Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Differences between Thankful and Grateful

It's been a sort of running joke with me and my mom for years that while I am often grateful, I am seldom thankful.

The difference, of course, is that being grateful means feeling it, and being thankful means talking about it.

My natural tendency is to bitch complain. You might have noticed.

A lot of times, at the various relations and friends with whom I share a table on this upcoming holiday, want me (well, everyone) to talk about the things they are thankful for. For some reason, this always makes me feel just a little artificial... kinda like Valentines day. We shouldn't need a day set aside for romance and another one set aside for being grateful. We should be those things every single day.

Unfortunately, we're not.

I'm just as guilty of it as everyone else. I do take things for granted and I do not always appreciate the people in my life.

One thing, however, I've noticed about this whole lifestyle change, is that I've become a little more self-aware. My list of things I'm grateful for this year is pretty long... in fact, it may well be longer than the list of things I'm still feeling bitchy decidedly ungrateful for.

I am thankful for my husband, Thomas. His support, both mentally and financially. He is always there for me. And even when we argue, I still can't imagine being with anyone else.

I am grateful for my daughter, who is relatively well-behaved, intelligent, inquisitive, and has a fondness (at the moment) for things I can understand, like dragons, zombies, and computer games. I am thankful that she is out of diapers and has been for quite a while. I am thankful that she sometimes picks up her own toys, that she can brush her teeth without help, and that she no longer screams every time I wash her hair. I am glad that she's a great kid, especially as it's quite definite now that she's going to be the only kid I ever have. I am grateful that I'm mostly able to greet that news with a calm heart.

I am thankful that my mother has survived a year post-cancer without any recurrence. I am glad she has a steady job with health insurance and that she's not making poor health decisions any longer because she lacks the funding to make the right decisions. (She still makes some wrong decisions because she is thoroughly capable of being the Queen of Egypt... but that's another story...) I am grateful that I beat her this year in asking for the Cranberry Velvet recipe. (Yet another long story, and this is the first time I've won that particular little family game in years...)

I am still grateful for the existence of both of my step-parents. Rosie - my step-mom, and Charles, my step-dad, have done a lot to make both of my parents happy, which is more than they ever were together.

I am grateful for my real-life friends; many of whom are more like family than my own ever has been. Carol. Chris. Leigh. Jeanne. Despite what must be a herculean effort on their parts from time to time, they still like me, and are often there when I need an ear, or just some company... I couldn't get on without a single one of them, and I dearly hope they know that.

I am thankful for my new friends; who in a short period of time, have become quite dear to me. Leslie. Darcy. (Yes, that does get confusing!) Beth. I am glad that they have welcomed me into their lives, and have been fun to hang out with, especially after so long of my being alone down here in Chesapeake.

I am grateful to my Weight Watcher's groups, both online and real life, who have been supportive and encouraging. Who have offered great tips and advice, and who have provided the laughter and levity that's so desperately needed during this transition of my life between unhealthy and healthy.

Let me not forget my online friends... Dietbook. Scale Junkie. Felicia. Thinking Thin, Too. MizFit. Roni. Chris. Hanlie. KK. Kiki. Crabby McSlacker and Merry Sunshine. There are dozens more like them... women and men who have freely offered their advice, insight, and humor. That have shared their journey with the world. There's not a person on my blog-roll that I don't consider a friend, even if they don't always have any idea who I am.

And my other online friends; the Warcraft group... Hitt, Yok, Thorn, Sassie, DomMANG!, Froot, Breeze, Evan, Ariss, Theo and Ravin, Cygna and Don, Kat and Kata, Ooooooook, Cookie, PlumSauce, Pariah, Flux, Ferret, Sara, Thea (Aka, the PVP goddess!), Grey... and all the rest of the 5th crew, No Help at All, and those people in Strike that I don't want to strangle...

I'm grateful for my health. That I don't have to take asthma medication any longer. That my dental work is two weeks away from being finally, finally over! That I can walk further, faster. That I can run up and down stairs. That I'm not generally in constant pain (this last week, and the next 2 upcoming being exceptions because I'm in the last stages of a root canal, and it's just been lovely...).

I'm surprised, but grateful, that my blog will be one year old tomorrow. If you'd asked me last year, I wouldn't have expected to be doing this well, for this long.

I'm thankful for the 61.2 pounds I've lost... I'm thankful to be in size 12 jeans and medium shirts.

I'm thankful for all of you, still reading this, and hopefully not rolling your eyes too much. Don't worry, I don't get this maudlin very often.


Hanlie said...

What a lovely post! I am thankful for your journey and that you have the courage to share it with us. Your consistency, determination and ability to say it like it is, have been a constant source of inspiration for me.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and blogiversary! I look forward to more HLC in 2009!

Conny said...

I second that motion!

I'm glad you continue to write and share. I hope you have a great long weekend.

Becky Fyfe said...

A wonderful Thanksgiving Day post! :)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. You have come so far, and I hope you're proud as well as grateful, because you should be. You've worked hard to make these changes!

I am very grateful for you as well, and probably not as openly thankful as I should be, or as often. You're an amazing person and I do feel very privileged to know you. Someday, I fully intend to be able to say I've met you.

And you know me, I get this maudlin all the freakin' time. :-)


kikimonster said...

Thanks for the shout out... now it makes me motivated to a) write more and b) catch up on my google reader more often!