Thanksgiving: it is one on my favourite times of the year, where the holiday does not celebrate with gifts and fanfare, or at least not in our household, but rather with the gathering of family, friends, memories, thoughts and, of course, food. Do not mistake me: I am a Christmas fanatic and I will go overboard on anything and everything when it comes to that time and season, but in this moment and time, as I stare out at the golden-amber hue of a sun-kissed maple tree streaming through my window, it’s the best thing in the world.
For many, there are endless traditions to look forward to this weekend, and for just as many there are probably some very difficult memories, experiences and challenges to face; I don’t want to discount or disrespect anyone facing down such hardships through a holiday, so no matter the circumstances you find yourself in today, I hope you have love and support, in any form, to keep you warm. In terms of our own family’s traditions, however cliche it may be, I do enjoy thinking through all that I am thankful for, and there are many boxes to check: family, friends, shelter, and many more I could sound off rather quickly and happily. This year, however, I wanted to challenge myself to thinking differently on how I give my thanks, and so I thought back through my 41 years of experiences and came up with a list I hope can perhaps inspire others to think differently as well.
I am thankful for my regrets
This is not to suggest that I actively seek out making regretful decisions, but I’ve come to realize at this stage in my life that, rather than try to pretend that I live a life with ‘no regrets’, I instead recognize that I live a life that embraces what I’ve experienced in the past. I am not happy with all of my previous decisions or choices, per se, but I appreciate that if I treat those past choices with respect, then they all possess the ability to act as a lesson toward the decisions I make today.
I am thankful for all those who ever doubted me
I’ve carried and forgiven grudges for many years. We all have, I’m sure. While it can be incredibly difficult to forgive some trespasses more than others, I do pride myself on having always seen doubt from others as a personal challenge, as it pushes me to divide my goals from theirs and focus on what success means to me. There is perhaps no one more guilty of doubting me than, well, me. It is why I set ambitious goals for myself, why I work hard at overcoming difficult trials that intrigue me, and why I push myself to make statements. If I think I can’t do it, then that surely must mean that I can.
I am thankful for those little moments that no one else experiences
Every now and then this world delivers you a beautiful moment, when no one else is around, and you recognize that this is not the time to bring out your phone or camera. You stop and appreciate that, whatever is happening or was set there before you is only for you. That’s pretty damn special.
I am thankful for the stories we have to tell
I recently overheard a man on the subway telling is grandchildren about the story of how he met their grandmother, the impacts of the British Invasion in the 60’s, and a brief history of his experience with baseball. His two teenage grandchildren were engaged and attentive as they proceeded to ask questions about their meet-cute, and he continued to tell them beautiful stories of love, music and culture. We all have a story to tell: whether it’s the person next to you on the subway, behind you in line at the grocery story, or in the hospital bed beside yours. As I listened to their conversation evolve and I smiled at his tale, all I could think of was how much I look forward to telling my own story of “The day I met your grandmother, she was wearing a beautiful purple scarf, and she laughed at all my jokes.”
I am Thankful for The Legend of Zelda, Lego, and Nature.
Two questions probably come to mind right away: Who would be thankful for a 36-year old video game? and How are these things related? Well: me, to answer the first question, and to cover the second: they all stretched and pushed my creative brain during the earliest stages of my life, taught me how to think differently, explore without fear and understand that trying is the first step to figuring things out. From my experiences out of these mediums came a penchant for puzzles, logical problem solving and building something from nothing. I took these creative learnings and forayed into music, culinary arts and creative writing, all of which deliver some of the happiest moments in my day to day and it is why the girls are very aware of who Link is and that Ganon doesn’t stand a chance, understand the definition of a ‘flat blue two by two’, and can’t just walk by a perfect climbing tree.
I am thankful for all those who have supported me
Throughout my entire life I have had the privilege of being surrounded by a network of loving and supportive individuals, and there is no shortage of experiences for which I could offer thanks for their guidance and encouragement. This year, in particular however, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer thanks for the support in my latest creative endeavour, so thank you to all who provided me such things. I finally crossed it off my bucket list, imagine that!
With so many things to be thankful for and appreciative of, it seems I could type on forever, but I think it would be better to let you go about and enjoy your own events and joys. So, however you spend your Thanksgiving weekend, I hope it brings you back to some fond memories, while creating some new ones along the way, some you share with others, and a few you can keep all to yourself. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!