Okay, let me be clear about this. Thanksgiving is not “our” holiday. We weren’t brought up in America and even after many years here, it’s still a holiday we sort of observe from a distance, watching people cheerfully make plans for family get togethers and turkey trimmings. Sometimes, we celebrate with friends who welcome us into their homes to join in on the holiday cheer (and eat oddities like sweet potatoes and marshmallow — yum, by the way). But mostly, we’re a little detached from it — we see how happy it makes people, but we don’t really get into the spirit of it all. And don’t even get me started on Black Friday.
So, finally, after a week of feeling like GRATITUDE was being yelled at me from every forwarded email to every Instagram post, I took a few minutes to embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving (well, one interpretation of it, anyway) and asked myself what makes me feel grateful.
In addition to the obvious gratitude for food, shelter and good health, here’s what popped onto my list of gratitude — maybe some of these are yours, too.
20 Things For Which I’m Thankful (in random order):
- Water, in all its forms … rain, ice, ocean, lake, river, and even tears, especially when they are tears of laughter.
- A good book, and actually finding — no, MAKING — the time to read it.
- Unicorns. No, not really, just threw that one in, as it seemed to naturally follow puppies and rainbows (However, I do have a secret wish that I could conjure up a unicorn as my patronus , and so I live in hope. Bring it on, Expecto Patronum).
- Hope, because without it, we’re screwed.
- Watching the moon rise (extra gratitude for when it’s a full moon).
- Mistakes, because once I’ve stopped muttering about how I won’t do that again, the mistake becomes a good learning experience so that (most of the time) I don’t do that again.
- Champagne. It’s the bubbles.
- A sense of humor. I guarantee that life looks different after you’ve had a good laugh.
- Yoga, because it brings more of #1, 5, 7, 11 and 15.
- Wifi. How on earth did we manage without it?
- Switching off Wifi and remembering and enjoying what we did without it.
- Random acts of kindness, especially from strangers, as it fosters feelings of hope for humanity (see #7).
- Nature, in any form. Watching it happen, being in it, being a guardian of it.
- Bingewatching. Especially bingewatching Game of Thrones with a friend who’s read all the books so she can explain why they’ve just killed off the character whose role you finally understood or who you adored on sight and thought would survive every beheading, disemboweling and throat-slitting.
- People who respect the apostrophe. Yes, it matters.
- Travel and the joy of exploring other cultures.
- My husband, and all the other people who love me, just the way I am.
One of the interesting things about making a list like this? I started off with “10 Things For Which I’m Thankful”, quickly expanded it to fifteen, accelerated to twenty, and then found myself feeling ridiculously thankful for a list that seemed endless. Positively cheerful that there are so many things for which I can feel grateful. Grinning and thankful almost to the point of combustion, skipping into the kitchen to start our holiday weekend.
There may be something in this Thanksgiving thing, after all.