Thursday, November 17, 2011

How's the World Treating You?

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
-W.T. Purkiser

The golden-deliciousness of falling leaves and the crispness in the air can mean only one thing: fall has unmistakably encroached on my beloved summer. I truly wish I were a soul who thrived in all seasons, but alas, it is not so. I had the notion the other day, however, that if fall were not the precedent to winter, I'm sure I would relish it much more than just the deciduous aesthetics and the inevitable, ever-present aroma of pumpkin bread. Though, I'll admit, there is one thing about this time of year that does bring comfort despite the impending abysmal doom of winter that shadows it. "That", my peeps, is the feeling of gratitude that arrives just as naturally as the changing colors of the season. 

I don't have many talents- it's true. There are plenty of things at which I am exquisitely mediocre. I do, however, pride myself in being able to find joy in the simple things in life. A warm day, a good song, something scandalously delish to eat, a hearty laugh... You get it. I try to recognize these on a daily basis and, when I remember, thank my Maker for the small flutter of happiness they bring to my day. But there are oh so many other things- grander things- that grant gratitude acceptance into my door and serve it tea and scrumpets. In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, while I am surrounded by falling leaves of decadent autumn tones, I give thanks for the many things in my life that without which, would make it positively empty...

Dad. Amongst all else, for teaching me about how to think so that it makes me a better person. Mama. Amongst all else, for your anchoring encouragement of "Faith, not Fear." Brothers. For your honest hearts and your funny bones. Sisters. For your virtue. God. For His unfailing mercy. Christ. For His sacrifice. Ears. For their ability to hear the music I love so poignantly. Edith, Victor, Jane, Goethe, Lucy Maud, Flaubert. For the words they have written which have sculpted, refined, inspired, and changed my soul. Heart. Literally, for it's perseverance in beating each and every minute. Figuratively, for how ardently it beats. It is a hopeful, fervent, enduring heart. And It, more than anything else, is my most reliable reminder of what matters most. Tastebuds. For the exquisite joy they have granted me. (I wanted to put this one at the very top, but even I am not that shameful.) Shawn. For everything. You are my rock. Maddles. For giving me the ever-so-smallest glimpse into the future joys of motherhood. Memories. For their ability to endure, when their begetters, by design, cannot. Writing. For the catharsis and self-awareness that it cultivates. Thomas S. Monson. For his unfailing optimism. My Tricks. For everything that each of you has brought to my life. I am a better girl for being in your company.
Home. For it's sanctity and comfort.

Make no mistake, I am wholly undeserving of all of the above. But until the universe and all else that conspires in my favor realizes it, I will cherish each like a hoarder until my dying day. Shakespeare said, "They do not love that do no show it", and I would venture to say the same is true for gratitude. Are we truly grateful for our blessings if we do not give thanks where and how thanks are due? True gratitude is probably more than just saying "Thank you, thank you very much" (I'm also thankful for Elvis, obvi). I think when our lives are characterized by optimism, and service, and concern for others, and when we have an unrelenting hope, that that is probably when we can claim gratitude as a characteristical appendage. 

Any virtue, if it is sincere, is more than just a feeling- it is a way of living. It's almost effortless at this time of the year to recognize how full our lives are; it's harder to maintain that recognition as the season fades. This Thanksgiving, may we not only identify those things in our lives which make it better, but resolve to let that gratitude reside in our hearts a little longer than usual. There are oh so many ways we can be the very thing that someone else is grateful for, and that, perhaps, is the simplest and surest way of showing that we are indeed grateful recipients for all "our cribs, our cars, our pools, our jewels"... You feel me? 

If anything brings comfort, it is recognizing what we do have, even when our circumstances may seem bleaker than February in the 801.
Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy giving of thanks.

Peace and Love.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Girl: Happy

 "Reality continues to ruin my life."
-Bill Watterson

Mercy... It's been forev, hasn't it? Now that summer's over, it's much harder for me to find things to be grateful for. Psyyyyyche. Here's what I've got for ya:
Always and forever have I been a fan of the 17-hour movie. I can never figure out who is more beautiful: Scarlett or Rhett. Anyway, I've always wanted to read the book and just never had three years to kill. I finally decided that it was high-time I just sucked it up and read the 1100 pager. May I just say, it is absolutely addicting. I simply cannot put it down. And Rhett is even MORE charming on paper, if you can imagine that.
This band never ceases to amaze me. Homeboy's. got. feelings. But his voice is so satisfyingly manly that you don't even think he's a sissy for feeling so many things. I listen to this emo gem all the time lately, and I'm not even going through a break-up. It's that good.
  Ok, Ok. I know you're probably sick of reading about him. But I can't escape my love for him. Last week I dreamed that he was my boyfriend and we were living in Manhattan and he was ever-so-madly in love with me. He opened all my doors and cooked me dinners and rubbed my feet, and that's only the PG version. You can imagine my utter heartache waking up only to find I was certainly not in Manhattan and certainly not his star-crossed lover. I really was completely despondent the whole rest of the day.
There it is. A frozen Snickers. They're aight at room temperature. But throw one in the freezer and your tastebuds will literally think they've won the lottery.
 Laugh allll you want. But seriously, I heart my heading pad more than life.
Yeah I don't yoga. But I am totally obsessed with yoga hair ties. I want one in every color of the crayon box. Including that weird Cerulean blue color and Burnt Sienna.

Whether or not it makes me less of a girl, I'm not sure- but I happen to love this show. It's a nice, refreshing, gory change from all the CW garbage I watch. Disclaimer: The only reason I didn't put Chuck Bass on this list is because he deserves his own post entirely. Duh.

Hope you all are finding much to be grateful for, despite the a$$-bitingly cold weather. 'Tis the season, after-all. 
Peace and Love.