Thankful On Thursday

Did you see 'The Five-Year Engagement'?

We watched it in our hotel room the other afternoon and Dann and I both loved it. Jason Segel is hilarious as always, but the writing really stood out on this one.

At one point in the story, as the couple argues about whether or not she should continue down her career path in a town where he can't find work and is slowly dying inside, she whines that "You just don't understand!"

To which he replies: "I do too understand. I just don't like it!"

One thing I really appreciated about this film is that it addresses the fact that a man has a deep-seated need to work hard and provide for himself and his family. This desire is one of the things I love most about my husband.

And while I recognize it may not be true for every woman, I believe that the idea that a woman wants to be loved by a man she admires is largely accurate. It is for me, anyway. I didn't really know it for most of my life, but I'm able to recognize it pretty clearly now. The constant struggle to do it all and have it all as a woman frustrates me, because I think it's selfish. Why do we feel the need to "have it all"? In my case, I think it's because I was told for most of my life (in school) that I could do anything boys could do, and that I should want to do the same things boys want to do. No one ever told me it was okay to want to fall in love, get married, have children, and be totally content.

Now I find myself married, working with my husband, LOVING it, and wondering why I spent so much time trying to do anything else.

I'm not saying that all women should get married and quit their jobs. I don't think all women (myself included, at this point) are meant to have kids. I'm not saying that women shouldn't be ambitious or have careers. I love being a woman with a brain and the ability to solve problems. I love learning to do new things. I loved working as a teacher and think I'm quite good at it. I know that these same qualities are things my husband loves about me, too.

I came across this article recently, though, and I think it hit the nail on the head. I have enough. I have more than enough. I have so much and I want to be conscious of it as often as possible.

If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on facebook, you've probably noticed that since the beginning of the summer I've been intentionally posting things I'm thankful for in the day-to-day. I've never felt compelled by the awareness of all I have to be thankful for in quite the same way, but it's a pretty cool thing. I want to share it with you.

So here's what I propose:

Let's all be thankful. For something. Or someone. Or somewhere.

Let's do it on all the days, not just on Thanksgiving.

Let's share it with each other, because if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that being thankful for anything at all can be hard sometimes. I can be cynical and bitter with the best of them, so sometimes I need someone else to remind me of the things I have to be thankful for. You too? Oh, good.

I'm going to start writing a regular post every Thursday that expands on something I'm thankful for, and I would love it if you'd join me. Write a post on your own blog, leave something in the comments, put it in a card and send it someone you love. What it looks like doesn't really matter. The idea is that we can share in the goodness of recognizing what we have.

And if you feel like you have nothing and you need somebody to smack you in the face and remind you that there are children starving to death in Africa, I'm your girl.

Here's to being thankful. On Thursday and every day.