This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. If you’re American and reading this you may be surprised to know that we also celebrate Thanksgiving, but ours falls on the second Monday of October rather than the fourth Thursday in November. There are no Pilgrims to be found anywhere in our tradition, at least not that I know of, but lots of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes and a chance to get together with family and friends. Our Thanksgiving is to celebrate the harvest, but my harvest consists of going to the grocery store and buying what I need, so I'm pretty thankful for the people who did harvest all the good stuff I find there.
I have to admit, I feel a little depressed because we aren’t having our Thanksgiving feast for another two weeks. Turns out that having dinner with your four adult kids and their partners requires a lot of strategy and planning and holidays rarely get celebrated on the actual day anymore. Glenn and I had big plans for watching movies, reading and having a quiet weekend, but now that it's here we have three days stretching out in front of us and neither of us feels up to the challenge of doing nothing. “We should be doing something!”
I started to make a mental list this afternoon of things I’m thankful for, in hopes of escaping the funk that I find myself in, so I thought I’d share it with you:
Chocolate and peanut butter
The genius who discovered how good chocolate and peanut butter are together
My husband, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter
My kids - I guess I should have them in my top five.
Dogs and their goofy smiles
Babies - specifically giggling babies
A roof over my head and enough food to eat (even if it’s not turkey)
Parents that love me
The fact that I’m alive
My gathering group of sisters
Sweaters, socks and cooler mornings
Rainy days - I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m looking forward to having a few
The demise of skinny jeans
Modern medicine (we’ve been watching House of the Dragon, the Games of Thrones prequel. If you’ve watched it you know what I’m talking about)
Being born in the last half of the 20th century
Our neighbour’s cat - he’s part ninja and has provided quite a bit of entertainment this week, including climbing up to our second-floor balcony to say hello and the next day walking outside to find a bunch of firemen trying to rescue him from the roof.
Firemen - in my view they're the best of all men in uniform, like cops without the macho attitude.
The more I add to the list the more I realize how lucky I am. I have a home, more than enough clothes and multiple pairs of shoes to choose from every day. I have enough food to eat and am lucky enough to expect tomorrow to unfold in pretty much the same way as every other day. I feel safe walking in my neighbourhood and don't have to worry about a bomb dropping on my head or being shot at. It seems like a pretty low bar, but there are a lot of people in the world who live in fear every day. I live in a stable country where I have access to health care and can say whatever I want, no matter how crazy or offensive it may be and dress however I want.
Now I feel better. A change of perspective is like a fresh breath of air. Why do I always notice what I don't have instead of being content with what I do? All I needed to do was widen the lens of my view of the world around me.
I thought I would close with a few quotes on gratitude that I found:
"'Enough' is a feast." - Buddhist proverb
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." - G.K. Chesterton
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!