Friday, November 30, 2012

Peter Thomas Senese - Driving The Macy's Truck At The Thanksgiving Day Parade

Talk about driving something pretty cool in front of over three million people!

Yup, that's me, Peter Thomas Senese, all dressed up in green . . . and no I am not an elf . . . at least not yet (that's a month away!).

But in all seriousness, I have spent the last week reflecting upon the many blessings in my life I am so thankful for.  Upon listening to Anne Hathaway brilliantly sing 'I Dreamed A Dream', which incidentally ripped my heart apart as this song has every time I have heard it - ever since I went to see the first of at least 50 performances of Les Miserables on Broadway - I found the time by making the time to write this reflection.

I am so incredibly thankful for the many blessings, privileges, and responsibilities I have in my life.  But most of all, I am most fortunate that I have the opportunity to share many great things with some truly remarkable friends.  
If it is true that your life is rich because of the purpose that drives you - and I do believe this to be true - I am truly wealthy where it matters most.
Okay, a hectic but delightful Thanksgiving Day has come and gone - there was a wonderful Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a lot of waving, and a silly lady who I continue to enjoy so much with being the silly lady that she is.  And there was lots of family, too many courses of food - I did make room for several of my mother's spectacular riceballs - and just enough time to get ready for  'Black Thursday Night' and' Black Friday', which, after giving it two seconds of thought, never happened.  Instead, I decided a small second helping of pumpkin pie sure would beat joining the cattle-call of eager shoppers waiting in line for a bargain.
So I did what I think any civil person should do: I embraced 'Cyber Monday' with great enthusiasm!  For a few hours, and while listening to Peter Gabriel's incredible music, including 'Don't Give Up' . . . and so, I shopped!  And I must admit, I really enjoyed myself!
Despite all the activity, and there was a lot going on, I never thought sight of what I was thankful for.  As I said, joining my 'top of the list', and inclusionary of my family's safety, happiness, and health was the great blessing of friendship I have been fortuante to share and embrace.
My work in the world of storytelling has allowed me to see the world over and over again.  I am thankful that these possibilities have allowed me to evolve into the thoughtful person I continue to aspire to be.
I am also so thankful that by embracing my voice as a storyteller, which requires courage and belief in yourself, I have been able to impact others in a positive way in my capacity as the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation.  God knows I have a lot to say about protecting children from international child abduction.
And I have been blessed to know gentleness despite much time I spend in the darkness fighting against kidnapping of children.  In hindsight, I think knowing what it is like to be a parent Chasing The Cyclone of abduction has increased my capacity to love deeper, richer, and compasionately. 
 I truly am thankful for all I have in my life.  I see what I do have, not what I do not.  I embrace those in my life, while respectfully remembering those who have passed in a way that reminds me that they have never left - but instead -that I need to rethink how I see and feel them.  I love being a storyteller - which I view as a wonderful adventure as oppossed to work.  I actually love my professional work - which is quite different than the adventures I have as a writer, but none-the-less equally fulfilling, and I embrace with vigor and purpose my volunteer activism fighting against abduction as a board member of the I CARE Foundation, assisting children who are learning to fight challenging illnesses, and of course, celebrating literacy and our imaginations.  And through the many challenges I have had in my own life, I am so thankful that through them, I have learned to see the magic that exists around me each and every day.  It may have taken some time, but I am so thankful that I have learned how to embrace wonderment.  And God knows just how thankful I am to have help make a difference in either bringing home a large number of kidnapped children or protecting them from abduction.  Yes - Chasing The Cyclone has helped build many miracles.
Most of all, I am thankful that there is so much love around me and in my life.
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the I CARE Foundation logo is a heart with little hands on it . . . and that is more than pretty cool.
So even though I am a little late in sharing my perspective about Thanksgiving and all that I am deeply appreciative of and for, here I am letting my family, friends, fellow activists, and my readers from all over the world know you have all given me so much to be thankful for. And if I have sent this message specifically to you - it comes from the heart - Thank You for being a part of an incredible year. I am truly thankful you are in my life.
In the spirit of friendship -