Recently we’ve become obsessed with the number 40 in honor of our anniversary this year. MA’s advancement team has created several collections of 40s, from theater productions to moments of athletic glory to books recommended by our English teachers. They created two for Thanksgiving: a list of 40 hometowns of our visiting grandparents and a list of 40 things Marin Academy employees are thankful for. I wanted to share a few of the items on that second list:
The curiosity of my World History students! —Derek Anderson
I am thankful for living in, working in, and raising my daughter in the SF Bay Area. —Hideko Akashi
The World Champion San Francisco Giants.
My health. —Sanjai Moses
I am thankful I am married to my best friend.
I’m thankful for art, music, dance, theater, photography, and sculpture because they remind us that we’re human. —David Sinaiko
All the beautiful surprises the universe brings me. —Anayansi Aranda-Yee
Puppy kisses from my new puppy, Maisie.
I’m thankful for pumpkin pie. —Michael Morris
Drums. —Dan Babior
I’m thankful for the life lessons of Japanese monster movies. —John Kelly
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That last one—”For vacations and a good night’s sleep”—fits in well with what I shared at today’s holiday assembly.
As impressed as I am by how much we do at school, as Thanksgiving nears, I am struck by our collective need for rest and relaxation, and perhaps even for some laziness. Laziness isn’t something we normally encourage in each other, but there are times when I think we should do exactly that: lower the volume on our lives, and simply be. Our ability to relax and let go is intimately connected to our ability to give thanks; it is often during those moments when we empty ourselves of our obligations and concerns, that we are filled with appreciation and gratitude for all that we have.
Doing nothing also means giving up those things that distract us from our own experience. We think we carry everything we need in the palm of our hand. Our instant access to email, to information, to directions, or just the right restaurant can make us forget our need for authentic connection to ourselves and to others. I hope that during these moments of letting go, we can deepen our connection to ourselves, to each other and to our families and that these connections within and between give rise to feelings of thanksgiving.
When I think of MA, I think of how it embodies these three things so central to who we are and which create a natural thanksgiving: a sense of humor, an authentic generosity, and a profound sense of joy and the willingness to express that.
For each of you I wish a break that has family and friends, joy and love, and connection with and support of others at its core. Happy Thanksgiving!