Like most people, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Growing up I always looked forward to spending the day with my family. All of my aunts, uncles, and cousins would come together for dinner at my Nana and Papa’s house. We’d sit down and enjoy the food and conversation before ending the night at the hockey rink for a skate. It has been that way for most of my life, but this year our tradition has changed.
For the first time in my life, my Nana and Papa will not be hosting Thanksgiving. At eighty four years old (she’s such a trooper) my Nana is unable to cook for 20 people or lift a 20 pound turkey. Tomorrow we will all meet at my Aunt’s for dinner, and while the setting may look different this year there is still so much to be thankful for. This year has been a big one for me in many ways, so before my favorite holiday I felt it was important to reflect on the things I’m thankful for.
My Family: I am thankful that my two grandparents are still with us. Not many people my age can say that their grandparents are still with them by their mid 20’s, and I feel lucky to see them every week. I am thankful for my dad’s clean bill of health. He gets stronger every day, and it is wonderful to watch. I am thankful to have a best friend in my mother. She is always there for me and has helped me through a lot this year. I am thankful for my friendship with my brothers, and of the men they are growing into. The older I get, the more I realize how special my relationship with my family is.
My Health: Something I never wish to take for granted is my health. So many people I love struggled with their own this year, I have never been more thankful for my own. Every day that I get to wake up and move my body is a good day. This goes for mental health as well. During one of the darkest times in my life I was able to find the strength to pull myself out, something I know many struggle with themselves. Our health is everything.
My Friends: I leaned on my friends extra hard this year, and without them I don’t know where I would be. Your friends are the family you choose, and I am feel thankful for mine every single day. The older I get, the more I realize how hard it is to find true friends. Whether I talk to them every day or once a month, the people I call my friends are always there. I will always be thankful to have them in my life.
Personal Growth: Emotionally I have been through a lot this year, and while I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy I know it has made me stronger. Because of it I was able to grow so much as a person and make something good come of an otherwise painful situation. Most notably, I was able to create, market and sell my first eBook. This was something I never dreamed I could do before! Sometimes the most difficult things in life yield rewarding outcomes.
Travel: This year I was able to travel on my own for the first time. Seeing the world has been something I aspired to do for a long time, but was never able to afford. I am thankful to have visited 5 different countries this year, and budget them all on my own. Being able to experience and explore other parts of the world has added so much to my life, and for that I am thankful.
What are you thankful for this year? I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.