You. Yeah, you. The one holding the can of pumpkin pie mix and a bag of miniature marshmallows, threatening your son with his life if he doesn’t shut up about wanting to hold the marshmallows.Let him hold the fucking bag of marshmallows.
Here’s what’s going to happen when you hand it to him:
1. He’s going to hold it for awhile and lose interest. Hopefully by that time, you’re in the car and on the way home to DVD players filled with Spongebob flicks.
2.He’ll rip it open. OMFG. Guess what? It still scans at the register the same.
3. He’ll rip it open and eat them. This will make him full or sick. In either case, still no apocalypse. Perhaps a lesson learned.
4. He’ll throw them at people. Honestly, I’d pay good money to see that shit.
I saw it yesterday during a trip to the grocery: heads are so far up asses this time of year it’s sad. We care more about the yams than the people we’re cooking them for, the brand of the turkey more than the fact we’re acting like one ourselves. I’m no different, really. Except I’m doing my best these days to pull my head out of my ass and actually SEE things…something I don’t think I’ve really done since October 31.
So you’re getting slapped. The lot of ya. Because it seems we could all do with a lesson on the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving.
This week welcomed new ink into my life, marks four and five with six arriving on December 22. The left arm bears the words, “count to five…” – a tribute to Jason Schippers who carried the same tattoo on his left arm. I remember the night we were chatting about tattoos on Gchat and he was telling me what it meant. It’s from the TV show Lost – when you’re scared, when you think you’re going to quit and can’t carry on, stop. Count to five. One, two, three, four, five. And the fear is gone. We could all stand to count to five more often in life, couldn’t we? My left arm is a permanent reminder that things always have to the potential to turn out more different than we could have ever imagined. And that I’ve missed some incredible opportunities to show my gratitude. There are multiple people in Jason’s life who now wear this reminder and even more who will make it a permanent part of their lives soon.
My right arm bears the words, “the luckiest.” Because I am. While it might not appear that I have much to be thankful for, recent events have slapped me into seeing that quite the contrary is true. I will never be thankful for the loss of Jason, but what he’s brought into my life following his departure? Infinitely. A family I love, greater appreciation for those who comprise mine, and unspeakable gifts of friends – new and seasoned – who open their hearts, minds and arms. The knowledge that you are here, still reading and commenting. The realization that on some days, I can still move you. Make you laugh or smile (maybe both). That I can move forward (because moving on is bullshit). I live a life doing what I love: writing. People pay me for that shit. I look around my life which is much the same yet entirely different than before I met Jason and think…goddamn. I am the luckiest. And I’m going to do what I can each day to keep on keepin’ on.
What are you afraid of? What keeps you from giving thanks? Today, tomorrow…it’s not the planning for Black Friday and running up the credit cards that deserve our attention. And while the turkey really should be cooked all the way through to avoid that pesky salmonella stuff, if it’s a bit dry – cover that shit in gravy and shove it in your gullet anywhoo. Today, tomorrow and the next day. Hell, maybe the whole next month, stop being afraid of giving thanks. Count to five. Fear keeps us from doing the most amazing things. As the old adage goes, “What would we attempt to do if we knew we could not fail?” Be thankful for failure. And then move on until you hit the next point in your life where you must count to five.
And you’re lucky, too. The Luckiest. Each of you. As you go into tomorrow, it’s not the food, flatware or centerpiece on the table that will make the day. Stop spending your time on the bullshit and start spending your time on people. What matters? What doesn’t? If the world stopped spinning for you – or someone – tomorrow, would you be at peace in your heart because you realized you’re The Luckiest and weren’t afraid to give thanks for those times, people and things that meant the most to you?
You’ve been slapped. And I’ll close today with a quote from Jason’s Facebook page that…well, it’s breathtaking.
“What is grief? The most common type of grief is this thing, when we lose someone. But I think that’s not really accurate, not an accurate way to think about it. We think of grief as the pain we feel over something being gone from our lives. But I think grief is something else – it’s the pain we feel about what we didn’t do to make the most of what we had. The pain we feel about not making things happen differently. Sometimes I think grief is how people wish they had the powers of a god. Our hatred of being human, not being able to stop time from passing, people from dying, from getting angry when you should be making up.”