NOTE: To Readers of “Consider This” please know that this post is connected to my other blog “Lessons in Gratitude” an almost daily blog on the theme of gratitude, as the title suggests. I have been writing it for–as you might guess–987 days. My normal blog site for Lessons is being temperamental and so I am temporarily posting Lessons in Gratitude over here in “Consider This.” Enjoy!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tonight is a good one for simple gratitude. It has been a long, tiring day. I am one of those privileged people who only have to work a half day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and don’t have to go back to work until the Monday after the holiday. I am exceedingly grateful to work at an educational institution that has generous holiday breaks. When I returned to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving—that was two days ago—there was so much happening at work it didn’t feel like I’d had any time off before things came piling back on. Sometimes that is the nature of things, and I have learned to work with it.
I am grateful to have a good job and to do good, important work, but it is not easy work. Work that involves trying to get human beings to understand and accept and appreciate other human beings who are different from them is challenging work. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it is. Sometimes I get weary and wish I could go do something different, something easier, less soul-wearying. But for the time being, I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. So in addition to being grateful to have a job, I am also grateful that the Universe gives me the stamina, the perseverance, the persistence, the grace, the energy, the heart and the will to keep doing what I’m doing. One of these days I will get dispensation to go do something different, but that is not on my immediate horizon. And so I work, and I rest, and I give thanks.
I am also grateful for the small moments in life that are precious and one-time propositions. This evening I went to a musical performance at my niece and nephew’s high school. As I sat there listening to the occasionally off-key, slightly awkward teenagers, I realized how precious these times are. I smiled watching my nephew sing and remembering similar days many years ago watching my own children at their band concerts, with the awful squeaking of the clarinets or the horrible screeching sounds of the fifth grade violinists. I endured many hours sitting up in the balcony of the middle and high schools videotaping my children in their various performances. Sitting there this evening reconnected me with days that were much simpler and poignant yet challenging in their own ways. Watching my nephew sing and my niece hanging out with her friend reminded me how precious these days are and how fleeting. I can almost hear the strains of the song, “Sunrise, Sunset” playing in the back of my mind. Louder still are the words of my own song, “Letting Go,” that I wrote nearly 20 years ago.
I watch my children and I see how fast they grow. Each day brings me closer to the time I’ve gotta let them go. But until then I’ll hug ‘em and I’ll bless ‘em and I’ll love ‘em and I’ll let them know, that I’ll hold on tight and I won’t let go…”
This evening was a small moment, and yet not so small. At one level it was momentous—of great important or significance. I sat with my sister and her 92-year old mother-in-law watching my 14-year old nephew sing in his first high school concert. We will only do that one time and not again. Yep, I’m glad to have gone, even though the drive to the school was almost longer than the concert. It’s another small thread woven into the tapestry of my life and of theirs. And while it might seem like I’m making a big deal out of something small, there’s an indefinable quality to it that makes it precious to me. What are those moments in your life? I hope you take time to savor them and feel a deep sense of gratitude for them all. May it be so.
© M. T. Chamblee, 2014