Thursday, November 24, 2005

Balance and thanks

It's a weird balance, writing a blog. Weird because I'm writing a record for myself but I'm also writing to entertain and maybe inspire a lot (I hope) of other people. Sometimes it's a little difficult to decide what to post publicly and what to hold private.

I was reflecting today on past Thanksgivings and thought it was interesting that one year ago today I was very pregnant and we were celebrating our last bit of childless freedom with a trip to Paris, a cosmopolitan getaway for the two of us before the dramatic changes of Babydom.

And two years ago we were fighting hypothermia and frostbite in the Adirondacks, backpacking in a very windy rainstorm that soon changed to multiple inches of snow. We had decided to take the trip to get our minds off my recent miscarriage, an experience that grieved me more than I could ever have imagined. Interestingly, we found so many things for which to be thankful after our just-add-boiling-water meal that night. It was surely my most memorable thanksgivings ever, huddling by the fire out in the woods with just Todd (and a lot of deer hunters somewhere out in the trees beyond our campsite).

Todd and I aren't big on holidays and commemorating, but I wonder if we will become more enthusiastic about them as we grow older. I would like to initiate some "meaningful" traditions, especially as the baby starts to grow up, but I have a low tolerance for forced reflection or enforced emotion.

One of my roommates in college had a tradition in her family where they invited friends and family to take turns reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" aloud, breaking between chapters for food and drink. I love this tradition because it encourages laughter and lighthearted reflection while simultaneously offering an opportunity to develop deeper relationships and connections with the people we love or want to know better. But it's not forced. I would rather chant poetry in my underwear while standing on my head than suggest that we list the things for which we are thankful. It's just not my personality to initiate or participate in "organized emotion".

Having said that, I have completely freed my self from forced reflection, correct? Which means that I can now list a few things for which I am truly grateful: a loving and supportive husband of 14 1/2 (!) years, our beautiful and amusing little girl who I could never have imagined just ten months ago, a family of amazing and loving individuals who continue to astound me for their diverse personalities and the depth of their love for eachother and for us, a network of tremendously supportive and talented friends, the fantastic city and neighborhood in which we live, and a country that can simultaneously infuriate and elicit awe. I'm sure I could list many, many more things, but tomorrow promises a great deal more thankfulness - including an entire day spent with the man I rarely see!

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing how a baby transforms the way we mark time, and what it means. Big landmarks for me were almost always travel, and the jobs I quit (to travel). Now I am surprised to hear myself saying things like let's make an advent calendar.

    Suddenly I want to start creating traditions and memorable years, create the environment that as you say let's us be together and remember that.