Sharing Our Thanks

I would like to post about giving thanks because sometimes I feel invisible on this site because my life seems so different. Last week I had to make a hasty move from my home of 9 years in western MA to Boston.  I have a chronic illness and cannot find suitable ongoing treatment out in the Pioneer Valley.  I spent Thanksgiving in a supervised apt. with people I have known for a week.  I have been too sick to think about having a family of my own (I am 45) and am estranged from my family of origin. I resonate with anyone who has life-limiting chronic illness.
I have no difficulty finding things to be grateful for.  I am grateful that potentially healing treatment exists for me in the city, even though I miss Shutesbury deeply.  I am grateful I have the financial resources to not be out on the street or in a shelter.  I am grateful to have two friends who I could trust with my life.  I am grateful to have no cognitive impairments because I am intrigued by world and local events (my Myers-Briggs type is INTP).  I am grateful to have a solid understanding of the 3 E’s.

If things do come down to “survival of the fittest” in the near future I will need alot of luck to get by.  I need to accept that. I am just glad to share this online community because it helps me feel like I belong to something greater than myself and my problems.  Blessings to all,  -R 


RTF hope your health gets better.
Well I was thankful to be amongst healthy family members for Thanksgiving dinner even though it was hard at times to keep the turkey down while listening to everybody’s focus being on “Dancing With the Stars”. While they passed the dressing I passed around a couple of PM coins. Many liked how shinny they were but none, not even one saw any importance of collecting such things. These were all college grads…interesting.

I am thankful to have a group of like minded people here to share ideas & thoughts with. That means a lot to me.

Happy Thanksgiving too all.

{   <3  }    Love the inspirations of gratitude here !        That our circumstance does not define who we are  and when all is stripped away and it is not about things  we can still long to and be blessings to others .     And We can still sing songs of Joy .  
 When we try to hold on to the things of this world and the weight of it drags us down  there comes a day that we realize this  is not what makes us happy it is not what what brings us joy or satisfaction  …   When we lay the burned of it down  then  we can know  freedom and joy. 

  I am saying we can be thankful in the littlest of things  if we take time to recognize  how amazing they are .   Today I am so grateful for Amanda  sharing  her own gratitude   of music and healing .  And R’s  thankfulness that he has two friends that he has total trust in … How wonderful is that !   We are Never truly Alone  just reach out not in  .

  You two have put a song of praise in my heart  .





As promised, here’s the view of our Thanksgiving table this year (I’m taking the photo). Wonderful family, wonderful friends, wonderful setting (our friend’s restored barn is amazing). So much to be grateful for.

Thanks to all who have shared their thoughts, wishes and traditions here. And for those not able to enjoy this holiday the way they wish they could (e.g., RTF, our troops abroad) our hearts are with you.



I feel your pain. I have dealt with chronic fatigue syndrome for a long time. I have also lived alone more than not. I am not married, and I also have no children of my own. (I always felt I might be too sick to take care of kids, but I never really had the choice anyway because as of yet I have no husband!) While I am on good terms with most of my family of origin, it was never practical to fly to see them over Thanksgiving so I have spent most Thanksgivings in the city, sometimes with some friends but sometimes with people whom I barely knew, and often only invited at the last minute.

So I wanted to post to let you know that you are not alone, that there are many of us who do not have picture-perfect holidays. While on the one hand I think it is nice that people share, on the other, I sometimes have to admit I have felt a certain irritation during the holidays especially…i.e., if I am on Facebook and see high school friends going ON and ON about their great families and amazing husbands and adorable kids…because there you are, tired as crap and feeling terrible and worrying about how you will pay your bills because your health sucks and you are alone…and those happy chirpy people who “have it all” really don’t “get” how hard it is when you have mostly nothing. And it seems hard to join in to “celebrate” when you are just trying to hang on.

I always get a holiday card from one pair of acquaintances who are like the picture-perfect couple who never have financial issues, always go on the most amazing exotic vacations each other, and have an adorable kid. And each year, they make their card on the computer with pictures from their travels, pics of the adorable kid, lists of the fabulous expensive restaurants they went to, and all the fun they had.

Meanwhile, were I to write a holiday letter during one of my particularly bad years, and had it been honest, it would have said something like:

“Made it through even though most of the time I wasn’t sure how I would pay the rent. Didn’t get sick as much this year, spent a lot of time at the acupuncturist, that seems to be helping, and I did have a few good times here and there. My love life has sucked and I am really tired of trying sometimes.”

Of course, I don’t write those things. I gave up on writing holiday letters a long time ago when I realized it was just an exercise in my ego to try to make my life sound better than it was.

Things are better for me now…my health has improved a lot. But it’s still not picture-perfect. This year was not a family Thanksgiving for me either (though I spent it with a friend). It was nice, but certainly, I do lament at times that I don’t have my own family - the family I always dreamed of and simply assumed I’d have when I was growing up. What the hell happened? Why didn’t my life turn out like it was “supposed” to? I don’t know, but you know what, it’s been an interesting journey and maybe I’m better off for the struggles in some bizarre way. For one, I am more awake than most (I believe), and I have a certain type of compassion that you can’t get if you haven’t walked in certain shoes. I have to believe I’ve been on this path for a reason.

Point being, don’t think you are alone and that some of us won’t understand. I relate, and I’m sure there are other people out there who did not have a picture-perfect holiday either.

What you can be grateful for is the strength you’ve developed, the fact that you are still alive and breathing, that somehow despite all challenge and sorrow you are hanging in there, and, if you happen to have some sort of spirituality, that there is a meaning in all this.

And I don’t begrudge people for having easy lives. Since I believe in reincarnation, I simply call their easy life, their “Vacation Life.” And I figure we all have Vacation Lives at some point or another. I’m hoping my next life will be a hell of a lot easier…assuming that the peak oil transition leads us to a better culture in the long run. Maybe I can come back as a rich housewife who travels, surfs for fun, and saves puppies in her spare time. :wink: (Hope that’s not too much spiritual talk!)

Anyway…a big hug to you and please PM me if you need to vent!