Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of the year to me these days. It’s a holiday that isn’t overloaded with expectations, can be celebrated with little effort (for those of us who don’t cook), and usually offers the opportunity to reflect on all that is good in life.
It’s the last part that makes this a special holiday. It’s always easy to find something to complain about. Yet complaining rarely makes me happy. On the other hand, remembering what I have to be grateful for fills me with the sort of joy that both reminds me how good my life is and makes me sad that not everyone can find a long list of things to give thanks for.
In giving a little more thought since yesterday’s post to my gratitude list for Thanksgiving this year, here is what I came up with on my second attempt. I am grateful for:
- Friends and family who accept and love me with all of my shortcomings, laugh with me when I laugh, laugh at me when I deserve to be laughed at, and remind me that the greatest joys in life often come in the smallest gestures when they’re least expected.
- A world so full of wonder that I could live a thousand lives and still not come close to exhausting the potential to be awed and amazed.
- The extraordinary number of people in the world who believe that kindness is more important than being right, justified, recognized, or fair. Examples: A friend of mine picks up other people’s dogs’ poop in the park. A neighbor walked across the street with a trash bag one day and start picking up the trash left behind after a marathon. A woman across the street stood on the corner asking passers-by if anyone recognized a puppy who had been hit and killed, wanting to inform the owners. Every day there are people taking care of others in ways that often go unnoticed. I am grateful to be surrounded by inspiring people.
- The abundance of food that makes it possible for me to have to watch my weight. I am sometimes ashamed that not everyone in the world has the same access to basic resources like food. But for today, Thanksgiving Day, when we Americans traditionally feast until we burst, I set aside my guilt and simply feel incredibly grateful to have had the fortune of being born in a part of the world where food is plentiful and affordable.
- Finally, technology. It gives me the opportunity to experiment with forms of personal expression like blogging and digital photography, the ability to make a living, and access to information from anywhere I have a cell signal. More importantly, technology connects me to people all over the world I would have never known about otherwise.
All-in-all, I am grateful I have the opportunity to live my life, to find my own path. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.