The Season for Thanksgiving – and lists!

Hello Friends!

In a flash, the leaves have changed, Autumn has come and (nearly) gone, and our first flakes of Winter have fallen (and melted). See photos below – all taken within an 24 hour period on Friday into Saturday. Wow.  Winter is coming!

Refraining from the recap of what we’ve been up to, I’d point the interested follower to #mavenandmagpie and @ThoroughbredRetirement on instagram for the highlights of our somewhat epic horse-filled journey to the Bluegrass Commonwealth (one of 5 in our United States… can you name them all?).  Instead,  tonight, I’m intent on a bit of introspection as the season of giving thanks is upon us and we, the Maven & the Magpie, have an extraordinary list of things to be thankful for.  Handily enough, it’s also a great season for lists!

I love lists! 

In order to jump-start a bit more frequent posting over the next few weeks, I’m going to just share one of my favorite lists with this post, in hopes that it might be interesting for folks out there in blog-land to consider. My intent is to share a few others over the days ahead. We’ll see.. I might need to make a list of lists. 🙂

One of my absolute favorite lists is the list of every person who has made an impact on my life… starting from the very beginning, like the first people who visited me in the hospital, that kind of beginning.  Yep, it’s a biggie. This is one which I call upon regularly when I’m in my jogging routine (which I call shogging = jogging just enough to make everything shake), I don’t write this down – I write the list in my head, as a sort of meditation crossed with a memory exercise.  Do not fear, I promise that I won’t go through the exercise now… but I have to tell you, it’s an awesome project if you want to engage your brain for a significant amount of time.  It’s one that will easily  make the minutes tick by while you’re out there huffing & puffing and/or otherwise trying to keep your mind off your woes.

I find it a fascinating to track the mind’s patterns. Sort of like HQ, it starts easy and then suddenly becomes pretty hard. I always start chronologically and it’s pretty easy when you’re working from your 0-8ish year old days, as there just weren’t that many people you remember.  However, as you get to a certain age… for me it’s about 11, it’s like your life just expontentially expands – in terms of peers you remember and adults who began to influence you, far beyond the family & friends of your parents.

I find there are three main challenges (which keep it interesting):

  • staying with a certain branch of the “thought tree” before jumping to another branch (always afraid I’m going to forget someone you have to sort of “stick a pin in them” to hold them, while staying on your branch);
  • acknowledging that you’re not really trying to list every single person you have met, but focusing on those who made an impact on you (often proven by remaining in your life, but not always);
  • making silent apologies to those folks you’ve remembered, but not added to the list, because – quite simply, they didn’t help you become who you are.

The good news is that this isn’t homework you have to turn in, so no one will know when you’ve momentarily forgotten someone super important. It totally happens! However, it seems to me that once you set this train rolling in your brain, those people will pop back into your mind, along with their words, their stories, the places you spent time together, meals you ate, adventures you shared… even if it’s long after you have had to cut short the exercise (for me usually, my watch tells me I can stop the shogging).

Throughout the whole exercise, I find myself saying a heartfelt “thank you”.  Thank you for making me the person I am today. Without you entering my life at that time, in that place, with that lesson… I would be a different person.  It’s amazing what malleable clay we are, so molded by the hands of those we’ve spent time with – sometimes by design, but so much more often by sheer “accident of the universe”.  It’s simply amazing.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I’m humbly and profoundly thankful for each and every person who has given me the gift of their presence in my life – for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime.

Including each of you!



Mookie’s doppleganger spotted on my way to work on Friday.
Spectacular red tree on Friday AM
My artistic take on red leaves
Same day, 5:30pm – winter has arrived (briefly)
A preview of our Christmas card – on Nov 9th.
Back to Fall on Saturday AM – walking to Farmer’s market
We’ll miss all this color when it’s gone!