It’s easy to forget that Thanksgiving is upon us, with corporate America shoving Christmas down our throats since mid-October.
In today’s world of consumerism and materialistic “needs” its commonplace that we lose the meaning of these holidays we’re rushing through. Thanksgiving is about so much more than gorging ourselves on perfectly roasted poultry served with abundant side dishes and a plethora of decadent connfections. All of these things are synonymous with Thanksgiving only because we live in the heart of the “western world” or the “first world”. Yes, we should appreciate the bountiful feasts that are available to those of us living in the land of plenty, but there is more to it then that. There are people in other parts of the world who would call everyday they’re alive a day of Thanksgiving! How many Americans can honestly say they are that way? Maybe 5%. Maybe.
Instead of savoring all the beauty of life and fully celebrating all we have to be thankful for, we have turned Thanksgiving into the first day of Christmas. Or should I say “Xmas” since it isn’t the spirit of Christmas so much as the merchant driven spirit of consumerism that this season has come to represent. Please understand that I love a sale as much as the next red-blooded American, but I think that maybe we can cherish each holiday as it comes. Especially these holidays that celebrates life, family, friendships, and love. The sales will be there on Friday; it isn’t necessary to shop Thursday and take others away from time with their families.
On this note I plan to discuss the things I am thankful for and the improvements I could make in my own life to behave more graciously and appreciative of the life I have been given. Before I am overwhelmed with a collective sigh about this decision know that I will try my hardest not to be cheesy as all hell.
- 1. My grandparents
All of my life, my grandparents have been in spectacular health. To the point that it is actually something my grandmother takes great pride in. She goes to the gym, eats healthy and enjoys every second of her life. I often see my grandfather aimlessly riding his bike around town like the mayor, striking up conversations with everyone he passes. They have been known to hang-glide, wind surf, Jet Ski, and jet set worldwide. They’re both retired from reliable jobs that helped them to support three monsters sons, own their home outright, live happily debt – free, and spoil the shit out of their extremely lucky grandchildren. They are strong, loyal, hardworking, reliable, unconventionally wise, kind, and down-right fun people.
One of the facts of life that we learn at a young age is that our time with our family sages is limited, so I consider myself incredibly lucky to have one full set of grandparents to share my life with. Because of their healthy lifestyles and constant vitality, it has been easy to forget how old they are and that they will not always be here. Recently my grandmother has needed a series of surgeries, for which she has had a completely serene outlook while the rest of us fall apart with fear and worry. This is the first time we have been forced to fret about a life without Nanny in it – and the thought is absolutely terrifying.
She is fine of course, because she is the strongest broad there is – but the thought was there, the seed is planted and it shook me to the core of my being. It made me truly and honestly realize how astoundingly blessed I am to have my grandparents. I am so thankful that they have shared in the last 25 years if my life and that they will be there, dancing at my wedding. I pray that my future children will get to meet them and have G.G. indulge their every whim. And lord knows what I would do without the perceptive advice of my grandfather – generally things along the lines of “Jilly-Peppah, just remember that the more you cry, the less you pee” or “Don’t you piss on my leg and tell me it’s rain.” I fuckin love them.
- 2. My Job
Dear God, do I hate my job. I find myself wanting to walk the fuck out at least twice a week. My boss is a moron and the company procedures were most likely written by an autistic hamster on crack. The reality is, though, I love having money every week. In this economy I fully understand how difficult it is to come across steady and reliable employment, so I appreciate the fact that I have it. And I model myself, regardless of how much I hate being here, to be a steady and reliable employee. It’s a symbiotic relationship that gets me from point A to point B and allows me the time needed to further my education so I can move on and actually do something I like. Furthermore, while I do not actually consider myself a feminist, I thoroughly enjoy not having to rely solely on Nick as a means of monetary acquisition. I like buying something with money I earned and knowing that no one can say shit about it.
- 3. Nick
This will probably sound clichéd as all hell, but I am the luckiest girl in the world to have found my soul mate. Unfortunately I have kissed plenty of frogs in my life, but that helped me to realize I had found my prince. There are a million dating horrors, that perhaps I will share with you one day, that have led me here. Sometimes life sucks and I want to cry, sometimes I am the happiest person alive, but no matter what, every time, I have someone to share it with. And it’s someone who genuinely cares.
Nick is the literal yin to my yang. When I am stressed and anxious he is the calming influence bringing me tea and warmth. When I am down and out he brings humor to remind me to smile. He is exactly the man that I dreamed of. I have no illusions of a perfect relationship, and God knows we argue with frequency, but our imperfections make us fit together perfectly. We work on our relationship daily and I know that there is no one I would rather grow old and decrepit with. I am grateful that I have him every day and I know that after all we’ve already been through together our love will only intensify with time.
- My Intelligence
Okay, so I’m not that arrogant, but I’m not entirely sure how to get through this one without coming off snobby. The fact of the matter is, I’m pretty damn smart. I always achieved honors in school and tested way above average in all areas – all without ever studying. Despite my nerdish tendencies I was always incredibly popular and interested more in living the fast life than I was in studying for things that came natural. Listen, I never claimed to have sense, just brains.
The older I get, though, the more I value my God-given gifts. So many people on this Earth never have the ability for higher thought, no matter how they may try. I’ve met quite a number of them myself, and although they tend to drive me insane I actually feel bad for them. I also value my position in life which has allowed for numerous educational opportunities.
- My Emotions
I know it sounds obscure, but think about how terrible life would be without them. Imagine life with no heartbreak, sadness, or disappointment. Then Love, happiness and achievement would not be as sweet. Life without emotion would not be worth living, and there are actually people who have to live this way due to neurological disorders. Just keep that in mind and be appreciative of your ability to do so.
In closing there are a million things to be thankful for – be it family, friends, or personal gifts – and you should remember this tomorrow while you sit down to dinner with your family. Have a great Thanksgiving, kids.