Thanksgiving

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The truth?  It has been a difficult month.  For a few weeks now I’ve been having that world-is-slightly-off-its-axis feeling more days than not.  A soul-level unease that manifests in clumsiness, over-reactivity, and exhaustion.  Do you know this feeling?  I’ve been dropping eggs and feeling more impatient than usual in various parts of my life, taking things personally (despite my own constant reminders to others and myself that I realize things are almost never about me) and forgetting things, sleeping hard and soundly but never feeling quite rested.

I’ve also been more aware than usual of trust, feeling cautious about where I place it, observing that everywhere I go people seem to be talking about other people.  This makes me more and more uncomfortable, this behavior.  As I’ve acknowledged many times, I’m a porous person, but lately that aspect of my personality is frankly overwhelming, and I can’t get out of my own way.  Every day I am startled by sharp words and sliced by unexpected, jagged emotions.

And still.

And yet.

The parade of glorious sunsets out my window takes my breath away and almost every night my heart lifts as I tuck my children in.  There is so much beauty here, even in a month that has been difficult for reasons I don’t understand.

Is this what happiness is, the awareness of all this grandeur even in the midst of painful hours?  I don’t know.  I told someone recently I’m not sure traditional, unalloyed “happiness” is part of my emotional arsenal.  But this feeling may well be contentment.  And that, I’ll take.

This is relatively new to me, this thrum of peace underneath all of the emotion.  In July I observed in myself a sturdy sense of joy and it’s this that is carrying me now, I think.

Inside me there has been a kind of deep settling and an emotional sigh.  Now, when I glance at all the corners of my life I notice both the piles of dusty regrets and the glittering treasures.

I can’t imagine a better way to live my life.  And for this, I offer the most profound thanksgiving I know how to express.

I say the only prayer I know how to say: thank you.


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15 Comments

  1. Posted November 27, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Thank YOU for your words and your presence – a gift to all of us reading here.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so, so much. xox

  2. Posted November 27, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    When you describe yourself, I feel as if you could be describing me. Just yesterday while I was drying my hair, I looked in the mirror and thought, “maybe my brain is just wired to be sad.” And while that may be true, the opportunity for gratitude is still always there…if I take the time to notice. Thanks for reminding me to look around! And Happy Thanksgiving. xoxo

    admin Reply:

    Thank YOU for reminding me that I’m not alone. Here’s to coffee before long! xox

  3. Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Maybe unabandoned happiness is overrated. Maybe contentment is what the goal should be – more long lasting and sustainable.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Lindsey. I am so grateful for you and your words.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so, so much. xox

  4. Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I am not currently in a spell like this, but boy do I know them well. Where you describe “dusty regrets and the glittering treasures”? Oh my goodness…so spot on. Have you read the short prayer “Thanksgiving” by Robert Louis Stevenson? Might be surprising considering I’m an atheist, but it was one of the readings at my November wedding eleven years ago. In it he writes, “Give us courage, gaiety, and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies.” I just love recalling that for the moments like what you so beautifully describe here.

    admin Reply:

    I don’t know that poem but am off to look at it right now! Even the sentences you quote brought tears to my eyes. xo

  5. Tamara
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Love this beautiful post Lindsey. These feelings also describe me. While I can put down the feelings of being ‘off’, and the ‘soul-level unease, over-activity and exhaustion etc’ you describe as my ever fluctuating hormone levels. I am still able to always locate and centre myself in my underlying joy and contentment with my life and surroundings. (my family)
    Even if for a time the raw harshness scratches my surface, I know that the ‘underneath’ is my true self. ♥

    admin Reply:

    Raw harshness. Yes, exactly. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. xox

  6. Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    You have just achingly, eloquently described the last 10 months of my life. Thank you, dear one, for bringing light into my dark. I have been off, aching and flat.

    Thank YOU.
    xoxo

  7. john
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Great post. Thank you. In case you haven’t seen this: http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude.html

  8. Posted November 27, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I love the way you express yourself. I also experience those periods where I take things too personal, too – I hate when it happens. I feel like suddenly the world’s out to get me. Then I know it’s time for some slowing down and self evaluation. Glad I’m not the only one.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  9. Martha Donovan
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    This post reminds of something I learned years ago from a series of child development books written by Louise Bates Ames. She believes kids go through a state of disequilibrium or are simply “out of sorts” just before a growth spurt. It makes sense that adults experience this state and feeling as well at times. I personally have experienced this “out of sorts” feeling that I think you are referring to which forced me to evaluate “things”. It seems unavoidable and necessary as we too grow and develop just as kids do.

  10. Kristi
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Really lovely. Just yesterday I lamented to someone that I couldn’t seem to get out of my own way. I know the feelings you are describing, and wish I could identify their origins. Reading your words brought some peace and equilibrium, though. Thank you.

  11. Isabelle
    Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Seeing the grandeur despite the pain sounds like resilience to me. Your observation about trust and people talking about others really resonates. Thank you for your beautiful words. Happy & Peaceful Thanksgiving!

  12. Posted November 27, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful. Thanks for the lovely pre-thanksgiving post. xox

  13. Tiffany
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful post. I like Martha’s explanation about disequilibrium; I think many of us have been having a similar experience. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

  14. Posted November 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    “A soul-level unease…”
    Do I know this feeling?
    I almost laughed out loud when I read that question.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    I love that phrase; you put it so perfectly. I usually just call it “restlessness.” It’s the best I’ve been able to come up with.
    I’ve told you this before, but I’ll tell you again: it is such relief when I realize that I am not the only “weird” one who feels this way sometimes. ;)

  15. Posted December 3, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    So well put, Lindsey. Nearly everything in your post is so quotable :)

    I have those months too; the inexplicable pulling feeling where things are just going awry. Hopefully those moments are now less frequent for you.

    I know this is late, but belated Happy Thanksgiving. I hope the rest of your weekend went well!