~thankful thursday~ feral kitten pirate ship

A few days after Thursday but here we go! Year six of daily facebook gratitude posts compiled for my non-social-media peeps here on the blog.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 1


It is November. We made it here, again. I am grateful, just for that. If you are new here, I’m about to post every day of this month about something I am grateful for, in which we learn one reason I’m not on twitter (hint: not enough page space). Before I get too far into this, I want to say that if my past five years of gratitude posts have ever made you feel feelings you don’t want to feel, especially involving words like “should”, please visit the three dots at the upper right of this post where there is an option to “Snooze Mary Beth for 30 days” which is the perfect amount of time since I’ll snooze myself in exactly 30 days for the other eleven months. No hard feelings, I promise. This whole thing is about taking care of ourselves and that’s one great way.

I am grateful for the friends who encourage me to continue making gratitude posts each November. Some of these friends have shared that they, too, get SAD and struggle with the lengthening darkness. Making it to another November means we made it through another winter, and we can make it through this one, too. And speaking of mental health, I am especially grateful today for one friend who has made it to today, having survived a year of harrowing health adventures. This friend is also the Therapist Extraordinaire of my lifetime, who taught me: my first commitment is to myself. If you know, you know (lucky you, too).

T.E. was on my mind this morning when I emailed Lauren (so grateful for her every day), something about my son’s father to the effect of, “I’m so pissed that he is doing this right now. It’s bleeping day one of gratitude, bleeping bleeper.” Therapist Extraordinaire walked me up out of some of worst troughs of despair with my nightmare on coparenting street. He unfolded me from the contortions I was performing to try to achieve the insta-worthy separation and said I was allowed to pursue happiness instead.

One thing T.E. taught me years ago, a lesson I am still working on, is, “my silence will not protect me.” Lauren told me this morning, “you’ve held your breath and your voice for years afraid of being attacked only for this.” And it’s true. My silence doesn’t keep him from reaching and grasping for new ways to take from me.

When there are a small number of people in the world out there who know the whole backstory and still want to be my friend, it dampens each new atrocity into a buzzing mosquito. It siphons the survival surge out of my blood and reminds me I don’t need to fight or flee. Not anymore.

Some of you are friends and relatives of my coparent and I don’t want that to make anyone uncomfortable. He is nice to other people, just not to me. I can be around people who love him. One of the people I love most, my son, counts him among the people he loves most. I’ve never asked anyone to take sides. Reminder that the three dots/snooze option is available to all. Me holding silence for others’ comfort is not one of the available options.

I am grateful for good therapy. I am grateful for lessons that reverberate with new relevance after all these years. And I’m so thankful for the person behind the lessons.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 2


Today I am grateful for all the sweet comments, messages, and encouragement on yesterday’s post. I want to reply to each one but that may be a weekend gig, so please just know each and every one made me smile and feel grateful for each and every one of you. I am grateful the sun came out today. I am also grateful for nachos tonight, for their supreme ease and deliciousness for tired people, and I’m not taking this class for a grade so it’s okay if I use nachos again in four days on their official holiday.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 3


I am grateful for date night. When Rich got home from work, the pack of kittens who have come to live in our yard scampered up to the driveway to greet him, then ran away again toward their food bowl, then zoomed all around him while he poured their kibble. I am grateful for these kittens. And I am grateful for my husband who is the most indulgent kitty daddy. They do not just have a food bowl, oh no. He has built them a pirate ship structure out of pallets and a tarp. He has added boxes and kitty beds so the kittens can nestle in the lengthening cold darkness. They are attuned to the sound of his truck and they run up and down around his work boots in anticipation of his feedings. We hovered for a few last minutes of daylight and gave some attention to Fluffy who is experimenting with getting petted, and then we were off on our date night.

And he got us the yummy chicken tenders for an appetizer and asked me all about my day. And we ate the shepherd’s pie with the cheese and hot sauce because it’s cold outside and that’s when we crave it. And then he got us dessert, because this is the way he cares for not just his kittens but also his wife.

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