Ful of it

Thoughtful, thankful, plentiful, joyful, grateful, beautiful, bountiful, wonderful, helpful, colorful, flavorful, peaceful…you get where this could possibly be going, yes?  Life is so incredibly full of  ful-ness that it often makes me cry, particularly during this time of year.  My tears of happiness and blessing recognition during the  Thanksgiving season are not all that much different from my tears of happiness and blessing recognition during the other 51 weeks in each year, and sometimes I simply can’t hold in all that emotion.  There is much gratitude to be had, or is it given?  I’m not sure of the action word here, but I am sure of the feelings that are in abundance during this holiday.  When giving “thanks” is part of the requirement of the celebration, we all could think of something, even if it is only just one single thing, to be grateful about.

If you are reading this blog, whether you are a stranger or someone I know, like me, you are probably living a really good life.  Sure the news makes you mad, or you just put on your black pants and your dog rubbed up against you before you could get out the door, or your husband’s inability to get his dirty clothes actually into the hamper annoys you and indeed, if you hear somebody yell “mom!” one more time before you have even had your first sip of tea, we get it, you could really blow your stack…but you have a television to watch the dreadful news, a dog that loves you, or a husband and clothes, and a house or children and warm tea…you HAVE, even if you are, in the big scheme of things, a have not…It’s easy to be full of ful-ness.

Even those who are struggling with demons or grief or financial hardships or are aching with loneliness, are living a life that is far better than a great number of people who are also alive at this very moment on this very planet.  There is so much sadness and despair and need and wanting in this world, and that my life (and likely yours as well) has so little of any of those things, still makes me shake my head in disbelief …why me?  why am I this blessed?  why did I get so lucky?  I suspect we all ask the questions, and in no way does the questioning diminish the importance of the wondering, and this time of year especially, it is easy to be overwhelmed with realization of such good fortune and to be completely at a loss for words because there is so much that is good.   You could be living in Biafra! was one of the things my dad would say to us when either my sister or I complained, while we were growing up, and while I did not know, or really even care, where Biafra was at that time of my life, you can be sure I understood what my dad was getting at…

I wore Calvin Klein jeans, took multiple dance classes, my sister had horses and pets, we were never cold or hungry, we took a yearly family vacation, we had nice houses, my parents had good jobs, a happy marriage…we never ever “wanted” for anything… our father insisted we say grace every night before we ate dinner because “there could be a drought!”  From a young age we understood and learned that much of the world was  suffering much of the time, and my parent’s recognition of the fact that we were not suffering, any of the time, is one of those gifts they gave to us without realizing they were giving it…they cultivated in me a compassion for others who have less that has not waned and I find the older I get, the more empathy I have…babies are being neglected and abused, children are being molested, teenagers are being indoctrinated, families are being bombed and raided and people are hungry…it’s true that there is so much that is devastating here on planet earth, but I feel quite strongly that if your life is not full of any of that sort of suffering you might consider expressing your thanks whenever possible…

Even when my wallet is thin, my heart is full.  THAT is something for which I am thankful.  Even when my pantry or refrigerator seems empty, I am able to create a delicious meal to feed the people I love sitting at my table.  THAT is something for which I am thankful.  When I am feeling sad or worried, I have friends and family who would give me their ear to listen or their shoulder to cry upon.  THAT is something for which I am thankful. Even when I have had a restless night of sleep, at least I had crisp clean sheets and a comfortable mattress on which to toss and turn, under a good roof and upon a solid foundation.  THAT is something for which I am thankful.  It’s not hard to be full of the ful-ness and, zero calories on second helpings!  Even better, you never have to adjust your belt or switch into stretchy pants.


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