Give thanks

thanksgiving-gourds

As I sit here on the eve of our Thanksgiving, I am thinking about what has happened over the last year and I have to say that I’m pretty blessed. Over the last few days I’ve been asking my students what they’re thankful for and most of them have said the usual – family, friends, clothes, food, money and sunshine. That’s a pretty awesome list.

No one asked me what I am thankful for until my friend L.L. asked it on Facebook. That was pretty simple – I am thankful for everything that my life has given me so far, including the bad and extremely hard times.

How can someone be thankful for the bad and horrible things that have come their way? It’s easy. I am.

Every experience, good or bad, is a learning curve. It’s just that, an experience. I’ve learned how to deal with them and move on. Sure sometimes they may be so stressful that I’m pulling my hair out, or extremely painful that I want to throw in the towel and run away. Life isn’t called easy, it’s called life.

I am thankful for my parents for always sticking by me. I am thankful for them being extremely supportive and always there for me when I need them. I am thankful for an awesome sister who, even though we fight like cats and dogs sometimes, is always there for me. I am thankful for the cutest dog in the world who knows when I’m sick, when I’m down and I need a big hug. He sure does love me. I am thankful for the amazing group of friends that I have around me. Sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to deserve a great group like them.

I am thankful for employment. I am thankful for a really great job that I love and look forward to every day. I have amazing coworkers and the kids I work with really know how to make me smile. I am thankful for a wonderful administrator who is 100% supportive and understands where I come from.

I am thankful for my health even though sometimes, it’s not great. I try my hardest and despite not always sticking to eating well or getting exercise, I am still thankful for being here.

I am thankful for my freedom and the ability to live my life the way I want to, without fear of persecution and prosecution. I am thankful for the freedom to vote for whomever I choose and not being threatened to do so (or who to vote for). I am thankful for my grandfather (and the other brave soldiers), who at a very young age, went overseas to fight evil for our freedom. I am also thankful that he was able to make it back home alive, so that he could be my grandfather. Even though he was only around for the first three years of my life, I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful three years.

After the events this past summer, I am thankful for having the honour to call my wonderful aunt who passed, my aunt. I am thankful that she came into my life and that she was able to teach me many, many things. She was a wonderful confidant, friend, and family member. Thanksgiving this year is a little sad without her around, by nonetheless, I am honoured to have so many wonderful memories of her. The many Thanksgivings and Christmases spent together. The family barbecues, Canada Day fireworks and times when she came over for tea. She was always the first person I called when something fantastic happened to me – such as a new job, or even a new car, and she was the person who secured my very first place to live on my own. Yesterday I decided to bake an apple pie in her memory because she made the most wonderful apple pies, and while it’s not her apple pie, I know it will be tasty regardless.

Not only on Thanksgiving should you be thankful for the good things that have come your way, be thankful for the bad ones as well. They’ve made you stronger, you learned how to deal with it and they helped you move on. Bad experiences helped you become a better (and stronger) person and you’re still around as proof.

So on this day of many thanks I wish you, from my family to yours, a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Fat pants are optional.

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