I wake up almost every morning with a song stuck in my head. Sometimes it’s something totally irritating (Ke$ha, I’m talking to you) and I want to render myself deaf from the inside out (on these mornings I’m convinced that Kevin somehow subliminally plants earworms in my subconscious while I snooze. He’s REALLY good at torturing me that way). Usually, though, whatever song it is tends to reflect my mood. Today’s song, which I also belted out in the shower, was “Fly Me To The Moon”. Any day that starts out with Sinatra is probably going to be a pretty decent day.
I hit the chorus as my conditioner sat on my head, and it dawned on me that I have never been as happy as I was right at that moment. Now, I’ve always thought I’m a pretty happy girl (let’s just say that I don’t wake up with a lot of Morrissey running through my head). I have an awesome life: I live in a spectacularly wonderful town by the ocean, I have a roof over my head and food to eat, I have a beagle who is neurotic (in a hilarious way), my husband has a terrific job with an excellent company, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to see parts of the world that most people only dream about…..Yeah, those things alone add up to a nice little package.
But here’s the deal: Those things are the little things. They’re the pretty and shiny things on the surface. The foundation of my happiness is SO much deeper. I have friends who have stood by my side for more than half my life. They know where the bodies are buried, but I know they won’t tell. I have an incredible family who love and support me no matter what my flaws. I have a husband who kisses me goodbye every. Single. Morning. before he leaves for work (which, come to think of it, could very well be when he plants those pesky earworms). They say that girls grow up to marry their fathers, and I’m so proud to say that I did just that. My Dad is smart, funny, and he taught me how to embrace life’s opportunities, and I couldn’t ask for a better gift than that. I have a mother who, by example, taught me the skills I needed to be a mother myself. Finally, (and by God, I do mean FINALLY!), I have a child whose smile stops my whole world.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year (and every year), but the biggest blessing I’ve EVER had is my baby boy. Watching him not only adapt but thrive is the single greatest joy I’ve ever known. He picks up our quirky personality traits and makes them his own without ever losing a single piece of who he is. He’s loving, inquisitive, and just about the smartest kid I’ve ever seen. He has amazing lung power when he cries, and he does a mean Hulk impression when he’s angry. He doesn’t care when I belt out songs frighteningly off-key, either, which is a huge plus. I will never grow tired of watching him discovering his world and who he is. Mostly, though, I have never known love like I do when he hugs me.
I love Thanksgiving because it’s the one day of the year where people vocalize their gratitude. I’m thankful every single day for the blessings in my life, and I don’t say that as much as I should; none of us do. John F. Kennedy once said that “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”.
I woke up this morning with a song not just in my head, but in my heart. Most of my days start out just like that. There is nothing on earth big enough to contain the gratitude I have for that one simple fact (even when the song is by Ke$ha). Yes, the foundation of my happiness is planted deep and true, and I have all the motivation in the universe to live by my words.
Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and my family, and to the friends that ARE my family. Every single one of you makes me a better person, and I am so thankful that I have you in my life. Now go eat some turkey.