Most Thankful For: Perspective

Thankful, that word. That is the hardest thing to be, isn’t it? Would you rather be filthy rich and not grateful, or able to really be thankful for what you have? 

Making money is (relatively) easy in my America, we never need miss a meal and our ‘hash-tag First World Problems’ are so plentiful, they’re always trending on social media. If you know what that means, and have access to the internet, this is what I’m talkin’ bout Willis.

Yet, with all of this life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it’s easy to take it all for granted. I’m not above this, not at all, just a human meat bag making some observations. I’m posting sarcastic thankful posts, weird turkey pictures and boozey Thanksgiving memes, just like the best of us.

My teenager does a great job of making sure I never forget to be thankful for what I have. I have a healthy, happy family. That is an enormous sentence from someone who went through what I’ve gone through. My life hasn’t been, and will never be perfect, and I don’t even shoot for perfect. Just happy. We’re there.

We are happy and thankful, and enjoying toddler wonderful silliness and typical older teenage issues. Sometimes they feel overwhelming, heart-breaking, “oh, what have I done wrong?” type stress, and then….something gives me perspective. He brought home his friend that used to live with us. Just for the night this time. He wanted to be with the closest thing to a family on this day, since he can’t be with his family today.

His friend is 18 years old, he JUST graduated high school, and he represents the many homeless in America. Through no fault of his own, he has had to provide for himself completely since before he turned 18, thanks to whatever battle his mother is always fighting. She kept him around, occasionally dodging him, moving the family all over hell and back, and often not answering his calls, until he turned 18. That is when she stopped getting support from the government for him, so she had no further use for him apparently. Beyond heart breaking. I haven't the appropriate words.

I don't know a lot about her battle, she hasn't chosen to share with me or receive help from me, or from a lot of people. Only she knows what she's going through. It's not my place to judge. It's very hard not to, lemme tell you.

I have been in dark places, faced some demons, so I know a very little bit about struggles you hide from everyone but yourself. I wish I could help her, but instead I helped her son.

He was still in high school when that happened. He stayed with us, we fed him, got him what he needed, communicated with the school, and he graduated, and he is thriving. He has 3 jobs and wants to go back to taking classes at our community college, if and when he can find the time. He’s a sweet kid, a good person, takes nothing for granted. He has asked us politely for everything we have ever given him, refused many things offered, and continues to thank us when he sees us. We don’t see him often because he’s always working. When we do see him, he is always smiling.

He is part of an amazing homeless program that helps him get and stay on track. They give him a place to live, he gives them his paychecks and they help him plan and budget. Anyone who doesn’t believe in social programs, REALLY needs to sit down and have a talk with this kid. This man who was forced to be a man when he should have still been a kid. He works hard, he’s always in a good mood, clean and polite, he takes nothing for granted. He is amazing.

I’m grateful to know him and to have helped him. I’m glad he was a part of our lives. My children love him, my Lola talks about him all the time. Today he just wanted to be with us, because his mother is in rehab again so he can’t be with her. I’m beyond grateful that he’s here, that he wanted to be here.                                                                                                                     
I’m grateful that I was raised by a family that taught me to always help people in these situations. Not to be afraid of people that need help, not to turn my back, but instead to stretch out a hand and ask “How can I help you?” even when I feel like I don’t have any KIND of my shit together.

I may not have been very grateful for that growing up, but I sure am now. In our world of plenty, what we lack is regular, everyday people who appreciate whatever they have, and are willing to help others. I know no matter how I struggle, I can still help people. Even *I* can make someone else’s struggle a little bit better. 

My family growing up had more than our fair share of struggle, beyond things not going as planned. I don’t think Lifetime Television could have but planned or not planned our drama, but we always had “extra” people. My sisters would bring home people that had nowhere else to go, and just wanted to sleep or shower inside for a change.

We often had a friend of someone’s staying with us, or living with us, or taking a nap in someone’s bed (and yes, sometimes they were just ‘sleeping it off’.) This gave us perspective. And I would lying, through my social-smoker yellowish teeth, if I didn't say that hopefully this kind of shit guaranteed us a good spot on the Karma bus. Because seriously, you bet your spiral-sliced hams we could use it honey.

These extra people, these situations, were a gift from the Universe whether we knew it or not. My family got through our hard times, we are stronger because of it. We don’t let our petty bullshit drive us apart, we speak our minds, we own who we are, we are not afraid of anything. We help people. We’re weird, we make mistakes, but we give back to this world more than we take. Probably. We teach our children to do the same.

Today is Thanksgiving, and that we are. We are celebrating with my husband’s family today, I was relieved that this year I don’t have to host it, I don’t have to do all the cooking. I don’t have to do a damn thing but dress myself and my girls, oh and I offered to bring a ham. Knowing that my son’s friend is here, I got up and started preparing to roast a chicken, make stuffing and a pumpkin pie so he can have some good food to eat right here and now, and some to take with him. I’m happy to do it. I wish I could do more.

Being the super prepared person that I am (not,) it appears I used all the canned pumpkin in the kids’ oatmeal and yogurt this week so I will have to make a “pumpkin” cheesecake, and by pumpkin I mean butternut squash. I read somewhere online a lot of canned pumpkin is mostly squash, so hopefully no one will know. It beats going to the store on Thanksgiving Day, which is canned bullshit. We’ll make do. People have for centuries, we can too.

And we will all be grateful to do it. 


I am beyond thankful for my strange lovable family, my wonderful husband, who almost understands why I have to suddenly cook a huge meal this morning, and kind of understands why I have to also write about it, instead of enjoying my family right now. 

Of course I'm thankful for my children, my second chance at children, who don't understand me at all, and are standing here wanting attention, the baby crying "PIE!" because she sees the pie crust on the counter. 

I am thankful for my many mistakes leading me to a place where I can be HAPPY and grateful. Today I'm most thankful for that perspective. If I hadn't gone through absolute misery, could I be absolutely happy? Who knows, who cares. Life is not perfect, and it would be effing BORING if it were. 

Enjoy the good times, learn from the bad, enjoy every single stinking day because it's all we get! 

This picture reminded me of my weird, tattooed, very real, very 'Murican, very loving family. We have "DFILY" tattooed variously on our family members and it stands for: Don't Forget I Love You
Well, we don't ALL have tats, and only my mom watches Nascar

Happy Thanksgiving from ComfyTown, where gratitude pours from our horn o'plenty!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you! Love your post. :-)

    1. And happy Day O'Thanks to you! Thank you for reading, and for the feedback. I am never comfortable writing non-humor posts and I do appreciate you taking the time. Have a wonderful holiday!

  2. Thanksgiving blessings to you all, and an extra big heaping handful of blessings to your son's friend. May he achieve much success in life.

    1. Thank you, I hope you have a wonderful day!
      I feel like he's already successful!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving and very well said! Seriously, why is it the more money and material goods we accrue, the more ungrateful we become?

    As mentioned a few times on the blog, I have a millionaire brother-in-law. I can't stand him. He's the most ungrateful, take everything for granted, "I won't give a single dime to anyone who's not me or a bimbo stripper" person I've ever met. And apparently before all of the money he was the exact opposite.

    If anything, my wife uses it as inspiration to not become like her brother. She volunteers at the local hospital, she feeds the homeless, and she's always organizing new programs to help people in some way or another.

    We're poor as hell, but you don't need money to help others. And we certainly don't take the little we have for granted.

  4. That is great that at least he can teach you that, without even knowing he's doing it. I'm grateful fir whatever happened in your lives that brings your writing into my world. Your blog makes me laugh every Monday and Thursday. That is solid gold right there!

  5. Claim your healthier, happier and much more balanced life! You will learn how to: Cope with stress, so your dieting plan can be more effective. Let go of guilt, the importance of releasing yourself from the negativity created by it. You will learn how to let go of general negativity, anger, let go of the need for approval. It even teaches you how to release yourself from procrastination. Let go of envy, self-doubt, limitations and the chains of time. Start your new life today, be confident in yourself, and laugh more for a happier you!

  6. I think I might've just fell in love with you! This is absolutely THE BEST Thanksgiving post I've seen. At all. This year. Or ever (not sure I was really clued-in to the Blogosphere last year) and I completely SO adore the way you took this kid in and looked after him, and your family's support of one another, and their commitment to looking after the waifs and strays who have no-one but SO need someone.

    Thank you, a million times, for this post, and for your wonderful attitude.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Those words mean a lot coming from you, thank you.
      My family is a bit of an acquired taste, but they are AMAZING when it comes to being helpful and generous. Then they'll make fun of you and blow 2nd-hand smoke in your face, but then give you liquor and make you laugh until you need a change of pants, and they'll help you with that. It's a bit of a wild ride.
      And also: YOU LOVE ME hahaha

    2. Your family grew you up good. Your attitude is completely incredible and very inspiring. It's an attitude I'd LOVE to have, but am always too scared to *shame*

  7. That is awesome that you have been able to share your home and family with other people who need some love. My parents were always against that type of thing. When I get a place to live, I want my family (of the future) to be more like yours!

    1. It can be really scary to open your home and family to people you don't know, so there's that. I do get that. We did it a lot in my family when I was growing up, and more times than not, it was a great experience and we made new friends, and have seemed to acquire new "family" along the way. You have a very special, kind heart, so your parents did a LOT of things just right!

  8. Terrific post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Sounds like you are all a very caring bunch of souls.