I’m going to continue with thankful posts on Thursdays for the month of November. Of course I think about gratitude and thankfulness every day but it’s nice to set aside some time for sharing those thoughts and November is the perfect time to do it. Here are three things I’m thankful for right now; they may not appear to be connected but they are and I will elaborate on that after I share the list:
- Technology. When it works, anyway. I’m feeling a little frustrated by it lately, I must admit. I have a new set up with two monitors at work and I love it but the docking station for my laptop . . . well sometimes it might as well be a $250 brick. And yesterday we couldn’t get the projector in the meeting room at the library to turn on. And I’ve yet to successfully set up my new printer. Still, I love technology. I’m a big fan of gadgets like my Apple Watch and iPhone and iPad. I love apps like Knit Companion and Waterlogue and Transfer Pro. I still adore email and I’m fascinated by 3-D printers and interactive whiteboards and all the ways technology can enhance education and improve our lives. So long as it works.
- Collaboration. I’ve been going to a lot of meetings lately. A lot. And, while meetings interrupt my day and make it hard to get my regular work done, I so appreciate the people I work with and the efforts they put into brainstorming, problem solving, and thinking outside the box to get things done. Not all of the people who come to meetings are focused on problem solving, sadly, and sometimes those people take up the most time, but they are still valuable and important and deserving of respect. Honestly, one of my favorite phrases is definitely another meeting that could have been an email but even so, I work with and around some really talented and smart people and I enjoy spending time with them and working as a team to come up with solutions.
- Personal growth. Sometimes it’s hard and you have to dig through some emotional junk to move forward. Sometimes it’s easy and the timing is perfect and you make a big leap. I’m grateful to work with a terrific life coach who has helped me look at and let go of some truly icky stuff from my childhood. It feels dramatic to call it trauma but that’s truly what it was . . . divorce and violence and court orders that resulted in emotional fall out that I should have been shielded from but wasn’t. It’s been amazing to go back and let myself be angry at the adults who put me in that situation and then let that anger go.
Looking over that list I have to say that this is not what I would consider a typical gratitude list. I acknowledged that technology can be frustrating and meetings can be disruptive and personal growth can be difficult. But there they are. On my list. Because life is messy sometimes and we have to love the mess even while we’re wishing that it could all be cleaned up and put away and finished. And I really believe we just have to feel gratitude for all of it because on the other side . . . when technology works and meetings solve problems and personal growth results in healing . . . then we get to feel thankful in a way that’s bigger and better and more satisfying because it took some work to get there.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.