A couple of my friends have been doing the month of thanks meme on Facebook, posting something for which they are grateful each day of November instead of limiting it to today. I’ve been enjoying it far more than I do most memes, which probably has a lot to do with the kinds of thanks they’re giving.
When you’re doing 30 days of thanks, you can only spend so much time thanking God for, well, you know, everything. You have to get more specific about what you’re thankful for. In turn, that has made them be more specific about regarding to whom they owe that thanks. I’ve enjoyed it not just because it’s non-religious, but also because it seems to have inspired them to stop and thank people who wouldn’t normally be thanked–the people closest to them.
In that spirit, I have a few people to thank today.
I’ll start with my mother, who continues to indulge my inability to make a bread pudding by making the Thanksgiving stuffing every year. Thank you for the tasty noms and for helping make sure every part of our dinner is wonderful. I thank her too for the hours I spent as a teenager listening to her side of the phone calls about running a nonprofit organization and the time more recently discussing the politics of a small town. It’s an education I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. Finally, for now, I thank her for taking such good care of my grandfather in his last couple of years.
I thank her fiance Steve for taking excellent care of her during this time and for most of my life and for bringing some non-Midwest into this family to shake us up a bit.
I thank my mother-in-law april for raising a great kid and giving him the space to run his own life as an adult. His unconventional upbringing did a lot to make him who he is, and I wouldn’t want him changed.
I thank april’s boyfriend Dave for the potatoes and the stories and for always being that person to follow through to the last detail, even when everyone else is ready to be done.
I thank my brother Richard for plugging away in a world that nobody properly prepared him for. The rest of that isn’t properly my story to tell.
I thank my brother Paul for doing the unglamorous work, for being reliable when no one else is, and for maintaining the sense of humor behind every quiet eyebrow quirk.
I thank my niece Jordan for promising to transcend her childhood, for the sense of adventure that has taken her further from home than I’ve ever been. I thank her too for her generosity, even as I try to figure out how to keep it from holding her back.
I thank my husband Ben for helping me to finish growing up, for growing alongside me, for giving me a safe place to try new things, and for just generally helping to make us both better people than we would be apart.
I thank our other family, Jodi and Jason, for making our home their own and giving us a true home in the Canadian maritimes, a place I loved before I ever managed to visit it and love all the more now that I don’t have to visit it as an outsider.
I could go on and on, but the people with whom I’m privileged to share a table today make a pretty solid start in my thanks. Also, if I want to make it to that table, I’m going to have to choose some arbitrary cut-off point. So, to these thanks, I’ll just add thanks to all of you who read my blog. Having people believe I say something worth reading is a remarkable thing. Having the kind of commenters I do is a perk. Thank you.
So how about y’all? To whom are you thankful–and have you told them yet?
If you need inspiration, here are a bunch more atheists being secularly thankful at Skepticon last weekend (via Jen).