I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones whether it was celebrated on Thursday or any day after. Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday (we all know that is reserved for Christmas) but it is definitely a close second. It is a day where it is openly accepted, even expected to shove as much home cooked food into your face in one sitting. (Let’s all give thanks for the invention of yoga pants!) I love the sounds of the day too; People in the kitchen cooking, football on with a minimum of one person getting mad about a bad call, talk of the Black Friday sales and so much laughter. The sounds and smells of the day are part of what makes it so wonderful. As I have gotten older, it is a day to reflect on the wonderful Thanksgiving memories I had growing up. My dad would start to smoke the turkey the night before the big day and my mom and I would head out to spend the night on the farm with my grandparents. While my Nana and Mom would prep as much as possible, my Papa would put on his favorite John Wayne movie and make us his world famous milkshakes. (They are world famous in our family, at least!) The older I became, the more I helped out in the kitchen and now make some of the same recipes for the holiday that my mom used to make. It brings a little bit of the south and a whole lot of love up here to celebrate the day.
As an adult, the day also brings a whole new sense of the word, thankful. It is so easy these days to compare your life to everyone around you. It takes a second to start wishing for the things we do not have and take for granted what we do. We get in a mindset that is not healthy for us or anyone around us. It is always appropriate to strive for more in any or all levels of your life but all while doing it for the right reasons. Just because I changed my career path to strive for something else, does not mean I take for granted what I have now or the path that got me here. Life is not always the butterfly and rainbows people portray on social media. We all have our daily struggles. Which is something to remember when you begin to think the grass is greener in their neck of the woods. I try to not just be aware of my abundance of blessings on Thanksgiving, but every day. Anyone can tell you that I am not the biggest morning person… However, a few months ago I started to do a different morning routine. Before I get out of bed instead of thinking about not wanting to get up and be an adult, I think of three things I am thankful for. I thank God for these blessings in my life and start my day full of appreciation instead of dread. It honestly has made my mornings so much better even if I am headed out the door to do an hour long presentation for class.
I am thankful for my friends and family who love me, check on me, and lift me up despite the distance between us. I am thankful for parents who gave me millions of memories, a great childhood, and so much continued guidance and support. I am thankful for my health and the people around me. I am thankful to have a roof over my head, food on the table and never going without. I am thankful I had the support, means and drive to go back to school to strive for one crazy life goal. (I am super thankful I am almost done though!) I am thankful for positive, sweet people who enter my life for any amount of time. I am thankful to have enough to give back to others. I am thankful for my crazy little dog. But most of all, I am thankful for my sweet fiancé, Nathan. I am thankful that he sticks next to me through the ups and downs of life as we navigate our worlds into one. We never give up, grow from our stumbles and work hard as a team to keep moving forward. It is a team I am proud to be a part of. I am insanely grateful that I could go on and on with more thankful blessings in my life.
Take a moment this holiday season, and days after to appreciate all the little things in life that we take for granted. Life is a better place to be when we do that. Cheers.