There's a lot in there - loneliness that make weekends and holidays difficult, injuries that have kept me out of the hot and power yoga practices that have kept me going the past many years, an awareness of time moving past, less than healthy eating, and all of it wrapped around a core of struggle that has made me a bit of a curmudgeon, a bit of a misanthrope.
And yet, there is much to be grateful for.
I'm grateful for my home - so many of my friends struggle to find housing, have roommates that are not always nurturing, or are unrooted. I bought my condo four years ago and it's become a little nest - space to work, space to practice, space for my dog, space to relax and unwind. It's
I'm grateful for Elo, my little dog. When I moved into this place I was not expecting to bring him with me - thinking he'd not do well alone, in a condo, without a back yard to run in. But he's done well - not too barky, not too neurotic, and a good excuse to get me out for a long walk every day. So often when I've felt down and alone, his warm body and brown eyes keep me going.
I'm grateful for my band. Who would have guessed that 30+ years from high school and college, when music was such a big part of my life, that I'd still have the opportunity to pick up a guitar, pick up a bass, and make some music. We play and rehearse enough to keep the music tight and enjoyable, but not so much as to overwhelm and burn out.
I'm grateful for my teacher, and my practice. While yoga has become a place of struggle for me over the past year, and is no longer my daily addiction. I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to practice, and the opportunity to teach. And I am grateful for a community that is tolerant of my recent thrashing around and lashing out, and does not seem interested in letting me disappear.
I am grateful for my work and my clients - it has been 15 years since I unfurled my business banner and launched my engineering practice. I am admittedly spoiled for a regular 40 hour a week, 9-5 job now, but I am grateful for enough work to pay my bills and live my life, yet gives me plenty of space for yoga, for music, for folk fests and weeks at camp.
I am grateful for my friends. I am not particularly gregarious - and struggle to find people and communities in which I feel at home. So my friends who have been there and hung on, who have space in their lives for an occasional call, a text message, or a Facebook message, are precious to me.
I am grateful for folk music, and the Falcon Ridge Folk Fest. Who could have predicted that when I rolled into the fest back in '98 (or was it '97?), parked my little Mazda along the creek line at Long Hill Farm, that I'd be meeting people and joining a community that would be with me for 25+ years.
Along those lines, I am grateful for social media. As much as Falcon Ridge has been a regular part of my life, it took Facebook to turn that precious week in July into a 52 week a year community. I'm a bit of a Facebook crank (not really accepting friend requests from folks I have not met in person) and yet I've ended up with 550+ friends, reaching across the country. Part of that is diversity (yoga, Falcon Ridge, Camp Camp, music, history) yet the connection (however tenuous or virtual) to a circle of others is precious.
I am grateful for my family. So many folks who have taken my journey have lost family. While I miss having a huge extended family nearby, and my nuclear family is somewhat distant, they are always there for me. I'm heading up for a visit later this morning.
I'm sure I am forgetting many things - communities, people, opportunities, comforts. But even so, there is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.