Today I am thankful for the privilege of voting. While it’s certainly not something I look forward to, as I just spent the last two hours researching and completing my sample ballot to take to the polls later, it is something I am proud to be a part of. We live in a country that gives the people opportunity to make their voice heard. What an amazing thing, a formal system for figuring out what people want. The results tell a story – who wants what, and how many of them want it? We decide. So if you haven’t voted yet, please get out and vote. Polls stay open late for those who work during the day. Oh, and they even have this Automark Voter Assist Terminal to help people with disabilities! I plan to use that, as I would have difficulty reading the paper ballot. I guess that makes me thankful for two things today, the opportunity to vote and handicap accessible technology.
If you are registered and plan to vote, but you need some help choosing, check out this Michigan Voter’s Guide. If you live outside of Michigan, you may be able to find a similar guide for your state with a quick web search. If you aren’t registered to vote, or you don’t care, I can’t help you. Just don’t let me catch you complaining about decisions our governments are making, got it? Got it.
Just so there is no confusion, I started this on November 1st, so it will always look like I’m one day behind.
Day 2! My daughter woke up and I said “Good morning! It’s Monday!”. And she replied, “Yay! We get to go to school!”
Now, that’s a perspective I like to see. They GET to go to school. It’s a privilege. And my children are truly blessed to be at the school they attend, for many reasons. One, the principal is a good friend of ours from way back before we had kids. And because we know her and like her, we are confident that she does an amazing job. That and it doesn’t hurt that she has known and loved our kids since they were born.
The school is particularly special because it is an IB World School. I encourage you to visit the site, but what it basically means is that they are held to a higher standard of academic and social learning. And because Chinese is the language of choice, they are taught half the day in Chinese.
My kids are learning how to read and write, but they are also learning some crucial life skills. They are learning how to be problem solvers and work productively with kids who come from a variety of different backgrounds. They are challenged daily to realize their potential and work towards it.
But aside from all that, I am grateful to live in a country, in a city, where public school is available. I know that is not a privilege every community has, but one that is so important to our future. Cue Whitney Houston…
A friend on Facebook mentioned she would be spending the entire month of November taking daily pause to recognize what she is thankful for. I think that’s a great idea. Thanksgiving is, after all, at the end of this month. It is also one of my favorite holidays.
So today, the 2nd of November, I will share what I am thankful for by way of telling you what my husband and I discussed on the way home from church today.
Okay, #1 is the fact that we can even have a conversation while we are in the car. But that’s not the thing. The thing we were discussing was that last fall was such a scary time for us. In fact, I don’t remember much of it. I lost my hearing and then shortly after started losing my vision and got very sick. I was what you call “checked out”. I was falling asleep at all hours of the day, I couldn’t remember where I was, or why I was there. I was in and out of the hospital as they tested me for everything under the sun. They were looking at some very serious diseases, some even fatal. This went on from mid-August until some time in January. My husband feared that this would remain a permanent state for me, awake for four hours a day, and not quite conscious even then. My mom and perhaps many others feared that I was dying.
But what a difference from last fall to this one. I am back! I still have a terrible memory, but for the most part I am here. I am present, living every moment as if it is a gift, because it is. It is such an amazing gift to have my mind back, and to be able to hug my children and tuck them into bed each night. To lovingly and thoughtfully prepare meals for my family, and to sit around the table, fully awake, is tremendous. It’s been almost a year from the last time I fell asleep sitting in the living room and had to go to bed before dinner with my family. Not a day goes by where I don’t thank God for that.
Tell me, what are you thankful for this season?