Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What am I thankful for this year?

Every year at Thanksgiving time, I like to take a few minutes to reflect on the things for which I am most thankful. I think most of us do something like that — after all, that’s sort of the point of this holiday isn’t it? Giving thanks for what we have — what we value — whatever that might be.

Most years, when I search my heart for what makes me most grateful, I come up with consistent answers: Family, love, health, comfort. These make life enjoyable, and while they are not unappreciated from day to day, I feel even more fortunate when I take the time to think about them and really consider their immeasurable value.

Reflecting on all of this brought me to a realization about something else for which I am thankful: Time.

People who work toward (or against, it often seems) deadlines know the value of time. And deadlines are everywhere — at work, at home … even our very lives are marked by them. The clock is an invincible foe, whether you’re a college student finishing a research paper or a military spouse dreading a loved one’s deployment.

Becoming a mother has made me acutely aware of the passage of time. Few things highlight its relentlessness more than seeing how quickly a little person goes from being a bump in your belly to a chatty little toddler, running from one end of the house to the other.

When I get home from work each weekday (some days later than others), that’s when the value of my time skyrockets. Those few hours between quitting time and bedtime are what I’m most thankful for. There are only so many hours of baby time that each child has — it’s painful to spend any of them apart. Necessary, but painful.

This Thanksgiving, I will make it a point to savor more than just the turkey and pie. I’ll be savoring the time with my family. Maybe my keener awareness — or my sheer force of will — can succeed in slowing that time down a little by making the most of it.

Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy your time this holiday. It is as valuable as you make it.

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