I don’t care about losing all the money. It’s losing all the stuff.
Bernadette Peters as Marie in The Jerk.
I know, unless you’re Canadian, that this is not Thanksgiving week. Still, there are times when, in spite of all the mess in our lives, it’s just good to be thankful for the things we have.
I moved some things around in my home office on Monday. I was thankful to have the day off to do so. I didn’t do a complete office overhaul, but the desk arrangement for my personal writing and my work laptop, as well as the space I wanted to do some creative stuff…well, it just wasn’t working.
I had done a complete overhaul in the early days of last year’s lockdown. I did another when I signed on to to virtual Santa. But I was never really content.
Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.
Sometimes when I need a break, or on those nights when insomnia visits, I’ll sit in the comfy chair and either nap or just rest and think about things. I had one of those times earlier this week when I just sat there surrounded by all of the stuff.
I do have a lot of stuff. And I’m thankful for it. I spent some time thinking about what some of those items mean.
I’m thankful for the comfy chair. It’s a set piece I brought home from one of my shows.
And I’m thankful for the prayer shawl that a friend brought to me this summer during the midst of the unpleasantness. Often when I’m in the comfy chair, I sit with the shawl around my shoulders. It’s a bit like a hug.
I’m thankful for a job that still allows me to work from home, and was the reason I needed to rearrange. Again. Eventually we’ll go back downtown where I’ll be thankful for my office view.
I’m thankful for my family, each sequestered in their own corner of a house that never feels empty.
I’m thankful for the animals, two large dogs and a very large cat. They help to fill up the home.
I’m thankful for the memories that surround me in my office.
Memories of theater, from shows I’ve been in, or directed, or promoted. I am thankful that theater is coming back.
I’m thankful for the shadow box and the prints that remind me of my post-Katrina reconstruction trips to New Orleans. I’d like to do one of those again some day.
I’m thankful for my books. For the ones on my desk that I want to keep handy. For the ones on the shelves. For the ones stashed away in the closet.
I’d be thankful for more bookshelves, although I don’t have anywhere to put them.
I’m thankful for the transistor radio that sits on the top shelf. I got it for Christmas when I was around twelve or thirteen. In the 70s, your radio was important.
I’m thankful for a brass clock that was a gift from some dear college friends. Too long a story to tell here, but as a senior I worked as an advisor to the incoming freshman. This was their graduation gift to me.
I’m thankful for the styrofoam boater hat that I wore in my college quartet. And I’m thankful that last year we were able to sing together again virtually.
I’m thankful for stuffed animals, for Cookie Monster, for the puppet my son used to call Shampoo, the Killer Whale, and for a pig that used to oink “Jingle Bells.”
I’m thankful for a little plastic and paper Christmas tree that belonged to my aunt. She stayed in the home place after my grandfather died and I stayed there a lot as a child. When she passed, I got the tree. I’m thankful that I know she prayed for me every day.
There’s much to be thankful for. So much more that I won’t get to mention here.
I look around the office and think I have too much stuff. But what memories do you discard? I know this will one day be junk my boys have to sort through.
For now it gives me comfort. And warm fuzzies.
And I’m thankful for that.