“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.” ~ Tecumseh
Being the nontraditional worker — per the norm for healthcare workers around the world — our family did not celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual day, but the next. I spent my Thanksgiving holiday at work with my co-workers and my psych patients. With all the goings-on lately at home, there’s been little chance for me to do other than the bare bones of housework and cooking. I enjoy cooking: making the menu, doing the grocery shopping, even putting the things away . . . and then the actual work of cooking. Ahhhh! Work but relaxation at the same time – making dishes that will feed and be enjoyed by others.
I had a loose game plan of what order to make the meal and what time to get things started and it worked out beautifully. Dinner was ready at the appointed time. The house had been cleaned, chairs moved into the living room, the table laden with all the food and drinks on the side table. It was the three of us now living here with the kids’ boyfriend or girlfriend (as the case may be) and my sons girlfriend’s mother. There were a few other people invited who were unable to come. Because none of us are really sports fans, we decided to collectively watch a movie as we ate and I chose, “Where the Crawdads Sing.” I had seen it previously, but no one else had and I deduced (correctly) that it would spark conversation amongst all of us.
This year has not been awful, but it has had its ups-and-downs, yet I have so much for which I’m thakful!
- Although my sister passed away in March, I am so very thankful for the many years, especially after we were adults, that we were able to spend time together. We may not have always seen eye-to-eye, but we were there for each other, cheering each other along as we navigated through life. This year was bittersweet as Thanksgiving day would have been her 58th birthday.
- I am thankful for a job I love which supplies me with the means to pay our bills and be able to buy food to make delicious and healthy meals. While there are occasions when finances may appear to get tight, God has always provided our needs at just the right time and I will forever praise Him and be faithful in my praise to Him.
- I am thankful for the ability to do the work on our home to complete renovations and for the sources (such as Instagram) which have introduced me to so many wonderful people. These are folks willing to share information and answer questions as well as share their own progress to encourage those of us out there working at a slower pace or just needing feedback from someone who understands old home renovation.
- I am thankful for the hardships that have occurred in the past year. I’m not seeking martyrdom by any means, but a life that has no hardships or trials also has no measure of understanding of the wisdom and strength that can come as a result of those hardships.
- I am thankful for the ability I have to share my thoughts, here, but also with others. After dinner was finished, the kids cleared the table putting leftovers away and I washed the dishes. I had many chances to talk about some of the phrases my grandmother used such as: “Many hands make light work.” It seems that in so many homes, the family goes about their separate ways, rarely working together or doing anything together.
- It was very eye-opening to converse with my sons girlfriends mother as she asked me questions about what I was doing. At the time, I was picking the meat off the turkey bones and setting it aside, then filling a stock pot with the bones and skin to boil down into turkey broth to be frozen and used later when needed. I sometimes forget that not everyone else cooks at home in this day and age of fast food and pre-packaged meals.
- After setting the stock pot to boil, I began working on making a batch of pine needle cough syrup. As she watched, I was very thankful for the knoweldge of herbal medicines that I have learned – some on my own and some having been passed down from my grandmother. I am thankful that I know how to be self-sufficient in many areas.
- I am thankful for all the gifts in life I have been given and the opportunity to share those gifts with others. Yes, there will be those who can take advantage of one’s goodness and willingness to share, but that behavior rests on their shoulders, not on mine. Giving may not always be convenient, or easy, very rarely is it comfortable to truly give of what you have. . . I don’t recall anywhere there being a promise that God will give us a life of comfort.
- I am thankful for the wisdom and insight and the ability to set boundaries. Sharing my blessings with others does not give them permission to run roughshod over me or my home. Boundaries allow me to stay connected without making myself a doormat and will either earn respect or show the true nature of the other person.
Most of all, I am thankful for the opportunities I have to recognize and deal with the changes taking place in our family. To be able to have another year to see my children grow and change is a blessing in and of itself. So many times we take life for granted, assuming it will always be the way it is right now. I look forward to seeing what will change and what I will be thankful for this time next year.
God Bless each and every one of you for reading my blog.