I try to live intentionally, always aware of the goodness. I try to give love and thanks freely, notice the smallest details of sweetness, and take nothing for granted. Sometimes these good intentions get lost in the shuffle though; I’m not immune to getting wrapped up in all that I don’t have, rather than what I do.
It’s no secret that I’m generally disgusted with the holiday that is Thanksgiving, a tradition steeped in genocide, rape, gluttony, consumerism, and animal slaughter. Honestly, I don’t even know how it’s a thing. Over the years, though, I’ve sown my own traditions. For me, it’s important to spend this day thinking about and mourning for those who have lost their lives, dignity, and homes– not just a few hundred years ago, but last year, last week, yesterday. At the same time, I embrace a day of reflection for what I’ve lost myself, and what I have. This year has been big, and I have so much to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for watching new friends say their first words and stumble through first steps; I’ve watched old friends do the same– all were equally breathtaking and liberating.
I’m thankful for the technology that allowed me to connect with friends in Vermont, California, Italy, and Bosnia through the hardest and most confusing times this year. I felt your hugs and love from thousands of miles away, and am thankful for bonds that strong.
I’m thankful for all who gave emotionally and financially to Ingrid and Ade when they lost their beautiful son, Kamil; to Scott, who is still thriving against cancer, but continuing to collect medical bills; and to Pippi and I, when she needed incredibly expensive medical treatment last month. I’m not surprised by your generosity, but awed all the same.
I’m thankful for the Whiskers volunteers, who show up every day (including holidays), to provide food, love, and care for the 130 resident cats– and for volunteers and rescuers all over the world. You are literally the difference between life and death.
I’m thankful for the challenges. This year has been packed full of struggles, heartbreak, failure, and pain. I’ve been forced to reassess everything, get creative, and push against my boundaries. I’ve learned and grown in ways I didn’t know were possible (and in ways I haven’t even discovered yet, I’m sure).
I’m thankful for it all– all of the good and bad, the exciting and mediocre, the sweet and sour, the beautiful and hideous; all of the everything that reminds me every day that I am alive.