Saturday, November 29, 2008


As the turkey (and pie) settle in my belly, I'd like to tackle the question we've all been asked this week: What are you thankful for?

To this, I answer the following:

1. He's known as Swanny around here & to me, he's my husband. Someone who is constantly supporting me, helping me, lifting me up when I need it, taking me down a peg when I need that too. He makes me laugh when I take life too seriously and he always wants to hear what I have to say. Truly, my best friend, Swanny, I'm thankful I get to share my life with you. (And Peanut is thankful to share movie time with you too.)

2. Peanut.

She's a laugh a minute and, let's face it she's nearly 4, she can be quite a challenge at times. As I've gotten to really spend some good time playing with her in the last week I've realized how much she's grown up....from things like getting dressed by herself while I was in the shower yesterday to decorating half of the Christmas tree without my having to rearrange every ornament She's turing into quite a little girl. I'm thankful for what she teaches me about patience, listening, and finding the fun every minute of your day.

3. Swanny Jr.

The little man is just unbelievable. He's a cuddle bug (see above), but he's ON THE MOVE. My prediction (you heard it here first) is that the young lad will be crawling for sure by Christmas. YIKES, better start baby proofing....The second time around for me with a baby has been such a different journey than the first....Swanny Jr. is teaching me all kinds of things, but most of all to enjoy the moments as they pass because they go at twice the speed they did with the first! I am thankful that this little person came into our lives and that he greets me with a smile when he wakes up and a snuggle when he drifts off...ah so sweet (and so mobile!!)

4. Our doggies.

Maggie, or our "fat pants" as we like to call her. She's a little strange, but God-love-her, she's ours and she makes the menagerie complete. And of course our Leia, who has given us quite the scare this year with her health. She has nearly completed a week of her now life-long medications (a cocktail of immunosuppression, steroid, acid reducer and vitamin B), and she truly does seem like her old self again...I'm hopeful that soon we can get her gaining weight again and get her back to looking like she did in July.

5. My job. If I had my choice, I'd love to spend more time with my kids and less time at work. (One to two days of work then 5 or 6 days off seems like a good forumula to me) If I'm being honest with myself though, I don't feel complete unless I'm clocking some hours as a therapist. While things could be better (admin, school funding, Early Intervention payments actually being made etc.), I am thankful that I have a job, and it's a job in which I do something I love. While you may hear me complain (and by you, I'm specifically thinking about Swanny, or the Mrs) about families not following through, about me wanting more for a child than his/her parents or teachers do, about the administrative C-R-A-P that gets in the way of doing what's right for kids, the challenges that both of my jobs hand to me, only make me a better therapist. I am thankful for the lessons that my students and clients teach me about living life with different ablities and about looking at life from a different perspective. I am also thankful that my job truly helps me become better at what I do the more I do it.

6. My church. If you had asked me 7 1/2 years ago when we got married if Swanny and I would ever find a church that we both felt invested in and felt as though it was where we belonged, I would have said, it wasn't likely. Today we are both active members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ here in Ottawa. While I believe that the "honeymoon" is over in that we're starting to see some of the shortcomings of the congregation we belong to, I still feel that in belonging to our church my soul is at home. Again, bumps in the road come (as do massive deficits in congregational budgets), but when you go down a hill, you have to remember that at some point, you come back up again. I am thankful to have found our church family and thankful that our pastor has led me to really examine and question the way in which I see the world and how the teachings of our religion support the way in which I should be living my life.

7. YOGA. My yoga practice started way back in 2002 when I took my first class at the Ottawa YMCA. My journey with yoga has evolved so much since then and I find my practice, for now, shifting away from time spent in asana (poses) on the mat, and more time spent in contemplative reflection of the lessons yoga offers about life's experience. I am slowly making my peace with the idea that asana practice and yoga classes will always be there for me, but my children will only be little once. The time I'm spending with them, I feel is well worth the trade off, when I feel that the lessons I need most right now from yoga, pertain more to my mind and spirit rather than to my body. I am thankful that yoga has given me a feeling of fitness (that body-mind-spirit thing again). I am thankful that it helps me to make more sense of what happens in my life and figure out who I am and what my journey is really all about in this life....

So many things I am thankful for, so little time to name them all.

I am fortunate to know abundance in my life, and am so greatful. Thanksgiving has certainly inspired me to attempt to be more reflective daily of my gratitude, rather than just point it out on a holiday....what is it you are thankful for??


Rikki said...

What a wonderful post. You have such a nice outlook on life Jen.

Your family is beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

A terrific post Jen, it gave us pause to consider the things we are thankful for.

Just one thing you might want to correct.. the link for the church is

Just one more time thank you for you wonderful post and thank you for you and your family.

Carol & vicki