Gratitude

Fall leaves blue rainboots

In the early years of our life here, we didn’t know what to make of Thanksgiving. Stripped of sentimentality, this event made us spectators of the holiday madness in the lead-up to the last Thursday of November with no grand finale to anticipate. It was an interesting place to be, anthropologically speaking. I was especially amused to be asked how Singaporeans or the French celebrated Thanksgiving, trying my best not to balk at the blatant display of cultural ignorance.

Fortunately, time is the best remedy for assimilating into a new culture, and the longer that I’m here, the greater the significance that the last Thursday of November has on me. Beyond searching for the perfect way to brine a turkey, the ‘best’ pumpkin pie recipe or the ‘most delicious’ sweet potato casserole, Thanksgiving is really just that – Giving Thanks. For one day a year, the entire country focuses on gathering around a table to share a meal, while reminding ourselves of the things that we’re thankful for – because it’s so easy to gloss over. So, to remind my future, traffic-harassed, coffee-deprived self, here are some of the things I’m giving thanks for this year:

  • A happy marriage.
  • Having a network of truly amazing, honest friends, both past and present, who keep me honest, hopeful and excited about the future.
  • Knowing how to cook.
  • Living in a place with easy access to some of the freshest, most nutritious produce, and being able to connect with the people that produce them.
  • Surviving a car accident with no serious injuries.
  • A daily yoga practice that keeps me sane, healthy and free of bugs.
  • Blog readers (yes, YOU), who may or may not be part of the 350 people on Facebook, that keep reading (if not commenting) on every post that I publish, whether or not it suits your fancy, is ‘trendy’ or makes it to the front page of WordPress.com.
  • Blue rain boots and bold Fall colors from the trees around our home – the beauty of the scene makes the transition into Winter just a tad easier.
  • Having our own vegetable patch.
  • The opportunities we have had, and those lying ahead, waiting to be uncovered.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving – have a happy and sweet one with those closest and dear to you. If you’re not, well, stay tuned for my post about our meal!

12 Comments

  1. Danielle – what a beautiful reminder. Exactly what I needed on what can only otherwise be described as a crappy day.

    Glad we were able to connect via Cheryl and #LetsLunch this fall.

    Cheers, and happy thanksgiving.

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  3. Alyssa

    Hi there.
    This was a really nice post to read. I’ve never posted here before but have been a long time reader. We are hosting an American thanksgiving (we’re Canadian) this coming Monday for my in-laws and a couple from the Netherlands out visiting us. It’s an attempt to show them a little more of our culture (even though it’s a little late for our thanksgiving) a lot more of our food and a unique memory. Your comment on people asking you about your thanksgiving just reminded me about how special this holiday is to the few places that celebrate it, which makes it a lot of fun to share.

  4. Wow, I love that you wrote that your friends keep you excited and hopeful about the future. You’re lucky. I think sometimes we surround ourselves with people for the sake of doing it and forget about *why* we’re doing it. Hope is so important, it’s what allows us to reinvent and persevere in crazy times, like now, and if your circle is promoting it then you’re very lucky. I’m thankful when I get a spark of it. I hope I find more as we close out the year and your post was a small sparkle. Thanks =)

    • “I think sometimes we surround ourselves with people for the sake of doing it and forget about *why* we’re doing it.”

      That’s so true. Thanks for your kind comment and I’m pretty sure there are a lot more hopeful moments waiting for you, you just have to keep your eyes peeled 🙂

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