Backhanded Thankfulness …

Posted: January 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Backhanded Thankfulness…

It’s been too long between blogging…
Thanks for stopping by to read this.

Most people who know me well know that I’m a grousey realist at best, and sometimes downright cynical when it comes to my trust of the human animal. But no matter how many times I’ve gotten the snot knocked out of me over the years from an unexpected source, there’s still that part of me that remains very hopeful when it comes to humans banding together to do good. My husband normally finds that aggravating. Even thought it is certainly formulaic, and shamelessly panders to people’s emotions, there’s something about the Sunday night show “Extreme Home Makeover” that I enjoy. Of course the show makes my husband want to vomit, and I do use the DVR to record it so I can fast forward through the precious annoying bits. Ken always retreats to the man cave when the show comes on. Even with all the contrived preciousness, there’s something about it that resonates in a really deep place for me… almost in spite of the show. Tonight I figured out in a deeper way what it is.

At the core of my being I do believe that we are on this planet to make a difference in other people’s lives. That we are called to be connected and to dare to care for each other. Sometimes that caring means to wade into the pain and the suffering of others and to share it and find a way to make it a little better somehow. Recently some of my friends did a home makeover themselves on a smaller scale for a family who needed a little extra help. Not only was the family blown away and touched… but so were their neighbors and friends. The people who helped make it possible were incredibly touched and energized by it all. My friend said they felt so alive while they were working on the project and doing exactly what they needed to be doing. I believe she was right.
There was a family here locally who received one of the extreme makeovers. When it came time for the show to get volunteers to help, they got a good majority of them from their church. This deserving father with a bizillion kids who’s wife had died ended up with a new beginning for his family. We can come together in big ways and small ways to bring hope and healing to each other. We can choose to show up for our lives and really live them in community.

Maybe I’m more sensitive to how important that is because it’s so hard for me to get out of my house at a normal time to see anyone. Somehow though, a heck of a lot of living happens here. A lot of connecting and a lot of mutual support. I have dear friends who stagger out to the few places that are open late and meet me for dinner and great discussion from 9:30 to 11:00 pm on week nights when sane people would be sleeping. But I’m aware that love motivates them to do that… to loose a little sleep and to be family for me… in the same way the Extreme Makeover volunteers are probably pooped at the end of their week, but there lives are fuller for the experience.

Traditionally this time of year is hard for me. I have to fight back the inner demons of depression and a lifetime of painful memories… but each year I’m reminded in a million different ways of how much I am loved… and that family isn’t just people with shared genetics… family in the truest sense is really those people who you share your lives and your experiences with. It grows with each of those encounters and shared experiences… and the history we share together as it unfolds.

I’m thankful for how rich my life is and for the people who make my life richer and who help hold me up when I’m weak. I’ve had some amazing conversations with longtime friends lately and I realized how thankful I am for them and to see them living through their own struggles and tragedies, and through it all growing stronger and becoming even more amazing people.

On a different note, the other day I had to go pay my property taxes… and as I was standing there, forking over 1500 bucks for six months, I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude to have the money to pay it and to have a home to live and work in.
There’s so much else I could write about tonight but it is almost 2 in the morning and I have a full day tomorrow. I know I’ve said it before, but I can never say it enough. Thank you all for being a part of my life. Don’t forget in the midst of all the holiday busyness that your life makes a difference to the people in your world. You guys do ROCK!


Your definition of family certainly resonates with me. Thanks for being a part of my own family… my life is the richer for it!

I’ve meant to say it since Thai.. but, thanks for being my sister where otherwise I have none 🙂
And P.S. You Rock!
You rock with penguins and I don’t see how anyone can top that. Interesting I just had a talk with my sponsor telling her I was grateful to have enough money to pay the locksmith and the heating guy today (the house was broken into the other night…will explain later).The more we try to do good for others the more we grow. At least that’s what I’m told.
I can almost remember the moment I met you. Everyone in that place became instant family. Brian,Gin,Patty,Janet and so on. And to this day with everyone all over the place you, they, are still, family. Sending the thanks right back to you. Love you. J.
Ahhh, you do so have a way of speaking my mind…:-) Thank you, my dear Voice of Reason!

You rock more. I’m on your side–I so want to believe that people at their very core are awesome and just let life put up too big of a wall (and sometimes pretty damn ugly one, at that). I’ve missed you. I hope your holidays were well.


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