With our annual observation of Thanksgiving looming large there are big and small reasons to give thanks.
Sometimes people become so adept at complaining they forget all the small, good things easily taken for granted. Ahead of gathering with friends and family let me share a small list of things for which I hold immense gratitude. It is my hope this will help jumpstart a list all your OWN.
I give thanks for every valiant soul who humbly served their nation believing in a cause greater than their singular self interest. Having visited Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland last week my gratitude for those who risk life and limb has magnified exponentially. Visiting our warriors determined to get back on their “feet”, even though they’d now walk on prosthetic limbs, humbled my heart. I observed smiling warriors with fiercely motivated attitudes. Looking deeper, I saw brave faces with scared eyes who need our love, gratitude, and appreciation for their service and sacrifice. I give thanks for our Military of every branch. I give thanks to the enlisted and their spouses who serve in an equally important capacity. I give thanks to organizations like the USO, Hired Heroes, Wounded Warriors, and individuals like Elaine Rogers, Chef Robert Irvine, Gary Sinise, our WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon, along with countless others who make it their daily job to give a small bit back to those willing to give it ALL.
I give thanks to first responders who run in when everyone else is instructed to flee.
I give thanks for every decent person who adopted a shelter pet and saved two lives.
I give thanks to the courageous whistleblowers who stand against tyranny.
I hold immense gratitude to all who ever stood against a bully, at any age, on behalf of another who was being victimized.
I am thankful to live in one of only 14 states (New Mexico) where conversion therapy is against the law. This heinous act of intolerance is an abomination.
I am grateful to my friends; my chosen family. The people with whom I laugh until I cry. The secret keepers and those who entrust me with their vulnerability, their humanness, their soft underbelly. I’m thankful for my oldest and dearest friends from childhood, from my girls’ childhood, from disaster and ruin and as the Phoenix rose. I’m grateful to be the kind of friend who earned my loyal circle of pals.
I’m thankful to be a mother. I’m grateful to have been entrusted with two miraculous daughters along with all the fur babies I’ve raised. I’m blessed to feel maternal to those who are not my children but need encouragement in the voice of a mom. All I ever wanted to be was a mother. Yes, I went to college, got my degree, longed for a career, yet put ambition on the shelf to physically raise my kids. There’s no harder job than being a mother but I’m grateful I did it! I’m grateful to EVERY WOMAN WHO SELFLESSLY CHOOSES to show up for the often thankless job of motherhood. You’ll be the top cherry on life’s sundae for which your children give Ultimate thanks!
I’m grateful for the muse who makes my fingers cross the keyboard when I write. She forces my hand and demands unapologetic advocacy. She laughingly dismisses blow hards and ignorant, misogynistic haters. She whispers encouragement for the singular, independent voice I’ve been given. This muse has gifted me an answer to “Who do YOU think YOU are to do ‘this or that?”... she reminds me... I know who I am. I’m Dana Warrior. It’s my name and I earned it. I am grateful to smilingly reply to an unthinking dolt, “Ask better questions, pal..Who am I NOT “to do”? ...Who am I not to be an advocate; a voice? Who am I not to fight with conviction as an autonomous, thinking human being?”...my muse laughs when I finally say, ...”peel back the crust of hubris...shed chauvinism’s cloak and ask YOURSELF this...
“Who are YOU to get in MY way?”.
I’m grateful for words, books, song writers who make poetry, and dance partners who shred dance floors. I’m thankful for drag race, my Mother, pal, business manager and biggest fan, Steve Wilton. I’m grateful for my Uncle PD who bought me slurpees, told me I was “smart as a whip”, and made me know good men existed. I’m grateful for my insane group of girlfriends with whom I can laugh and cry but can never fake out when I say, “I’m ok.”. I am grateful to Indy and Mattie for making me whole.
I am grateful for the fall, winter, spring, and summer; for night and day, sun and moon, rest and play.
I am forever grateful to the believers and the warriors, the rebels and the misfits; the people who never say die but instead give us the reminders of life’s endless bounty ...the ULTIMATE heroes, in whom I BELIEVE, and who remember To Give Thanks...Always!!