Zibby Mag

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A Riff on Gratitude

Thursday, July 28, 2022

By Evangeline Lilly

I feel so lucky to be able to stand at a sink with warm water and beautiful smelling soap, and wash my dishes and let my mind wander.

I think about how happy I am with my life choices and how fortunate that makes me; how happy I am that I’ve said no to more jobs than I’ve said yes to; how happy I am that I’m bringing my kids up in a neighborhood with people from mixed racial and economic backgrounds; how happy I am that most of my kids’ best friends live on the proverbial “other side of the tracks” and they don’t bat an eye at that, despite being the wealthy, affluent children of a celebrity actress. I think about how happy I am that I’ve pursued my dreams and contentment first and foremost, even when it cost me fame and fortune.

I think about how I’m at the point in my parenting where the reality of raising human beings has beaten the idealism out of me; how I started this “job” with such enormously aspirational and quixotic ideas about what kind of people I would raise and how I would raise them. And then those people came along, kicked my ass, and told me it’s not really up to me. There’s a limited percentage that I can influence, and there is a limit to my skill and capacity to influence.

And now, it’s starting to feel like a relationship instead of molding and shaping. It feels like we’re all in this together: the kids, their dad, our community, and me, trying to figure it out, groping along as we go.