Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Some Pre-Thanksgiving Gratitude

Thanksgiving is in two days. (I never know if you’re technically supposed to count the day you’re in, but I don’t like doing that.) I don’t know if that came quickly or not. I guess it did when I think about the fact that this time last year, I was wrapping up last minute details for our wedding on the 7th of December.

Last year, Thanksgiving came and went because we were so busy with our wedding. The year before that, some friends and I did celebrate; but every year (in South Africa), it’s hard to make Thanksgiving Day feel like Thanksgiving, and this year has felt the hardest. It’s hot here (we’re in summer), there’s very little holiday decorations, leaves are not changing colors, and pumpkin is very far from abundant here. But mostly, I’ve been missing my family, friends, and various aspects of the States more than normal, I think, so it feels better to not think about those things sometimes.

But then last night, as I was cutting red, yellow, and orange, paper leaves for a Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow night with friends, I suddenly really missed Thanksgiving. I missed celebrating it in cool weather; I missed decorating the house; I missed being festive. And then this morning, as I realized that I missed being grateful. Yes, there is a lot that I miss right now and it is totally a fact that I won’t be with certain people on Thursday or have a cold, cozy day full of pumpkin galore, but I have so much to be grateful for! And gratitude is truly mind changing.

So, I wanted to share just a few things that, at the moment, I am particularly grateful for. Wherever you are this week or on Thursday, I hope you see lots that you have to be thankful for and that it transforms your day.


In no particular order…

- Technology. Lately, I am so aware that my life abroad...and specifically, my relationships...would be completely different (and difficult) without technology. Skype, Facetime, email, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, etc...it all comes from technology. I am so thankful for ability to get a hold of my family or friends (relatively) any time I want. AND for the ability to create holiday festivity through printable cut-outs found on Pinterest and to listen as much Christmas music as my heart can handle.

- My family. Sometimes the distance makes missing them feel like more than I can bare, but every text message, every Facetime session, every email makes that distance a little bit smaller.

- My husband. I'm so thankful that he makes me feel so loved. And that he just listens and hugs me when I cry and miss home. And that he happily and eagerly participates in my festive activities. And that he eats my baked goods. And that he has worked so hard and has now finished his law degree!! (He's been done for a week now but we're still revelling in the joy of the end.)

- Music. I'm thankful that I can pretty much listen to it anywhere at any time and that it lifts my soul. And I'm thankful that I have working ears to hear it with.

- I'm thankful for my in-laws who have completely pulled me into their family for (more than) the past year and who have planned a wonderful, Christmas holiday for all of us!

- I'm thankful that I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice this year! With a dinner tomorrow night and Thursday night.

- And I'm very grateful that I since I now work an American institution, I get Thursday and Friday off! :)

Happy Early Thanksgiving, everyone! :)

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