Whilst we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, I’ve always loved the idea of marking a special time to give thanks. And with a new book in the wind (in case you hadn’t noticed) I’ve been deep in relationship research. The marvellous Esther Perel says that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. It strikes me, not for the first time, that I am so very grateful for the quality of relationships I have around me. In my friends and my family, my children and my partner.
All of them accept me for who I am. For me, that’s a critical piece. I don’t want to pretend to please, to put on a show, to be constantly judged. I judge myself enough. I can pick up the phone to any of them and share my fears, my vulnerabilities, my dreams. Those who offer wise counsel, who tell the truth and don’t suck up (although a little bit is nice). That’s what I want, and what I truly treasure.
My sons I trust with my life. They are good men whose very existence colours the fabric of my every day. Who understand that women are equal. Who know that as white men, they are privileged. Who get it. They are in their thirties and yet I can look at them sometimes under the most ordinary circumstances and the torrent of love I feel for them takes my breath away.
I feel so grateful for my buddy, my teammate, my life partner. Just so you don’t vomit, he is also one of the most difficult men I have ever met. Even with my bulky mint green dressing gown he loves me, although he pretends not to. He shields me and fiercely protects me. Not in a way I would notice, but enough so that life seems easier.
I have been lucky enough to fall madly in love twice in my life. Once with my boys dad, and once with this man, who actually tried to flick me at first. Hard to imagine, I know.
23 years later I am flooded with gratitude that he stuck around. That he makes me laugh. That we like each other. That he tests my intelligence and forces me to think on things I have never thought of before.
These are truly rich relationships for which I am deeply grateful.
When we wrap ourselves in a blanket of gratitude we start to notice the good bits more. So happy thanksgiving to all, and a special shout out to our American friends who need love and compassion more than ever.
Click here for my favourite Thanksgiving video. And why I am grateful for this man who makes me laugh.
Lynne Schinella’s new book “Pick Me! Loving and Living with People We Just Don’t Get” is available at a special early bird rate of $24.99 to pre order now right here. Get it for Valentines Day!