The part of Thanksgiving I take the most seriously, the part that I feel gets overlooked in this age of turkey-with-all-the-fixings food orgies, is the giving of thanks. It was never a tradition in my family to go around the table and have each person name something they were grateful for, but it’s one I try to honor in some way every year. As an atheist, I believe that it’s important to celebrate the everyday, to take the time to give thanks or praise or love to the people in your life at every opportunity. With that in mind, in honor of Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, here are a few things I am so very grateful for:
-My mom. Many people think they have the best mom. They do not. I do, suckers. (Because it’s a competition, dammit!) All kidding aside, my mom is the kind of person where I have to be careful not to mention anything that I want or am interested in doing casually in conversation because it will automatically show up on my doorstep the next time I see her/somehow be arranged for me. Everyone should have such problems, am I right? She is a fantastic listener. She encourages us to dream and to live compassionate, authentic lives. She is a giver par excellence, and she sets a brilliant example of how to be a courageous and independent woman. This list isn’t in any particular order, but she is number one.
-That I am alive to witness and be a part of the changing times in terms of LGBTQ acceptance. We’re not there yet, but when you think of how things were just ten years ago, it’s amazing how far we’ve come.
-That when I alerted my male bosses to a slight gender bias in one of their policies, they quickly and unilaterally said, “We need to change that ASAP,” and took immediate action.
-That I live in a country that’s safe, with access to clean drinking water, Medicare, education, and all the other resources that so many people do without.
-That I have access to healthful foods and community sports.
-That there are more books than I have time to read, more shows than I have time to watch, more culture around me than I have time to participate in. But what I do read/watch/take part in thrills and inspires me.
-That I have the time to write, and ideas enough to fill that time.
-That so many people in the online community have welcomed me and are helping me to fulfill my lifelong dream of publishing my first book. The generosity and enthusiasm has been staggering.
-That I have such wise, caring, and generous friends, who astound and challenge me in equal measure.
-My dog. We start and end every day curled up together. She’s with me most of the day (I do go out, I swear). She’s put up with my every mood, protected me from threats real and imagined, and forced me out of grumps through sheer force of cuteness. She’s had some health challenges this year, but she’s still going full-tilt every morning, greeting every day like it’s her first. She’s my inspiration, and one of my greatest teachers.
What are some of the things in your lives that you are grateful for, readers?