This Thanksgiving, let's take an extra minute to be thankful for the people who make our lives easier, as well as richer, simply because we know them.
Let's give thanks for bosses who don't stereotype and label and generalize about working women, first of all -- the ones who encourage us to stretch and grow and take risks and make our own mistakes and, in the process, help us learn that failure is neither fatal nor a reflection on women in general.
It's tough enough to answer for our own mistakes without also having to answer for and feel apologetic toward women in general or mothers in general or working women in general -- or anyone else in general, for that matter.
Let's give thanks for the growing number of men in our lives who treat us with fairness and respect in our personal lives, as well, who treat women as equals, not servants or prostitutes, who are willing to be our friends before they're our lovers.
Then let's take an extra minute to give thanks for the growing number of men in our lives who are making time in their lives to be good husbands and fathers, who participate equally with us in the normal, daily business of being a parent and running a household.
More men with families than ever before are saying "no" to corporate moves, weeks spent traveling every year and constant overtime work, and "yes" to spending quality time with their families.
Let's give thanks for our mothers and mothers-in-law who've managed to remain flexible and non-judgmental while watching us do just about everything differently from the way they taught us to do it.
And while we're on the subject of other women, let's give thanks that the days are over when it actually seemed normal for women to say, "I don't trust (or like) other women."
Now that our physical survival no longer depends upon our competing successfully (and ferociously) for a man -- any man -- to take care of us, we feel free to turn to each other for comfort, understanding, emotional support and professional networking, as well.
Then let's give thanks to people in our lives whom we trust to take care of our most precious possessions -- our children.
For every horror story about an abusive or neglectful caregiver, I know about 50 dedicated, loving, reliable, underpaid, overworked professionals who add in innumerable and immeasurable ways to the quality of our children's lives -- and ours.
Finally, let's take a minute during this busy week to give thanks that while it does mark the beginning of the most exhausting season of the year, the time is disappearing when this day of Thanksgiving automatically meant 10 hours in the kitchen for the women in a family and 10 hours of watching football -- and being waited on -- for the men.