I gripe about my relatives. I bitch about trying to find a balance between caring for my baby and building my freelance career. And of course, I bemoan my lack of personal time.
(In fact, it amazes me that I have any readers at all, what with all the whinging and whining I do here.)
It's hard for me to take that step back and realize that at the end of the day, I have a pretty damn nice life.
While my relatives are continually on me like Tom Cruise and Oprah's couch about how I should be dressing (If you're not covering her with a blanket, you should put her in a turtleneck, a onesie, and three pairs of socks underneath her pajamas before you put her to bed), feeding (My GOD-that piece of banana is way too big for her. She Is Going To Choke!), and entertaining (I hope you're going to stop taking her Outdoors now that's she's had two colds in a month) my daughter, they adore the ground she waddles on, and continually amaze me with their displays of generosity and love.
While my freelance career is getting off to a slow start because I have to spend what little quiet time I have writing on contract to pay the bills, I am truly lucky to have a working situation that allows me to stay home with my daughter and wear my slippers all day long.
And while "personal time" is now occupied by such tasks as laundry, cooking, and toy-cleanup, instead of reading, baking, and knitting, the reason for the switch is pretty damn cute, so I'll let her get away with it. For now.
I am so thankful to have a husband who is kind and patient and funny and loving, a daughter I adore, and a family who would drop everything with a moment's notice to help me should I need them.
I'm thankful for my cats who still seem to love me despite my rocking their worlds last August with the addition of a very noisy and exuberant human sibling.
I'm thankful for pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin muffins, especially when they're brought to me in bed.
I'm thankful for our wood-burning fireplace, and that the hubs can make a mean fire to warm us up on the many cold winter nights we have here in Upstate New York.
I'm thankful for my health (which I didn't always have), a car that runs, and my great aunt's weekly Sunday dinners, the leftovers from which keep us fed through Tuesday.
I'm also very thankful for Jake Gyllenhaal.
And I'm thankful for all of you who read this blog and share the details of your lives with me. Whether I know you in the real world or I've met you only in the virtual world, thank you for caring enough about me to spend some of your valuable time reading my ramblings. It means more to me than you know.
While I have much in my life that leaves me feeling so blessed this time of year, I also realize that there are many for whom the holidays are not occasions for reflection and celebration. There are those who are estranged from family. There are those without jobs, without incomes to feed their loved ones. There are those with holes in their hearts as they wait for their chance to become parents. I think it's important to respect the feelings of those who want to opt out of the holidays altogether, simply because they need to.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.