The holidays are a strange time, huh? It's the end of the year, and just as I'm relishing in a tiny bit of relief from triple-digit Arizona summertime temperatures, I'm thrown into this whirlwind season of forced festivity and gift-giving anxiety. Even shopping, which I love, reduces me to a ball of stress because I become neurotically fearful of choosing the wrong present and disappointing someone that I love. Every public building - malls, post offices, grocery stores, airports - morphs into a sea of humanity that sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to run, screaming, toward the nearest exit. In the middle of my panic, though, I occasionally have moments of lucidity, seconds when I remember that all of this stress is simply a distraction from what's important, and that the method of celebration really shouldn't detract from that which is being celebrated.
I am blessed, and fortunate, and happy.
And so, I am thankful:
For lipgloss, the redder the better, and sparkly nail polish, any color (except orange, because as Blake says, "Orange is for Auburn." YUCK!).
For Blake, Malak, Abby, Mattie Grace, and Isaiah, and especially this year, for Charlie and Ben. Nothing makes holidays more magical than big smiles on little faces.
For pretty shoes.
For old friends, most of whom are distant geographically but close in all the ways that matter.
For new friends who are becoming old friends, and who are there to laugh at all my various predicaments, and then help me get out of them, and then laugh some more.
For my DVR.
For a mom who doesn't stop answering the phone even after I've called her nine times in half an hour.
For a dad who taught me to love the law, and never gets tired of me asking him to explain it to me just one more time.
For my grandparents, Horace and Ruthie. Nothing I say could ever be enough, so I won't try.
For philosophy's eye hope under-eye cream.
For cousins who were like siblings as we grew up, and more importantly, who are my friends now.
For a job that's more than just a job, and for coworkers who are more than just coworkers.
For good music.
For The MISS Foundation, which reminds me to be grateful, mindful, and gentle, and which inspires me to live and love fiercely.
For Google maps.
For Instagram, Skype, Goodreads, Facebook, text messaging, email, and mobile phones. My friends and family are busier than ever and scattered to the four winds, but I still get to laugh with them when they're happy, cry with them when they're not, share with them a well-beloved book, watch their babies grow, and tell them I love them.
For a hairdresser who doesn't mind a challenge, or that I constantly change my mind.
For sweet tea.
For Sephora (and Barney's).*
For the quickly-approaching awards season.*
For a God who lavishes His grace, mercy, and forgiveness even when I forget to ask and even when I don't deserve it, and who answers prayers I didn't even know to say.
Happy, Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. xo, avb
*Added at the request of SCM, who knows me so well.