I try to be and am pretty appreciative of my life on a regular basis - yes I have the New York "ahh come on..." gripes about the things I encounter, people can aggravate me but overall I really am a pretty optimistic person. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - it was not always, as a kid of course I loved my birthday and Christmas (oh stop it - gifts for a kid and the magic of both of those are pretty cool). As I get older though I realized how wonderful Thanksgiving really is.
First as an immigrant it is one of those holidays that pretty much everyone, unless you are a total jerk - that's right a jerk - and have no intention of assimilating (which begs question of how smart can you be also - if you hate it here umm why you stay ???) - then you celebrate Thanksgiving. Now to add to the American flavor of this - pretty much everyone makes the turkey in some form but the part that makes it the States is that it may be surrounded from the the traditional sweet potatoes, stuffing fare to anything like sauteed German cabbage, Romanian cold cut appetizers before and no yellow vegetables (don't ask I don't why), Chinese stir-frys, Italian pasta dishes or maybe the turkey is glazed with Indian curry, Thai spices, or insert your ethnicity and dish of choice. I think that is great - it is tradition. It is one of those things that make us a nation.
All over the country people actually give thanks - now life may not be good, the poor victims of natural disasters come to mind with Sandy so close at my heels, or you may not be able to afford the delicacies above, there may be illness, or discord ...or life just being life and not taking a break for the holiday. Those things cannot be forgotten - so if you can, lend a hand in some way. A call, a dollar, a donation, whatever - you can help a little or a lot but if nothing else be grateful for what you have and hope for more for those that don't.
I am grateful for my life - for the experiences that I have had - for the friendships that I have for so many years (and rekindled via Facebook) that are so precious to me. I am grateful for the family that I have made with my husband and absolutely out of this world wonderful boys. I am thankful for the family I was born into - they are quirky, sometimes aggravating, imperfect and overall amazing, they are what I bring in my DNA and who I choose in my life. I can never really thank my Mom enough - she is a one-woman cheer leading section, brutally honest, who has evolved at her choosing to keep being better - just awed by her. I try and instill in my kids a sense of how truly great our lives are both materially and emotionally - and I think they get it. I am thankful for the people who read this blog from all over the world and for my friends who support it. A special thanks to a friend who probably does not realize how much he influenced me starting it and just saying some really nice things about the first few - gave me the push to keep going.
I hope you can take a moment to enjoy the holiday, the food, the people you have chosen to be with. Take a moment to close your eyes and remember all the things that have gone well and how you got past those that did not. Thank those that mean something to you - really time flies and no they "do not know it" that you love and are grateful for knowing them.
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving