What I’m thankful for this year

There are the obvious things: I’m still alive. Sara is diminishing. Medical advances. The kindness, love and generosity of friends and family.

But here’s a surprising truth. I’m also thankful for my cancer.

What girl? You lost your mind?

Yes, I have. But not completely (yet).

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath (thank you Neal) analyzes underdogs who battle giants in such industries as medicine, business, art and education. He explores how success is often borne out of such adversity as ignorance, learning disabilities, deprivation and early childhood loss. He looks at how people often gain courage after weathering tough times and realizing, those times weren’t so tough afterall.

While I concede, Gladwell tends to apply broad strokes to pop-cultural theories using just one or two stories to prove his point, I’m often inspired by his writing. In the case of David and Goliath, a small shepherd brought down a top soldier with cunning, bravery and playing outside the rules. In my eyes (through a Gladwell filter), I’m facing a ferocious beast, but having survived the initial blows, I am emboldened to muster strength out of fatigue, to muscle on with the knowledge that it is temporary, and to appreciate every moment that I feel well enough to walk the dog, write a blog entry, or continue to climb the ladder of life with light, love and levity.

Don’t get me wrong – I can’t wait until my time in Candyland is a memory. But this times has made me so excited about the future that even just fantasizing about the future now is a medicine in its own class.

And that is what I’m thankful for this year: A challenge that demands all of my strength, attention and willpower, which I suspected I had, but now I know I have. That’s a formidable weapon.

Pictured above: Moiselle and something I’m always thankful for, La Rosa. 

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