Monday, November 24, 2008

Has Any Ever Actually Measured the Hundred Acre Woods?

Thanksgiving. How can that day come and go without acknowledgement? Some holidays, like St. Vitus Day, are easy to circumvent, but when the name of the day itself calls for us to take stock and give thanks, well then, that's what we all should do.

When I was in grad school, the research, and research stats classes prepped me for developing an empirical study for my thesis. I spent hours reading abstracts, and primary source documents on my chosen topic, always looking for the missing piece, the flaw in the logic, the failed syllogism, or faulty enthymeme. The practice can become habitual if not kept in check. Heck, by the time I was ready to analyze the data I had recovered from my experiment, I had become so skilled at fault finding that I could have found a flaw in the Hope diamond if necessary (there isn't one is there?)

Believe me, the habit can get on people's nerves, even make some run for cover. For years, I had a tremendous sparring partner in Ron, a local attorney. He certainly outranked me in complexity, knowledge, timing and wit, but together we could clear the room quickly once one of us initiated a "discussion." I know he allowed me to score points, and even let me win on occasion (mostly when he was tired), but those times kept my eyes and ears sharp. I am aware that I don't always use that acquired talent to delve, question, and doubt judiciously. Despite that, amazingly so, I managed to make, and retain, friends.

So, this day, I am thankful for Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Really, I am fortunate to have, in my life, any number of people who "just want to be sure." We drift in and out of one another's lives for a variety of reasons, sometimes with hopes and expectations, but most often, without. They don't question why I do or do not call, but accept the notion that I might (most likely will) look for sub-text in their messages. No one wonders what I mean when I ask "What's up?", but know it is best to simply say "hello" when we meet. If they furrow their brow, I know they probably have a headache; they know my furrowed brow means I'm stuck on something. They put up with my moods, buy into my half-baked schemes and dreams, and appear out of nowhere to prop me up when needed.

I'm lucky they put up with me, and when they sidle up beside me, I am more thankful than they'll ever know to have them there...just checking in...just staying connected...just making sure.