Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow night, I'm off to visit my parents in Massachusetts. I'll be back in NY on Saturday. Since I'll be busy with school tomorrow, I thought I'd post this now.

I spent the last two nights tossing and turning with anxiety and a cosmic sense of loneliness. My mind got into one of those worrying loops where you start off worrying about things that are, in fact, worrisome, but end up worrying about the fact that you're worrying about missing yoga class since isn't yoga supposed to be relaxing and why - oh why! - haven't you learned to Just Be yet? LOL. It's funny, in retrospect.

If only we got into thankfulness loops akin to the worry loops.

I'm thankful that I finished editing all sixty of my students' lab reports in less than 48 hours, so I can relax tonight (kind of: my theater class is going to see Golda's Balcony).

I'm thankful that I work in a place where everyone cares deeply about our students, where we confront each other - at times, painfully or with defensiveness - about things that need to change, where most days we say a friendly hello to our colleagues, even those with whom we disagree.

I'm thankful to live in a country where people can - and do - disagree. Even as we criticize the media for being bought & sold by corporations and political interests, even as we defend our library records from the feds, even as we get caught up in polarized and polarizing debates about not-the-most-important-things, it is so important to keep in mind that we exercise a tremendous amount of freedom here in the United States. I, for one, still feel that I have enough freedom to disagree, to speak out, to work against the policies that I dislike, that I will be staying here and working for change. I may visit Canada, but I can do so much more right where I am.

And speaking of which, I am so thankful to have chosen a profession where I can help individuals and work for social change all at once, a profession that makes me struggle to become a better person every single day.

I'm thankful for an amazing group of girlfriends - in CA, NY, and scattered here & there elsewherewomen who are ambitious, kind, feminist, funny, creative, and so, so smart.

I'm thankful for P. who has a positive attitude and tons of energy, who loves all kinds of music, who challenges me politically, who is very sweet, who is great in bed. ;-)

I'm thankful for my family. Even though we aren't always close, I know I can count on them for unconditional love & support. They built the foundation that lets me stand up and leap as high I as I can imagine myself leaping.

I'm thankful for my education - at home, in the public schools in Massachusetts, and at Stanford University and Teachers College - for giving me so many things: passion and the ability to follow through on ambitious projects, creativity, confidence, solid writing skills, a love of reading, and so much more. Thanks to all those teachers along the way who helped me become the person I am, some in ways that I remember, some in ways that I never even noticed.

And thanks to everyone who reads this blog! It's great to feel heard once in a while!


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