Kindly ignore the note where it says that I posted on Friday. I'm still up, hence I classify today as Thursday, until the sun comes up again. Besides, Thankful Friday doesn't have quite the same ring.
I had a whole post swimming around in my head this morning; I know I did. It had to do with food, and unexpected gifts, and somehow, I'd end with a photo of my homemade poptarts and a promise to post them this weekend. Of course, this was a good 15 hours ago, I was running out the door to catch the bus and completely forgot about this until now, just like the other 5000 things ricocheting around my mind, including companies getting back to me, unconventional homework, research, 3 hour-long meetings I have tomorrow (in a row!), etc. And the only thing I remember is this, the last thing I did before coming back to my apartment to work and hopefully collapse into my bed, the bed from which I will pry myself less than 6 hours from now.
Every Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, I play badminton with the school club. This past week has been a singles tournament, held on both Tuesday and Thursday, and will continue next week. I love badminton. I've played it on and off for years. I prefer singles because I have full control of the court, and having run cross-country for several years, I actually have the endurance for it. I'm not very good, since my reflexes are almost nil and my shot placement is off from rarely having real lines for practice, but I do love it. The only problem is, any time points are counted (i.e., a real match), I get nervous and start shaking like jello that's been pushed. If an earthquake hit, I might be steadier. Sometimes, to try to calm myself down, I wonder how I'd play if drunk.
Despite my quivering, though, it is then that I remember why I play. When my opponent is matched against me, catching my every shot and I am able to dance over the court to return it, there's a certain beauty in feeling the constant change. I am thankful for this gift, the gift of motion. I am thankful to my research professor, who nonchalantly gave me a pair of brand-new badminton rackets left in one of his labs. I am thankful for my new friend, who had the drive to start this club with a budget of $0.00. I am thankful for my friend who played against me and somehow, for an 11-point game, we went overtime to 18-16. I am thankful for the faint lines drawn in the building where we play, the cheap net that is our usual practice court, the plastic birds we can borrow, my brace that keeps my ankle intact. I am thankful that I can play.