By Anne B
Well it's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most
Not where you live or what you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There's no dollar sign on a peace of mind this I've come to know
So if you agree have a drink with me
~Chicken Fried, Zac Brown Band
Happy Thanksgiving to my American Ramblers!! I hope you all are having an amazing Thanksgiving break, eating lots of food, and spending quality time with your family members! Thanksgiving is all about being mindful, kind, thankful, and expressing your love to your close ones. Even though it's not Thanksgiving in Canada, I thought I would still talk about some of the things I'm grateful for since I didn't do that when the actual Canadian Thanksgiving happened back in October.
Obviously, I am extremely grateful for thousands of things, from having enough money to live comfortably and buy things that aren't critical for survival, to having the privilege of getting an education. There are so many privileges and opportunities that I am thankful for, but honestly, you've all heard a similar list before - either from me or half of the blogging world. So, instead, I'm going to talk about the things that we don't think about as much because they're things that don't happen often or they're things we'd rather not think about.
First of all, I'm so extremely thankful that no one in my family is currently missing. One of my friends has a family member (the brother of her sister-in-law) who has been missing for a week now. The army found his car but haven't been able to locate him yet. We're hoping that he somehow found a ride or found a hunting cabin. The uncertainty of it all is terrible and I truly hope we get some good news soon. It has made me extra thankful that I know where all of my loved ones are right this moment. However, there have been moments where I haven't (ie. when a family member crashed their car and blew up half a village and then disappeared), so I do know how frightening it can be. My family and I were lucky enough to get news of that person quickly though. They had managed to get out of the car in time and the reason they had disappeared is because they had panicked. Anyways, when you're going around the table saying what you're thankful for this year, make sure you name your loved ones and then hug them tightly.
I'm also thankful for second chances. Everybody makes mistakes or says something they regret or does something they wish they hadn't. The beauty of life is that most things are forgivable and you can reconcile with people, society, and yourself pretty easily, as long as you put the effort in. For me, moving to Canada was like a second chance, a breath of fresh air. I was carrying a lot of baggage before and it was like my brain was stuck in this grey world. Even when there were good moments, it's like my brain couldn't process them, instead it chose to retreat back into the comfortable, grey world it knew. So, I'm extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to move to Canada, study at an amazing university, and become part of the BEST lab team (ok, maybe I'm a little biased).
I'm also so thankful that my loved ones were able to get second chances as well. When a family member is struggling, it can be so easy to play the blame game, blaming them for their poor choices or their parents for not taking care of them. In the end, though, you need to remember that not everyone is dealt the same hand in life. Granted, some people are terrible psychopaths like Ted Bundy, but the majority of people are struggling because of the vicious cycle of tragedy, poor decisions, events they can't control, and so on. Basically, what I'm saying is that during the family reunion, instead of picking on the black sheep of the family (if you have one), try to put yourself in their shoes and spread some love.
Finally, I'm thankful for the rocks in my life and that I'm strong enough (most of the time anyways) to be other people's rock. Whenever I'm struggling, having a bad day, or just can't seem to get out of bed, I'm so grateful that there's people in my life who'll support me. Sometimes their support is through words, sometimes it's actions, and sometimes they don't even know they're helping me, but just the thought of them will bring a smile to my face. Sometimes, my rock even comes in the shape of a fluffy, four-legged, purring potato. If nothing else, Chester meowing in my face will definitely get me out of bed. If you have a pet, or have had a pet, then you can probably relate to just how much emotional support our pets can give us. So, to all the rocks out there, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm so grateful for you.
If there's someone in your life that you consider as "your rock", make sure to tell them you love them. Also, help them take care of themselves, because as tough as rocks are, with enough pressure and time, they can crack or erode. Sure, sometimes that might turn them into a diamond, but other times it might look more like a hot mess.
With that lovely image, I wish you a happy, love-filled Thanksgiving! Eat lots of good food, revisit old memories, and maybeeee stir the pot a little bit if there are opposing political views at the table. Just be sure to be loving and thankful at the end ;)