As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving today, I'm thinking about what started this whole thing: trying to find a place that you can be yourself without oppression, seeking freedom, and happiness. And, somewhere in there is a meal where we sneezed on the indigenous population and wiped them out with small pox and then oppressed them and stole their freedo.... er... yeaah. I'm going to focus on that first part. I'm thankful to live in this country. Every time I watch the news, and see the what's happening in other countries, I'm so glad this is where I am. Granted, I'm still holding a slight grudge my parents didn't raise me in Ireland or Scotland, so I could have that TOTALLY COOL accent, but I guess I forgive them. Maybe.
Any time I start getting whiny about my life, the people and situations I encounter in my daily life remind me that it could be SO much worse so stop sniveling and look outside myself to how I can help with THOSE things. Most of the time, when I'm helping someone else, it does me good too. I'm thankful that I get that perspective-check, so that I can take a step back from the moment and get a bigger-picture outlook rather than become overwhelmed with the Now.
I have some really great friends. They keep me grounded in reality, they listen to me bitch and whine and freak out and cry, they make me laugh when it doesn't seem possible I'll ever laugh again. They give me hope that I'll get through things okay, and they're always there for me. I am so blessed to have them in my life, and I truly give thanks every day for it.
My family is pretty dang cool too. I know I can talk to them any time day or night if I need to, they are supportive and understanding, and they tell me hard truths when I don't want to tell them to myself. My kids are the reason I'm still breathing air on this good earth. They have given me a reason to keep going when nothing else would, I love them so much. Kids aren't easy to raise, and they can break your heart sometimes when they make bad choices, but I wouldn't trade a second I've had with them for anything.
I hope everyone takes a few moments today to think, REALLY think about all the things they have, the loved ones they have, and be thankful. Now, make a habit of doing that for a few minutes every day, and don't take stuff for granted.