I have had this post swirling around in my head for a while now. I probably should have posted it when it was fresh in my mind but stuff came up, I got busy and just now it came back to me.
About a month or two ago I was talking to a friend online. I have met him IRL once, like waaaayyyyy back, 8+ yrs ago. We chat from time to time online, he is nice. He always likes to complain to me about the wimmin in his life. I dunno why, men like to come to me for advice on the ladies. I guess I'm easy to talk to and slightly technical so I am in their little "club" or something.
So he is going on and on about his latest gal. I think they had just broken up and they had been together for about 9 months or so. Towards the end, she was totally blowing him off and he was trying to be patient but she was clearly more interested in having fun instead of settling down with my pal. Have I mentioned he hit 30 this year and I swear it is like his biological clock is ticking.
So anyway, he was hurt and angry and ticked off. Of course, all the normal reactions to a break-up. He wanted me to be angry with him. As a loyal friend, you know it is your duty to justify any emotion your friend is having, especially following a breakup. You talk trash about their former mate with them, you plan their demise and dig in the "what if" barrel about all the horribly bad things that would have happened had you stayed with this person. He was looking to me to do that with him. He wanted me to hate her with him.
Well, I couldn't.
I told him dude, I'm so sorry, yeah - it sucks, she certainly wasn't the one based on what you have told me about her, she has different priorities, yada yada yada. Then he asked me "Ok....where did cynical Nita go? My friend that would say all these spiteful things with me. Now you just sound so grown up, what is THAT about?"
I thought about it and responded "Gratitude."
Gratitude. I know I haven't had it as rough as some others but I have had my share of hard times. I went through a divorce a while back and if anything, I learned that hating someone is not an option, at least not for me. It can be an all consuming emotion that seeps in to every aspect of your life. I just learned that life is too short and there wasn't room in me to harbor hatred. I had met him shortly after my ex and I split so yeah, I was in a pretty crappy place. But it is evident that in the time that he has known me, there has been a change in my attitude.
So then, I was cynical and spiteful. Today, well today I am grateful. Grateful for a healthy son and a loving husband. Grateful that my Grandma will be around for another Christmas - her 90th one! Grateful that my Mom is with my Grandma and able to run her to all of her doctor appointments. Grateful for my friends, near and far - friends that I can call on no matter what. Grateful for my sister and nieces and nephews and cousins and everyone else. Grateful that my husband and I are fortunate enough to have jobs, a home, food and clothes - the most basic of needs - during these challenging economic times. I am just grateful to be so blessed. And it's that gratitude that has led to this change.
So when you ask me what I am thankful for this year. The answer is everything.