A Nurse's Misdirected Reflections on Giving Thanks

Sadly, I am by nature not a touchy feely, ooey gooey kind of individual. I have a hard time saying "Thank you" and meaning it, preferring to offer a nod or other non-verbal as an indication of gratitude. But there are times when non-verbals aren't good enough anymore. This is my off-kilter rambling reflection offered up and released into the wild. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

A Nurse's Misdirected Reflections on Giving Thanks

I am told that this Thursday, today as it were, is a day to surround ourselves by people that we both adore and cannot stand and are a source of endless joy and drama (AKA Family...whether work or genetic, does it really matter which?), to overdose on Tryptophan, beach ourselves firmly in the well worn embrace of the couch and, between bouts of reflux, to give thanks.

Now, I'm not saying that such a thought is wrong...but I am respectfully stating that it could--wait, strike that--should be every day--well, the giving thanks part anyway.

But sometimes it is easy to get caught up and to forget to note the things that cause gratitude, no matter how fleeting, no matter how misguided, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

Perhaps this point is more freshly drilled home after finishing a failed resuscitation effort (yes, I am one of the health care soldiers dutifully standing guard this holiday). I find myself chilled, soul-weary, and pensive. It is easy to get caught up in the dregs of life, to feel down, sorry for ourselves even and somehow bamboozled into thinking that we having nothing, not one little thing, for which we need to feel grateful.

And, on this day, in this moment, still wrapped in the shroud of self-doubt, a touch of defeat and smeared with a strange relief at my own mortality, I choose to pause and offer up words of thanks.

Dear Universe, Gremlins, World, Higher Power, Human Race et. al,

Things for which I am thankful

The Diet Sunkist sale earlier this week which allowed me to purchase five cases for the price of two. Armed with the tang of sweet citrusy carbonation of Ka-Boom! I am now unstoppable.

The ever reassuring Thwip!Thwip!Thwip! of the chopper blades as they beat the air on the helipad, heralding the presence of help.

For calling home the last survivor of a tragic wreck--for he may now open his eyes to discover he is truly not alone.

The power of the team to fight.

The strength of the team to stop.

The allowance and forgiveness of the team to grieve.


Chocolate cake shakes.

For music. Any music. All music.

The four walls around me and the roof over my head.

For running water.

For electricity.

For heat.

Creativity in all it's forms. Even the lost art of spaghetti sculpting.

For stilling the caffeine and hyper-exhaustive jitters when starting that IV the other week on a child terrified of needles.

For the blood return.

For remembering/being old enough to know what life was like before video games.

For surviving my childhood foray vs. Lawn Darts. Seriously. How did any of us survive our childhoods? I know that the playground by my house had concrete beneath it. Concrete.

For occasionally having too much time on my hands.

For helping me find my pants each and every morning.

For the eyes, though weathered with time and poor genetics, which see.

For the ears, though battered with too much unprotected exposure to machinery, which hear.

For the mouth, though well trained in waspish comments and scowls, which remembers how to smile.

For the voice that laughs.

For the lungs which power my marathon yodeling sessions and hour long Aretha Franklin impersonations while dancing in my kitchen.

Dry socks.

For the moments when it all just suddenly :clicks:

For Veterans everywhere. For Servicemen and women. For POW MIA's. You are remembered. You are not forgotten. You do what you do so I can continue doing what I do. And I, for one, am so humbly grateful.

Remember that time when I broke my foot in an Emergency Heart? I'm grateful for that, too, as sometimes it is through suffering we are reminded of humility.

The technology which allowed the replacement of a valve in a grandmother who would not have seen her granddaughter's first dance recital without it.

Lint rollers.

Two inch silk tape.

For impervious, read: patent leather, Danskos.

For those same Danskos to come in my size.

For those same Danskos to be patent leather, in my size and orange striped like the wrapper of Fruit Stripe gum from the eighties.

The eighties.

For Aquanet.

My sweet baby, Kid, who is trying to steal the cat's bacon.


Everything is better with bacon.

Seriously. Remember that chopper? What if, once you were brought on board and secured....

There was bacon.

Single greatest day of your life, right?

For Denny's because they invented a sundae that has @#$% bacon on it.

For Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting.

Underwear that does not attempt to cut off circulation or forage into places best left unknown.

For Nursing Students who ask questions and remind us where we started.

The crystal clear night when I could actually see the stars, trace the constellations and feel my long past grandfather's rumbling voice near my ear, guiding my outstretched, pointing hand as it had so many years ago over the shield of Orion.

Crisp, tumbling fall leaves which make that oh so delicious cRuNcH under foot.

Moments of silence.

For waking up each day to a life which has quality.


Just you. I may not know you. I may have never laid eyes upon you. But I am confident that you bring something to this world that no other may contribute. You are important, unique and precious. Remember that, even on your bad days, that somewhere in this world, there is a crazy woman that is grateful you exist.

Kindest regards and a Merry Holiday to all from Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath,


CheesePotato: Noun. Constantly teaching. Forever learning. Overtired, dark humored, over caffeinated, occasionally sulking, chronically petulant. Delightfully unbalanced adrenaline junkie with a penchant for good wine. Always got your back.

2 Articles   254 Posts

Share this post

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Thank you for another masterpiece aticle, CheesePotato.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

You have truly outdone yourself this time, CP. The rich eloquence of your prose soothes my soul and makes my heart glad that you and I live in the same universe. What an incredible writer you are.......BRAVO!!! :yes:

After spending a holiday in mostly tears at home , I come here rop read this and find solace. Smiles and thanks.

Altho I am veg so you can keep the bacon ! But I know of donut places that have bacon on the top...

Nice article, thank you!

I'm not so into the bacon either but thanks for your post. Very funny and heartwarming!!

Specializes in kids.

THE most beautiful thing i've read in awhile. up since 4am, just finished work, still have homework and have to be up at 4 to do it all over again, and it brought tears to my eyes, visions to my mind of the good and the bad days i have in store. hauntingly beautiful writing. thank you.

Tears. I'm thankful for your journey through life, which has made you beautifully aware of the small stuff, and obvious love for human feelings. Thank you.

This was an incredible piece, and I happened to find it at just the time I needed it. It might not be the holidays anymore, but we all need a reminder on occasion to look for the things we're truly thankful for. Thank you for the things you do and the little poke in the brain I just got to remind me that there's always hope!