouldered the other half of the burden of our mother's caretaking in the last years of her life right alongside me. Not too bad for the baby of the family.

November 18:  Beth is thankful today that somebody once upon a time invented the space heater, two versions of which have kept my son and me warm for the last two nights as we first waited for a furnace repair and now await a fuel line repair and a re-inspection and (hopefully) our gas being turned back on. I can kinda understand why my grandparents liked electric heat.

November 19:  Beth is thankful today to have a great job. So many don't have jobs at all, and I have one where I get to do the things I love (write, talk, plan, create, develop, and write some more). And I do it alongside some pretty amazing folks. Good job. Great colleagues. I am thankful.

November 20:  Today I am thankful for coffee.

November 21:   Beth is thankful today for weekends ... so I can reduce my sleep deficit.

November 22:  Today I am thankful for my sister-in-law Nancy, who keeps my brother happy and sane, and who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year (my first one without my baby girl at home). It's nice to have a sister, especially one who's funny and a good cook.

November 23:  Today, I am thankful for my dad, who married my mom when I was seven months old and adopted me, giving me a name and a home and a wonderful, loving extended family who accepted me and never let on that I wasn't one of them. I cherish my memories of Saturday afternoons spent watching Charlie Chan movies with him and all the political arguments we shared over dinner. He taught me to think for myself. I miss him.

November 24:  Today I am thankful for my son, Simon. It has given me the most unexpected joy to raise a son, now teetering on the edge of adulthood, and to watch him grow into a compassionate and thoughtful young man. From the little boy who couldn't sit still to the funny, laughing teenager who swims miles every day (and who came in 5th at conference - yay!!!), he has been a delight every day of his life.

November 25:  Today, I'm thankful for my daughter Sara, who brought magic into my life when she was born and who continues to transform my life as a person and a parent with her imagination and creativity and insight. She is just an amazing kid. Simon and I will miss her this weekend but she'll be home for a month very soon...yay!!