Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2017

Suddenly the weather’s turned blustery and cold

Leaves that were just green say ‘Gosh, I feel old’!

They shrivel up, blow and slowly flutter –

They fall here and there, they clog up the gutter.

 

Thanksgiving is hours away – defrost the turkey,

Pull out the Pilgrims, traditional and quirky.

Gather the far-flung family, yes, even those who can be rather jerky.

 

Circle them ‘round though this year’s been full of chaos, fear and discord

(At least we know no one should claim to be bored)

This is the best time to put some thought into gratitude –

Genuine thankfulness – enough with the platitudes!

 

There certainly is a long list of recent strife

And maybe Aunt Sarah shouldn’t talk to Uncle Bob when he has the carving knife

But now is the moment we should take to say thanks for the good in our life.

 

A Hearty and Heartfelt Wish for a Plentiful and Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

 

© 2017 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

My Gratitude List

The older that I get, the more I like the fact that we have set aside a national day for Thanksgiving, for gratitude.  I only wish that we paid a bit more attention to this opportunity instead of focusing so much on the sales that now overwhelm this holiday.  In honor of Thanksgiving later this week, here is my list of a few things for which I am thankful, in no particular order.  And certainly not complete.

 

  1. Kitten is feisty and eating and getting a bit more adventurous.

 

11-19-2014

 

  1. Much of my immediate family is gathering for the holiday, it will be good to see both my brother and sister’s families. I only wish my older son and daughter-in-law could make it.
  2. Plenty of interesting things to learn.
  3. I’ve had some good opportunities at work this year.
  4. All my friends and family.
  5. Good books to read.
  6. The chance to write regularly.
  7. Chocolate
  8. Chances to share stories and experiences.
  9. Whenever I feel like humming or bursting into song
  10. Coming home to a dinner that my son has created
  11. Christmas lights sparkling in the too early dark (yes, even the ones before Thanksgiving – I am more forgiving of the home décor than the demand to shop)
  12. Coming across a forgotten favorite – photo, song, book…
  13. Sitting around and chatting with friends
  14. Offering or being the recipient of random acts of kindness

 

I hope that each and every person who comes across this post has a long list of things for which you are thankful this season.

 

public domain image

public domain image

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Random Things for which I am Thankful: Making Connections

I read this short story in my early teen years that described an unusual and cleverly designed prison.  The cells were set up in a sort of spiral within a stone enclosure.  Each cell contained one prisoner and the prison term for that prisoner was based on the length of time that it would take for his cell to work through the spiral to the opening once again.  During his term he would have no contact with other people.  I found this both fascinating from a logical standpoint – how would he eat, how did they remove waste, etc.; and horrifying from a human standpoint.

 

I no longer remember the title or the author but the premise for this story stuck in my mind.  Perhaps because it is the antithesis of our social human experience.  The time alone appealed to my introverted side, but disturbed my extroverted brain cells.  Even the most rabidly introverted person can usually see some benefit in connecting with other people, if within a much smaller group.

 

At about the same age that I came across this story, I believed that if you made a deep connection with someone, you would remain connected to that person forever.  I have a collection of hurtful memories that belie that idea.  Connection does not equate loyalty or longevity, but it doesn’t require these traits to be worthy.

 

A person met in a time of need and never seen again can have a profound effect upon you.  One person caused a terrifying car accident when my boys were very small but I choose to remember the dozen or so strangers who stopped and offered assistance without ever expecting anything in return.  I return this gift by doing the same whenever I can for other strangers in need.  These are the fleeting connections that go under the name of random acts of kindness.  They strengthen our humanity.

 

We have blood connections with family that extend from close relatives to cousins two and three times removed.  There are shared experiences of various family gatherings, there is a built in support network when times are tough.  My aunt and uncle took time out of their busy schedules to drive up and sit with my boys when I had major surgery a few years back.  It was right before Christmas but they understood that my boys would need to have advocates who had been through such an experience before.

 

The sibling relationship is so nuanced and complex.  We have shared so much, but sometimes as rivals and sometimes as allies.  When it comes down to it, a brother might be the worst tease of a sister but don’t take that to mean that as an outsider to the family you can do the same.  The brother may take you to task.  (Can you tell that my brother teased my sister and me mercilessly as children?)

 

Then there are friends and acquaintances.  The selection process for these connections begins randomly – a shared class or activity – and grows deliberately in depth, breadth and length as we nurture the relationships.  My oldest active friendships originated in my junior high years.  The interactions may go dormant here and there and due to all my moves we have a physical distance as a barrier, but we remain friends.  Connected.  In this past year I have added new people to this category; met randomly, identification of some kindred sensibility, connection growing.

I should have written names back in the day, but I am still connected to  4 of the 13, not counting myself.

I should have written names back in the day, but I am still connected to 4 of the 13, not counting myself.

 

Sometimes I might feel as though I am stuck in a stone cell, but I can shake this feeling off by remembering all my varied connections.

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Random Things for which I am Thankful: Reading

Reading has been a great boon for me.

 

There are many things that crowd in and call out for our attention, some important and others not terribly so.  We must constantly prioritize all of these external needs, not forgetting that we have our own different internal needs.  I want to focus on one need that is usually quiet and reserved – therefore not often gaining the attention that it deserves from us in the clamor from all the other things in our lives.

 

We should feed our brains regularly.  Sure you think that your brain gets plenty of stimulation with that impossibly long to-do list.  Stimulation and feeding are very different things.  I’ll explain what I mean by feeding, I think you are plenty clear on stimulation.

 

Remember back into your early days when you were eager to learn things that adults knew and that seemed wholly mysterious to you?  Like reading.  I hope that you have at least one memory of curling up in an adult’s lap and reading.  While you search your memory, I’ll share some of my thoughts on reading and some memories.

 

The earliest books that we were given had wonderful pictures and some had a combination of pictures and these black shapes that adults could decode.  Growing curious, it started to become clear that many of the shapes repeated again and again and they were somehow related to the words that the adult would say to tell us the story.  How many of you had a favorite story or two that you knew so well you could pretend to read it?

 

When it was time we finally went to school and learned how to make sense of those shapes, called letters, and to understand how they combined to make words and sentences which made up these stories that opened up our worlds to things far beyond what we could experience in our little neighborhoods.

 

Reading became something that could be shared such as story time at the library, or as part of a classroom lesson – or reading could be something that could be done alone.  For me, reading was always a treat.  Gradually the books became longer and the pictures less frequent but the words would create pictures in my mind to flesh out the story.

 

As I grew I always had a book that I was reading for pleasure – even as an English major in college when I had quite a stack to read for class.  I made time for reading with each new stage of my life.  Then as an expectant mother I had visions of the joy that would come out of sharing my reading passion with my baby.

 

And we did read together, and it was just as wonderful to be the adult cuddling a child in my lap as it had been to be the read-to cuddled child.  (The downside of early motherhood, especially after I had 2 little ones, was that I only managed to read one very short book for my own pleasure in a whole year’s time.)

DSC03604

My boys and I read together often, even once they could read on their own and they got into all the after school activities.  Then our shared reading time moved to a bedtime ritual.  We progressed into classics like Watership Down and read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I skipped the Elvish).  It was regular together time that fed all of our minds.  I was devastated when they told me perhaps it was time to stop once they were in their early teen years.

 

I consoled myself with the thought that we had kept story time going much longer than most other families.  Plus we had the bonus of the Harry Potter series.  We reconvened for the latest in that series until my older son was 16.  (Sadly, we each read the last book separately – but discussed it together afterward.)

 

These are good memories with my boys.  I have so many more memories of books that resonate for me down through my years – books that I read as a teen or young adult that have deep meaning to this day.

 

I know that your life is full of so very many obligations, I do.  But your brain wants to be fed.  One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to pick up a book.  Any book on a topic that interests you – fiction, biography, sports.  I will tell you that it can take me a ridiculously long time to finish even escapist fiction.  I might only read a page or two in a day.  But that page or two takes me away from the everyday of my own life and allows me to experience life as someone else.

 

Reading about something outside your own experience, fiction or not, provides the opportunity to expand your knowledge base and the mental tools that you use to be successful.

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Random Things for which I am Thankful: Opportunities

A person once told me that ‘You have to try new things’.  Now we’ll set aside the irony that at the time of the telling, despite my lower age, I had already tried many more things than this person and we’ll focus on the intent of the statement itself.  She was right.

 

There are so many quotes from well-known people past and present about opportunity, carpe diem (seize the day), that I could fill the rest of this post with worthy quotes and have done.  Plus there are whole books on this topic, but my take is why I am thankful for opportunity.

 

I would, and did, tell people right on up through my 30s that I was risk averse.  I wanted a quiet, pleasant, family-centric life filled with familiar things and regular rituals like gathering for Thanksgiving.  My life had taken me to different cities, in 6 states, which stretched my shyness sorely.  I learned to advocate for myself and my family because we were far from the support of extended family.  I had seen all the bumps and hassles with moving companies and utilities and the like as pure frustration, but looking back these were opportunities to learn to be polite but firm, to probe for mutual solution, to be my own best advocate.

 

Moving regularly means leaving behind family and friends, again and again.  It means being the new person wishing for a friendly face.  It means learning how to turn a stranger into a friendly face by taking small steps; by not fearing a roomful of people.  Moving taught me the baby steps to networking long before the word’s definition included this facet of making new contacts and turning those contacts into relationships of varying degrees.  Back then a network was CBS, NBC or ABC.

moving out-8-28-99

Moving means getting acquainted with the fear of the unknown.  Whether the move is a happy thing, or a necessity it is a change in routine, a new set of places to learn; familiar possessions in new positions and unfamiliar rooms.  It shakes things up and rearranges.  Complacency is broken, sometimes providing fertile ground for new ideas to grow.  ‘I can’t do that’ can be seen from a new angle to realize, ‘Well, I know most of what I need to do that’.  Moving gets a person to develop what resilience they have naturally, which is really handy when life offers other bumps in your road.

 

I haven’t talked about opportunity in the familiar manner – get a job offer that you can’t refuse sort of thing.  Because opportunity is often much more subtle than that and therefore far more frequent.  We aren’t likely to get amazing job offers out of the blue very often, but opportunities probably present themselves almost daily if we pay attention.

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

The Sarcastic Muse

Writing. Information. Inspiration. Sarcasm guaranteed.

Stefanie O'Connell

Just another WordPress.com site

Retirement - Only the Beginning

Retirement Planning Beyond Financial

Voices In His Head

Recognized as Blog Of The Year! (unfortunately, it was given the year 1910, the start of the Great Depression)

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

Chicago Guy 14

Chicago's Street Corner Spirits

BAReed Writing, Business Writing

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

Dancing Beastie

Seasonal living in a Scottish castle

The Middlest Sister

There are 5 sisters. She's the middlest.

Eyes Like Carnivals

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

Blog to Work

Blogging your way to a job.

rarasaur

frightfully wondrous things happen here.

somanyblogssolittletime.wordpress.com/

A good story can transform the way that you see the world.

Always The Write Time Blog

Ramblings and Rhetoric

The Art of Non-Conformity

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

xplorenorthshore

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Medievalists.net

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

The Creative Penn

Clear, professional writing is closer than you think.

Gifts Of The Journey

The Fearless Pursuit Of A Life Worth Living

Betty Generic

Through the glass darkly

an interconnected life...

Discovering the threads that connect us, one story at a time.

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

animatingyourlife

A great WordPress.com site

Second Star to the Right

and straight on 'til morning

CAHOOTS

Success is meant to be shared

Daniel Nester

essayist, poet, college prof, hubby, dad, Queen fan

Bob Mayer

Write on the River

Farmlet

Living cheaply and richly on an acre in Puna, Hawaii

J T Weaver

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. — Dylan.

inspirationenergy

be inspired to greatness

Gen Y Girl

Twentysomething. Annoyed with corporate BS. Obsessed with Gen Y. Not bratty. Just opinionated.

Jenna Dee

....living with a following wind

David Gaughran

Marketing With A Story