‘Tis the season to be thankful. In the US, at least. I’ve always rather hoped that we’d adopt this particular holiday one day. I know we don’t have any pilgrims – not unless you count the Vikings or Normans, and they came in the wrong hats – but that doesn’t seem to come into Thanksgiving much these days. There’s a grace about a national holiday devoted just to thankfulness. There is something humbling about it. Stop. Eat. Be grateful for what you have, all together. I can get behind that.
Last night I registered myself, finally, as self-employed with the Government. They’re going to give me a business ID and everything. I’ll be filling in tax returns and paying national insurance contributions, and being a proper working person. To say that I am terrified is an understatement. Not because I don’t want to pay tax or work, but because it means taking seriously a part of my life that is sometimes intimidating to me. The me-and-my-skills part, the what-can-I-become part. The part where I have dreams that are easily bruised by reality, and throwing myself into it can mean being spat back out.
And balance is frightening too, because what I want to be doing wholeheartedly is shaping this family into something really fine. Where everyone is safe and heard, and my boy (and boys and girls to come) grows into himself with confidence. That’s my atmosphere to make. It’s my magnum opus. I want so much to get it right.
So this morning I got up and worked, and faced down my busy month, my uncertain year. And I stopped. And ate (toast and hot chocolate). And was grateful.
It is really something to have opportunities like this. To live comfortably and well, to spend time with good people. To do hard things. To love the best people you know. To have so many good things to come.
Les Miserables is a bit of a long and dreary slog, in case you’re wondering, but Victor Hugo got down to the truth of it when he said:
Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.
I am convinced, and I am thankful. I hope you’re convinced too. You should be.