It’s that time of year again!
American folklore aside (there are other people who have written about the history of Thanksgiving in America that know a lot more and have said everything much more eloquently than I can), the idea of a holiday for giving thanks is as old as any of the harvest festivals around the world, and that’s personally how I observe Thanksgiving in the US.
As we’ve learned from endless thinkpieces and The Secret and more self help gurus than you can shake a turkey leg at, gratitude is a powerful thing to practice. Having a day set aside for it every year is a truly human thing to do: reminding ourselves at least once every 365 days to pause and reflect on everything you’ve sowed and reaped, and everyone who has left their mark on you along the way. I kind of think of it as laying the groundwork for your New Year’s resolutions: look at where you’ve prospered and you see by contrast where you would like to improve.
A few months back I posted a little exercise I did after graduation that helped me do something similar: on the “wheel of life” I estimated how satisfied I was in each department, and the ensuing graph illustrated the peaks and valleys and general imbalances I wanted to even out and improve.
Well, friends, I’m pleased to say that MOST of those low areas have ticked up quite a few notches. The interesting part? I haven’t really done anything to intentionally improve them. My main focus has been on healing, which is a mostly passive activity if you think about it. Of course, I’ve had to put in the effort of soothing my anxiety-brain, who wants to freak out because I’m not producing enough or achieving enough. I’ve had to make some very mindful, conscious choices to change my habits of thought, to listen to my gut feelings even when my brain says they make no sense. Becoming a fully integrated emotional/intellectual human being in your 30s is hard work, but it’s also deeply rewarding, more than anything I could have achieved through rigorous discipline or goal-setting. (Which is why I think I already know what my New Year’s resolution is going to be, but I’ll save that for another post.)
I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this year; I’ve always had a lot to be thankful for, and that’s something I’m also thankful for. I could post an exhaustive list, but that would take a very long time for you to read, and I don’t want to take any time away from you thinking about your own list, so I’ll just post the highlights:
This year, I’m very, very thankful for:
- Pharmaceuticals, for fixing my brain and my thyroid
- My VCFA classmates/the entire VCFA community, for being the absolute best
- The internet, for providing access to so much information, and for connecting me to the human race and to the people I love even when y’all are so far away
- My roomba, Roomplestilskin (you don’t understand how it’s changed my life! 3 cats and a long-haired dog! Good lord!)
- My weirdo fam and my weirdo friends
- My weirdo fur babies
- Finding someone who makes me feel like a teenager again 😊
And that’s it for this year…7 feels like a good number to end on.
Tell me friendos, what are you thankful for this harvest season?