The holidays are upon us and our "have to" list is going to grow exponentially. In addition to the normal "have to" demands of my life, I also have to add planning a dinner for a group, shopping for gifts, social events, and the crowds that come with all the wonders of the holidays. I have this "have to" voice that is constant. Like an administrative assistant, she is always reminding me that I need to take care of something. If it isn't her voice, it is the voice of my washer, dishwasher, email notices, car, all dinging at me to remind me that they need attention. Have I exhausted you yet?
One day I was reminded that all the things I label as "have to" are "get to." We have dear neighbors who travel to areas of strife and help the citizens in those communities rebuild their lives after disasters. Currently, Haiti is the focus. I also spent one night this week packing Christmas boxes for children in third world countries who may have never before, nor ever again, (as a child) receive a present. Then I came home to our home and looked at all the pictures of my beautiful children and grandchildren, my husband waiting for me with a fire burning, my beginning stack of gifts purchased for Christmas, the warmth of our surroundings, and the food in our refrigerator and I was reminded that I get to take care of all these things.
I am hopeful that these little reminders this week will be continually present in my conscious mind as I go forward in my life. I get to clean our home for the family members that will be celebrating the holiday with us; I get to shop because I have the resources to do so, I get to pay my bills for the same reason. I get to walk our dogs because we have these incredible beings in our life who love us unconditionally. I get to sit here, in the comfort of my kitchen, and write these messages to others, hoping they will inspire at least someone to stop long enough to count their blessings. That is, after all, what Thanksgiving is for.