Gratitude

This week is a special one in the US as people celebrate Thanksgiving.

Of course, this holiday has evolved through the decades since its beginning. As a new American, I didn’t grow up celebrating it, and it isn’t a part of my heritage. I will probably always feel like a guest at the party of someone I barely know. At first glance it’s a great party, everyone is having fun. But from my spot in the corner, I can see who isn’t talking to whom, whose fake smile everyone can see through, who’s only there for the food…

At Thanksgiving, we are supposed to remember the sense of community and acceptance, the relief and celebration of a bountiful harvest, and of well-wishing for the future. It’s really sort of an ironic thing, what with the recent elections, the saga unfolding at Standing Rock over the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the insistent takeover of consumerism in the form of Black Friday.

Again, as a sort-of-outsider, I’m not traditionally bound to the experience. I enjoy the days off and the time to catch up with friends and family. I like the reminder to appreciate and be thankful, though I’d like to say that I rarely take what I have for granted.

And I’m not gonna lie–while I’m strongly against the mania around the shopping weekend following Thanksgiving, I’m not gonna say a sale is a bad thing. I love a good deal. Will I run off to Walmart or JCPenney or any other store at 4 AM, or even, god forbid, after Thanksgiving dinner? HELL NO. Will I judge people who do? Yes…I mean seriously. Do you really need that 75″ TV that desperately?

I’ve actually already done some of my deal shopping online. Yay for the internet! So tomorrow, I’ll be having a small, non-traditional feast (green bean casserole, BBQ pork and chicken, ahi poke, scalloped potatoes, chocolate pie, ice cream) at home with David’s mom and a couple friends. On Friday and Saturday, I plan to hang out at my local game cafes, playing board games and enjoying the extra time off.

So what am I particularly thankful for this year? 2016 wasn’t fantastic for most of us…

    • Seattle had a really lame summer, weather-wise. Plus I spent my entire summer house hunting and moving. BUT we have a new home of our own. And despite its weather, Seattle is a wonderful place to live.

seattle

  • Because of said house, I only had a week for my birthday vacation. BUT I had an amazing time in Fiji and made some wonderful new friends.
  • Trump is president. BUT he might not be that bad, so many important issues have now come to light and are being talked about, and I voted in my first election and contributed to the decision-making in my city and state.
  • I have a board game addiction; I can’t seem to stop buying new games. BUT I’ve started a weekly board game lunch at work, which has allowed me to socialize with friends and help everyone take a little break from the stresses of the workplace. And I really enjoy playing games. And I’ve made a ton of new friends at my game group!
  • I went to Japan last spring. It was amazing. There was absolutely no BUTs in relation to it, unless it’s BUT I had to go home. 🙂
  • I spent a year on a special project at work. It was really fun, I learned some new skills and exercised others that were getting rusty, and again I made a bunch of new friends and connections.

So really, 2016 had some brightness and light. It’s easy to focus on the negatives, especially in a time of such great turmoil. And I think it’s okay to feel sad or angry about issues we are passionate about. But we can’t let that be all we see.

Thanks for sticking with me through this spaghetti post. And also…If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Who knows, but I really appreciate you guys being there to read and respond. I’m only here because you are!

Happy thanksgiving!

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