We celebrated Thanksgiving two weeks ago so I felt that if I stayed in bed all day, to watch the parade and a few more episodes of “SVU”, I wouldn't be missing anything. But as it turned out, I received three invitations, which were very appealing. One was from a college friend who was having a difficult time and needed a hug. One was with a new friend whose Mom passed away this year and she wanted to be with people she loved. And the last was from a friend who I have known for years but who has recently become a part of my professional as well as personal life. Unfortunately, there was a problem with timing (even I can’t be in three places at the same time), and I could only accept two of the invitations.
Needless to say, (I have never understood what that means because if it is needless to say, then why say it), but I had a wonderful time at both celebrations. It’s always terrific to see my friend from college and as it happens her husband is also a friend from college. We have known one another for quite some time, (which means we remember one another without any baggage), and we truly love each other, but we have never shared our children. We just never took the time to do that. Maybe it’s because we still see each other without all the life experiences and we don’t want anything to interfere with than perception. Or maybe we just never took the time. Whichever, yesterday I met her entire wonderful clan.
It occurred to me, while I was on the train going from place to place, that the expression “time flies when you’re having fun” is totally stupid. Time flies whether you are happy or miserable. My grandfather used to say, “life is like a train. First you are on the local and then when you get older you also get on the express.” Anyway, I took the local back to the city to join my pal who had lost her mother this year. That was also a special time. The food was miraculous, the wine flowed and we all told stories about our lives. We were getting to know one another, as opposed to sharing times passed together. It was also very special.
I often think about the things for which I am thankful. There are the obvious things, like children, family, and friends; doing something I love everyday, health, and having medication available when you need it. Yesterday, I was also thankful that I was not the Tareq or Michaele Salahi, reality show wannabes (a concept I find ridiculous and maybe appalling) who crashed the Indian state dinner at the White House). They certainly dressed the part. He in a tux and she in a fabulous red almost Sari. They looked like they belonged – but they never got an invitation. Why would anyone (with their egos, as opposed to a terrorist), take the chance of maybe going to jail for lying to a federal officer, or embarrassing themselves in front of their friends and maybe the entire nation. It was like an admission that they weren’t important enough to be invited, so they got all dressed up and crashed the party. How tacky – and tacky is only the beginning.
Then I started to think, is there a difference between being thankful and grateful. People often use them synonymously, but one (grateful) makes me uncomfortable and the other is comforting. Dictionary.com defines grateful as ‘warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received;’ and thankful is defined as ‘feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.’ I think that grateful is something you receive externally, like a Coke when you’re thirsty. And thankful, is something that quenches more than thirst. It is something you feel deeply, an emotion rather than an act. Then I stopped thinking and got back into bed feeling thankful for the people in my life and grateful that I had eaten so much good food with so many lovely people. We’re just sayin’… Iris