Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Think; Thank.

Think; Thank.

Yeah, it’s that time of year again – the inevitable annual time to reflect on so much of our lives. Now, to be fair we really shouldn’t wait around to contemplate such matters only once or twice a year. But it seems like there is something about the Holidays that manage to remind us, if we take a breath to slow our pace. Perhaps it is a byproduct of the seasonal weather, the almost mandatory requirement to gather and spend time indoors. Whatever the reasons are, they are irrelevant. The point is what matters; it is time everyone paused to think about gratitude.

Whatever that means to you; embrace it.

Whatever you’re thankful for; celebrate it.

And whatever blessings are in you’re life; acknowledge them.

The simple truth is an undeniable fact: we aren’t here forever and in that brief time we can’t afford to waste a single moment taking anything for granted. For example, I’ve been granted a unique perspective of late. For the last few months I’ve had to deal with the limitation of the denied use of my right hand or wrist. In short, I have spent a third of this year trying to adapt as best I can.

And, as odd as it may sound, I am deeply grateful for the experience. It has been trying, frustrating even, but it has been humbling. From this time I’ve learned a lot about solving problems creatively and how to put pride aside and trust in the aid of others. This can be difficult when you’re used to being the one who is relied on.

Which leads me to something more of us take for granted, friendship. Family is a precious and powerful bond in our lives, but it is the fire of friendship that lights our darker days. Where our family is there to anchor us, to support us, we need friends as we walk our own road. It is our friends who help us shoulder so many burdens; it is they who help us as we grow to understand who we are.

I have had the fortune to have had many treasured friends throughout the course of my life. Each and every one I cherish deeply, and my only regret is that so few of them remain in my daily life. Time, distance and life have a way of drifting people apart – but they can never truly separate them or the memories they will forever share. I am forever indebted to my friends and the times we shared. It’s something I am truly thankful for.

We should all be so fortunate to have so much to be grateful for. Take a moment for yourself and really consider that. Ask yourself; what are you truly thankful for? Whatever answer you find, embrace it, cherish it, and celebrate it. Show others you recognize and/or appreciate them or what they do. Don’t waste anymore time and do not wait around for another Holiday to remind you.

You’re mission, whether you choose to accept it or not is to think thank.

Saturday, November 16, 2013



November has always been a special month for me; it holds a unique place in my heart for so many reasons. For starters it’s perhaps the highlight of my favorite season: Autumn. Then there is the fact that it is also the annual celebrated National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. Not to mention that it is also home to my yearly “Date of Manufacture.”

But sadly, I must confess I’ve never ever taken part in NaNoWriMo. Nor did I have any desire to do so this year. This as a writer, even a humble hobbyist one, does leave me with a fair measure of shame. But it is a reasonable argument, easily understood that any writer suffering through some rather unpleasant Carpal Tunnel might shy away from attempting any such feat.

Now, I am going to be honest here – I am not writing this as an excuse or even an explanation to make me feel better. The simple point I may be stumbling my way towards is that the first two letters in November form a very basic word; no. That being said I believe that anyone who found themselves suddenly limited in all that they could do for themselves might find the word ‘no’ a blaring, nay, a blinding focus for their thoughts.

How easy it is to loose sight of so much by simply narrowing your gaze to look upon all that is beyond you. Our van’s power steering pump died on us; I was powerless to repair it one handed. The washing machine’s clutch finally failed us – no roaring to the repair on that one either. Open a brand new pickle jar for my 4 year old daughter before bed? Nope. It was yet another task demanding a pair of working hands.

Yet, as humorous and frankly overly punny as it might sound – there is light at the end of the Carpal Tunnel. And the irony is nothing short of poetic. Monday morning, on my very “Date of Manufacture” no less I’ll be going in for surgery to release the pressure imposed by my Carpal Tunnel on my Median Nerve. This means that in a matter of time I could very well be on the mend.

Furthermore, there have been far too many blessings bestowed upon me and my family to dwell on any limitations of limbs. While trying to place what limited funds available to me onto a prepaid debit card a regrettable error occurred leaving me with just under what I needed to order a part for our washer. When I tried to recover I discovered myself painfully short – possessing the “minimum amount” but a dollar or two shy of the $3 loading fee. A kind hearted stranger provided the missing amount warmly, and while I fumbled to thank her she was gone before I could reinforce my gratitude.

And that is but one testament to the aid I have received. My devoted Wife herself has helped tie my shoes daily and open pill bottles. My loving Mother has brought me drain cleaner when our kitchen sink defied us and helped me find solutions for problems just out of my own reach. I’ve been blessed with so many supportive figures and generous souls that it is truly difficult to not smile and be grateful.

I guess you might say that for me at least, there just is no no in November. May we all be so fortunate.