November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I'm in a really different place this year than I have been for the last several Thanksgivings.

I'm thankful for where I am.

I'm thankful for where I'm not.

I'm thankful for the feeling that I am where I'm supposed to be.

I'm thankful to know I'm going somewhere, even though I'm not really sure where that is either.

I'm thankful for newness and youth and rebirth.

I'm thankful for community.

I'm thankful for love and affection.

I'm thankful for strength and bravery and self-awareness and vulnerability.

I'm thankful for insight and perspective.

I'm thankful for my age, and with it, the loss of worry, anxiety, neuroses, obsession, fixation.

I'm thankful for inspiration and curiosity.

Over the last couple of years, I've asked dozens of people what makes life worth living, and what their reason is for getting up in the morning. (Although these may seem like the same question, they are really two separate issues.) The answer I related to the most attributed the motivation to curiosity: my friend said that he just really liked to see stuff, and he kept living to see more stuff because he hadn't seen enough yet. That seemed more reasonable to me than the answers I'd been given by others that I'd dismissed as hedonism: cold beer, soft beds, and pretty girls. There are times I get up in the morning just to eat.

Perhaps the most compelling answer so far has been (and I think I may be paraphrasing here) love, honor, and passion. I don't know what any of those things mean in a practical application of everyday life (and getting up in the morning), but they seem like pretty good things to live for. I live because I want to love something, I want to feel something, and I want it to mean something. When those things disappear - which they have in the past - I am thankful for nothing.

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