What Are You Thankful For?
Well, I keep putting off writing about the emotion of disgust (and soon jealousy and guilt), but it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow and it just didn’t feel right to be writing about such a negative emotion. Emotions are catching; maybe writing about disgust disgusts me enough to put me off? Sounds amusingly logical, but I think it’s more that I’d rather take this time to reflect and savor some gratitude. Disgust sounds like a good topic after I eat too much this weekend.
Gratitude is a good topic for today, yes? (Question: Is it an emotion?) Gratitude is good for us, and often what is good for us is good for our dogs and other companion animals. I don’t say that in a vague, gosh-gee-whiz kind of way. There is some good research showing that taking time to be grateful, whether it’s writing a letter to someone you’ve never thanked or writing down three things you are grateful for each day, makes for a happier person. Feeling grateful decreases negative stress, and negative stress isn’t good for your health, so take 3 things to be grateful for and call me in the morning. No wait, send them in on the blog. What a wonderful weekend it will be for me and other readers to spend time each day reading what others are grateful for.
Here are some things I am grateful for:
Life. Someone near and dear to me was run over by a car two weeks ago. She is alive and will recover, but it will be a long haul. Jim’s sister and one of his brothers both died this summer, within two and a half months of each other. I’m mentioning this not for sympathy, but to remind us all that this life we have is tenuous stuff; I am grateful for every moment that I am well enough to whine and complain about minor problems. But for tomorrow and this weekend, no complaining. I’m going to bask in blessings.
Love. It’s everywhere, and the more you generate the more you get back. I am grateful every day for the blanket of love from Jim, Willie, and now Tootsie, that warms me like a fireplace on a snowy day. And I am buoyed by the love I still feel for Luke, Lassie, Tulip and Pippy Tay (and Ayla and Misty and Drift and Bo Peep and Fudge and so many other animals I’ve loved so much.) I know everyone is not so lucky in love, I wasn’t either for much of my life. Here are wishes to all of you that you can savor the love that comes your way, and send out more than you thought you held inside. This is also a love letter to all of you who have said such wonderful things to me about the effect my work has had on your life. I’ll never be able to say how much it means to me, but I can say Thank You, and mean it from my heart and soul.
Laughter. Okay, I suspect I’m starting to sound trite and maudlin here, but really… what would life be if we couldn’t laugh? And how many animals can? We don’t even know if dogs laugh, much less have a sense of humor. I’m so thankful that we humans do, surely it’s one of the best parts of being human.
The three things I’ve written above break all tenets of good writing, being general and lacking in detail and specificity. So here are a few more things I’m grateful for:
The scent from the top of Willie’s head. I can’t describe it, but it’s fresh and clean and I soak it up like oxygen every night.
The way it feels when my oldest ewe Dorothy nibbles grain from the palm of my hand.
The whipped-butter color of sunlight spotlighting the trees on the back hills.
Jim’s eyebrows. No one has better ones. Who knew eyebrows could be so attractive?
MEANWHILE, back on the farm:
Willie is grateful that he can be off leash now and is allowed to play with toys a little bit every day.
Tootsie is grateful that she gets to sleep on laps and lick food out of Kongs. She is on my lap right now (Willie is beside us.)
Sushi is grateful for sunbeams to nap in and fish for dinner. (And is meowing from the kitchen for me to get up and feed her some for the love of god.)
Dorothy is grateful for leafy, alfalfa hay and nibbles of corn and oats.
Here is a quote I was just sent by a colleague. It deserves to be passed along: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G. K. Chesterton
And You? What is your happiness doubled by wonder?
Here are two of the wonderful creatures in my life. We are all so lucky to have each other.