Giving thanks

Nights are the worst for me — that’s when I do my hard-core fretting about the future. I do my best work in the early evening, so you’d think I’d be relaxed, but no, that’s when the brain switch flips into the upright position and spirals into orbit.

This morning, I awakened on the couch and saw Bon Jovi performing on NBC. *drool* Called my mom to alert her to the broadcast, and afterward, we ended up talking about a family friend whose luck makes mine seem like a tiptoe through the tulips.

After hearing about his kids who keep wrecking his wife’s car (one teen got drunk and totaled it last night and left the scene. Idiot.) and how his wife took his van (that he uses for business) and littered the inside with McDonald’s wrappers and wouldn’t even pick him up from work because she wanted to go shopping. He had to beg someone for a ride home, only to get there at 9 p.m. to see the house in shambles, no food to eat and the wife nagging him to go get milk for the ungrateful kids. What does she do for a living? Spend his money. She doesn’t work, doesn’t look after the kids, doesn’t do shit. Oh, and what was she shopping for, you might ask? A brand-new car.

So, after hearing all of that, I felt terrible for him. To work his whole life and to end up with that crazy mess on his hands. The man has not a moment to himself and not a shred of sanity left. The wife/kids destroy everything and can’t even save him a plate from dinner at the end of the day.

I wouldn’t say this makes me feel better, but it does give me a broader perspective that everybody’s life sucks right now. Really. Sure, I see all the people in the stores with their bursting-full shopping bags and their hideous holiday decorations, and I get envious (minus the ugly decorations!). This year, Santa Claus isn’t coming, and you know what? It’s surprisingly a relief. I don’t think I’ve ever been materialistic to a point where receiving a gift would actually matter to me. And it’s forced me to think creatively about how to enjoy the holidays at little to no cost. I’ll visit the National Gallery of Art and hit the ice rink at the Sculpture Garden and maybe even finally get to Eastern Market.

What this brings me to are reasons to be happy, even if it’s ephemeral. So many of us are struggling right now — in diametrically different ways, but still trying desperately to hold ourselves together in one way or another — so if we still have our health, let’s celebrate it. Let’s try something we’ve never done before. Let’s be our own miracles. Let’s not curse out the moron who cuts us off on the interstate but hope instead that he or she doesn’t hurt anybody in a careless fit.

I’m a big believer in what goes around, comes around. If all you have to give someone this holiday season is a smile, then by all means, do so. If you have the power to do more, then that’s even better, but it really doesn’t take much to turn somebody’s world around. When people are at their lowest points, all they really want is an acknowledgement that they still belong to the human race. And I want to thank everyone who has done that and so much more for me. 😉

On iTunes: A Girl Named Eddy, “People Who Used to Dream”

One Lonely Response to Giving thanks

  1. A.McSholty :

    Read my post about the Native American museum, you definitely DON’T want to get food there unless you want to go deeper into debt. Ugh.

    But I have to say your Holiday plans sound pretty good to me. We’re doing a low key thing this year as well.

    You’re in my thoughts.