This holiday has such mixed feelings for me. First there’s the fact that this isn’t a holiday for everyone. The Thanksgiving story we grew up with, with the Puritans and the Wampanoag isn’t really a holiday for Native Americans. But, many cultures have a harvest festival of some sort, celebrating the end of the harvest season and preparing for the coming winter, so I can look at it that way.
I try to practice gratitude on a regular basis, even if only in my personal journals, so setting aside one day for giving thanks is a little . . . weird.
I grew up with a holiday where we all gathered at my grandparents house, sometimes with 20+ extended family members, sometimes with family friends. It was an all day thing, starting with breakfast and ending with the women cleaning the kitchen and bagging up food to take home while most of the men sat around and drank. My daughter and I had a tradition of sitting home in our pajamas all day and when she got older, watching Asian horror movies.
This year, I was invited to a brunch with my daughter’s boyfriend’s family. It was at a country club, buffet style and very nice. This evening, we’re warming up Boston Market food to eat with my roommate and his son. I’ve been more social than usual.
I do have things to be thankful for, in particular that I had access to healthcare this year and that I seem to have come through cancer, surgery and chemo not much worse for wear. I’m officially in remission, and that’s wonderful. I won’t use the word “cured” because it can still come back and I’m not going to jinx it.
I’m thankful that my daughter seems to be doing well, she’s intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, kind and much more self-disciplined than I’ve ever been.
After many years of being unemployed and underemployed, I’m working at a job I like with good people, decent pay and great benefits. While I’m carrying a bit more debt than I’m comfortable with at the moment, I’ve got a retirement account now and I’m building my credit and savings.
I have great friends, in real life and virtual, who have helped me through rough times in a myriad of ways.
For today, that’s enough.