November // Give Thanks: Even in the hard years, wonderful things happen. What has filled your heart? What will fill your stomach at the Thanksgiving table?
I have so much to be thankful for in my life. I have the most wonderful Boy who is supportive, and goofy, and willing to go with me on whatever adventure life takes us to. He pushes me to try more and do more, and to deserve more. For his girls, who test my patience at every turn, but whose pure emotional responses to everything give me great joy. I’m so pleased that I get to be an adult in their lives.
I have the best parents. You might think yours are great, or you might hate yours, but mine are wonderful. They have given me so much over the years – intellectually, emotionally, and yes – a few physical things as well. But that’s things like – letting me borrow the tall ladder to try and put a giant spider web up in our window. Or coming over and babysitting on short notice. I’m so thankful to have come from terrific people.
I also have the best possible brother and sister for me. My sister challenges me, and also supports me – makes me question the whys and wherefores of my life. She also gave me a niece and nephew that I almost literally want to chew on. My little brother continues to be someone I adore, mostly because we get along so well and share many interests, but also because he brought a terrific girl into the family who I get to be sisters with.
I have a wonderful extended family who are interesting, loving, supportive and best of all – great cooks. I will never go hungry in my family.
I have terrific friends who I am terrible about keeping in touch with. Knowing and loving so many people and wanting to spend time with them, and not having enough hours in the day if I also want to hold down a full time job is one of the great regrets of my life. Why am I not allowed to be friends with them full time, and to just enjoy all of their companies without the hindrance of time and distance? It might also help if I were better at keeping in touch. I try. I fail. I try again to do better than before. They know I love them even if I don’t have the chance to say it often enough – or at least I hope they know that.
I have a great job. I work with great people, in a professionally open and exploring atmosphere. I am encouraged and supported in what I do, and I have such flexibility in my life because of this job that I did not know was possible before. I have such aspirations now, and it’s only up to me to see if I can achieve them.
I have a home that is occasionally a pain in the butt, but which I feel lucky every day to call mine. I have food in my fridge. I have money in my bank accounts. I do not fear for my own personal well being in the years to come. I am thankful for the blessings upon blessings which have been bestowed upon me.
BUT – and this is a big but – there are so many out there who do not have everything I have.
There are those in our country alone who live without a roof over their heads and not knowing where their next meal will come from. There are those who have a roof, but who have to make the choice between heat and food. There are those who are as materially blessed as I am, but who do not have familial support to live their lives in such a way that gives them joy.
That’s why this Thanksgiving (and nearly every Thanksgiving since 2009) I’ve participated in SOME’s Trot for Hunger. So Others Might Eat (SOME) is an interfaith community organization in the Washington DC area which provides food, clothing and healthcare, along with transitional services to empower the poor and the homeless to get back on their feet. They are a 4-star charity, who focus on putting the money they raise in places it will be useful.
If you have as much to be thankful for in your life as I do – please consider making a donation. To support me or my team of Thanksgiving morning 5k runners in our effort to raise money, to SOME itself, or to some other worthy organization. It’s possible to be thankful without recognizing that others have far less, but knowing that you can help someone else to have more to be thankful for in their lives is one of the greatest things you can do.
Details: This post is part of Project Reverb 2016, which sends out monthly (and sometimes daily during a month-long challenge in December) writing prompts for bloggers. If you’re interested in participating, sign up here.
So Others Might Eat (SOME) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Washington, DC.
I am really grateful for your whole family and especially your parents, too. I agree with all of these sentiments – except that one about that girl your brother brought into the family; she’s a weirdo.
Just kidding, I definitely cried at that part.