OK. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Go!
I've been staring at this blank space for hours. That's a lie. I've had it open in another window while I browsed around in other windows wasting time. I'm not purposefully avoiding this entry. I'm just not into writing today. Which is ridiculous because I don't have much else to do today. I did write an actual pen and paper letter to my niece. Then I realized that I do not have her address or even if she'll be at her current address long enough to get the letter before she moves out. She's young and has not much of anything to hold her down. She can be as free as a bird as she'd like to be right now.
I can't even remember what it was like to be just turning twenty one without a care in the world. Then again I was never the typical teen/young adult. On high school band trips, I hung out with the grown ups. I got married a few months after turning twenty one and jumped head first into graduate school. I never took any time off to wander off the beaten path. My life has always been properly scheduled. There's this irrational side of me that wants to scream at my niece to dump all of the things. Save only enough stuff that you need and that will fit in a pack and go. Travel the world. Work as a maid in France. Work at a call center in Delhi. Wait tables at a cafe in London. But most importantly, see everything. I can feel her mother reaching for the duct tape now to cover my mouth.
I hear stories from some of the people around me who took time between college and graduate school to do those things. There's a part of me that is always so envious. Why didn't I take time to do that? Then I remember the path I chose instead. For the most part it was a very straight and narrow path. It lacked the adventure of continental travel but it did not lack the adventure of life and love and laughter. I have zero regrets in this and I am truly thankful for it. I found my own way and I'm still navigating that path because nothing is set in stone. As with any highway system, we all know there are areas of construction that slows us down, detours, unexpected land slides and even though I worry about how my niece will navigate her own path, I know that it is her path to find. That's part of the adventure. I am thankful that she is surrounded by family and friends that can help guide her.
What else? I am thankful for the truck ride dream I had with Dad this week. I am thankful for lists (of all things). There's been a cold bug thing floating around the house for a week. It started with me last Friday, just a mild case, and settled on Michael Wednesday. It looks (and almost sounds) like he's on the mend. I am thankful for this, but just to be on the safe side, the house will get a nice Lysol coating this weekend. The first Christmas cards arrived yesterday. I love seeing how everyone's kids have grown. I am thankful that you all think of me and remember to keep on your Christmas card list (lists!). I am always so thankful for you.
Happy Thankful Friday!
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