I love Thanksgiving, like any other North American young adult female. All the fall things, the pumpkins in abundance in store displays, harvest-themed wreaths on doors, the explosion of colourful leaves that can be seen everywhere as you drive through the winding, pothole-ridden roads of our forest town.
It means a long weekend, a day off work to recover from turkey comas, to sleep in and sip coffee a little slower, maybe more family time or an afternoon to watch too much Netflix or read a good book. It comes just long enough after the start of the school year to be appreciated but not exhaustingly necessary. I just love it.
And it’s always the reminder I need to pause and really think about just how much I have to be thankful for.
I try pretty regularly to be thankful for my material blessings. I know that owning a vehicle and a home before 30 isn’t a reality for everyone. I even feel sheepish for writing that, like I’m somehow bragging about my privilege just for stating it. But I think the greater travesty would be to forget to show gratitude and to keep expecting that bigger and better things be handed to me.
This year, I’m grateful for all of that- the stuff and the opportunities that have been afforded to me because I live where I do and what we’ve worked for. But stuff is just stuff and with each passing year, that sinks in a little more.
First and foremost, I am so grateful for days of good health, that I have come so far since the beginning of this year in body + mind + spirit. For the shifting that’s still happening so I can know that I’m learning.
This year I am grateful for what really matters; friendships and family, the ability to learn from hardship and mistakes and to press on. For the realization that life’s surprises aren’t always unpleasant ones.
For gifts and talents that God gave me and the way He created me to feel closest to Him and most fulfilled when I use them. The people He’s placed in my life to mirror His love. For unexpected messages from old friends and impromptu meet ups.
For laughing until my cheeks ache. For Dave, my rock and #1 fan who has kept me buoyed through each wave of despair that threatened to overtake me these past 11 months.
I would be remiss to forget the little things, too. A renewed ability to drink coffee after taking a long break to let my hurting body heal. The feeling of Walter’s fluffy and springy curls on the top of his head when I pet him. Finally finding a really good pumpkin spice latte in Corner Brook.
I’m grateful I could create the perfect fall decor with a bunch of dollar store pinecones in a little wooden bowl given to me as a Christmas gift. For the houseplants I haven’t killed yet and are somehow still thriving. For McDonald’s chicken nuggets and pancakes (enjoyed separately, of course.) For the golden doodle hashtag on Instagram. Purchasing the perfect pair of dark green skinny jeans after a year-long search.
For the children I work with each week who keep me entertained and challenged. And for a new career opportunity I might share more about soon: a totally unexpected new job as a part-time music teacher to kindergarten and grade two that I’ll be starting next week. Didn’t see that one coming, but you better believe I’m about to dive into this new season with gusto ( + a little fear/trepidation).
So as I sip my coffee from a mug adorned with a picture of a squirrel amidst floating leaves and acorns, waiting for my hubs to come home from a bike ride so we can start the long weekend, my heart is just full. I can’t wait to slow down over these next couple days, get cozy and finish my current audio book, eat turkey and live the cabin life.
I’m also grateful for anyone who’s ever stopped by this little space of mine to read these sometimes ramble-y thoughts. I really like writing them, and as I continue to place less importance on who will appreciate them or validate them, I feel emboldened to maybe start sharing more of them.
Whether you’re in Canada and celebrating with us this weekend or not, Happy Thanksgiving. May your heart be filled with thankfulness and your mug be filled with pumpkin spice.