Timing has never been one of my strengths, so it only makes sense that I write my Thanksgiving post five days after everyone has finished off their turkey. If I’m still eating leftovers, it still falls into the proper time frame, right? Don’t answer that.
Thanksgiving is maybe my favorite holiday. I absolutely love that there is a day completely devoted to eating and spending quality time with the people we care about in the middle of the week. Seriously, how cool is that? No pressure to find that perfect present or Clark Griswold your house. It doesn’t matter what your views on religion are. Pretty much everyone in the United States celebrates Thanksgiving in some capacity (unless you are Chandler Bing of course). Thanksgiving foods are some of my absolute favorites, especially my dad’s mashed potatoes. I think afternoon naps should be a staple of everyday, but I like that Thursday afternoon naps are expected on Thanksgiving. I also love taking time to think of all the things that I have to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for my family and friends, who know me and love me on my best and worst days. I’m thankful for a job that challenges, fulfills, and inspires me every day (and includes three months of summer vacation). I’m thankful for St. Louis Cardinal baseball and that Cubs fans were pretty darn kind to me this year. I’m thankful for live music and the feelings it gives me deep in my soul. I’m thankful for writers that give my feelings words when I have none. I’m thankful for opportunities to travel and realize how insignificant I am to the world. I’m thankful for a yoga, a practice that has taught both my body and my mind to be more flexible.
As I thought of all of the things I was thankful for, I realized how easy it is to list the good things. But then I started thinking that true gratitude comes from being thankful for for the tough stuff. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking, and the ultimate positive thinking is looking for the good in the bad. So that got me thinking about the tough stuff that I am thankful for.
I am thankful for my grief, because it means that I had something so special that the loss is felt so deeply. I am thankful for a former job that quite often threatened my sanity, because I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today without the experiences I had in that position. I am thankful for the people in life who have been unkind to me because it serves are a reminder that words and actions hurt, and I should always be careful with mine. I’m thankful for bad days because they remind me to appreciate the good ones. I am thankful for the times I didn’t get what I thought I wanted, because it always led me to somewhere better and helped shape me into a better person.
Yes, this post is a few days late. However, Thanksgiving should not just be a day. It should be a way of life, copious amounts of feasting included.