On Being Thankful

Let’s pretend that I was with the program on Thursday and posted this on time. Sound good? Okay, great.

GiveThanks

Beyond thankful for this beautiful life that I am completely undeserving of, an adoring husband who is my rock, my amazing little girl who has taught me what it means to truly love, and the people in my life who mean more to me than I could ever put into words. 

I’m going to let you in on a little secret….Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of The United States” ruined “Thanksgiving”, as a holiday, for me. It’s not that I was ever even remotely interested in the holiday in the first place but any would be love for celebrating our nation’s history with the Native Americans was destroyed all those years ago when I got my hands on that book. So it’s almost ironic that I sit here, today, writing a post about being thankful on this Thanksgiving.

I often think about the things I want to teach my daughter. There are certain things, especially when it comes to telling her about the history of our nation, that I cringe at the thought of what she’ll be taught in schools. We’re led to believe, from a very young age, that the relationship between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans was a happy one. But that’s not true. We teach our children about the Mayflower and the wonderful meals shared between the newcomers to this land and the people who were here long before our ships came in. We teach our children the stories of kindness and of love meanwhile masking the atrocities that happened on this very land. One could argue (and I do) that what we teach our children about “Thanksgiving” is built on fallacies and historical inaccuracies. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be thankful…

I don’t “do” traditional Thanksgiving. 

But I think it’s important to be thankful. Always.

So this year, as we enjoyed our time away from the normal flow of daily activities that define us, we sat down for a family meal. It was non-traditional, as is custom in our house every year, and gave me the opportunity to reflect on the things that I’m thankful for but don’t often articulate every day.

I have an amazing life. As I sit back and reflect on all that I have (a loving family, a house that we’ve made into a home, a job that I love, and a wonderful network of people to share laughter, love, and good times with), I am nothing short of thankful. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have landed this lot in life but I am grateful for it. I also realize that I need to express this gratitude on a regular basis, not just on the one day a year that we’re encouraged to subscribe to giving thanks.

So as we move forward from Thanksgiving 2013, I want to encourage you all to celebrate giving thanks for the things in your life all year long. Don’t wait until November 2014 to post on your Facebook about the things that you’re thankful for. Don’t wait until November 2014 to sit down together with your family for a beautiful meal. Don’t wait until November 2014 to be thankful. Do it today, do it everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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