Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. The other ones are weird religious inventions or consumerized hijackings of religious inventions. And sure, the origins of thanksgiving are a bit murky, but it's hard to argue with such a simple holiday: spend some time with your family and/or friends, and be thankful.
I especially like that it's about appreciating what we already have, taking a break from the distraction of every day life, and thinking about all of the good things that make it up.
Today, as I spend time with some of them, I've been thinking about how thankful I am for my family. I've always gotten along really well with my family, but since most of them were around by the time I was born, I'm sure I have a tendency to take them for granted. As a kid I always just assumed that everyone had a great family and that their family was behind them supporting them all the time. Then, as I grew up, I saw situations where that wasn't the case, and I realized how good I have it.
I have three fantastic siblings, any or all of whom I enjoy spending unlimited time with. We each live in different cities now, but when we're together it's like we're best friends. Besides a scuffle over a plastic ninja sword as a kid, I can't think of a single fight I've had with any of them.
As my siblings have grown up to become three extremely capable and independent individuals, each completely different, I've become increasingly awed by my parents. I have no idea how they did such an amazing job as parents, supporting everyone and pushing them in a positive direction, yet leaving room for individuality to sprout. It's intimidating, actually, because I'll be a parent some day, and they've set the bar high.
My parents divorced a couple years back, and both remarried. That process often ends in disaster, but both of them picked great new spouses, so the family I was already so grateful to have expanded to be even better. I go on a lot of trips every year, but some of my favorites are low-key ones where I visit my parents and step parents.
And really, my immediate family is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm close with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents as well, each of whom I'm immeasurably thankful to have in my life.
I was having breakfast a couple months ago with a good friend, who isn't as close with her family. She told me that she felt like she had made her own family out of her friends. And at that moment, I realized that, including her, I was doubly lucky to have a family of amazing friends. The purpose of a family is to have a group of people who are unconditionally rooting for you, love you, and are always on your team. That's how I feel about my friends, too.
Anyway, what I'm most thankful for today is my family, from my parents and siblings all the way to my friends. It's easy to take full credit for all of the great things that happen in my life, but I know that all of those things were primarily made possible because I've always had the support and love of my family.
So, happy thanksgiving, and here's hoping you have a lot to be thankful for as well, and that you got a chance to stop and reflect on those things.
Photo is an amazing banner my step-niece made. You might be surprised to learn that she didn't need any help on the spelling.
Very thankful to have you as a reader, as well!
As you all know, Thanksgiving is this week. I feel like ever since I was a kid, I was always told to be thankful for what I have; and I am. I know that these are so cliché but I wanted to write about what I'm thankful for in my life. I personally think that I'm a lot more thankful than most people my age just because of my background and what I came from. I'm not saying I have a hard life, but my parents did.
My mom was raised by an immigrant mother and no father. She grew up with seven older brothers in a three bedroom house in Pueblo, Colorado. With seven others siblings, a one parent income, and no government help, my mom had a rough childhood. Looking back, she says that she never got new clothes, they didn't go out to eat often, and there was no such thing as a shopping spree. Every penny they earned went to living. My mom said that you can't miss what you don't have, because she never grew up with luxury or a plush lifestyle, so she doesn't know what its like to live without it. My mom was the first child to go to college and she receive a Master's Degree in Nursing, eventually she enrolled in the army and became an army nurse. She had no support system going through college, no one to talk to about 'how to grow up,' she had to do it all by herself. I am very much thankful for my mom.
My dad was raised by a dirt poor farmer in Lincoln, Kansas. He has three sister who are all older. Growing up he had to work morning and night on the farm, and in the daytime go to school. I remember him telling me to be thankful that I have my own room to myself, because he didn't; in the summer he slept on the porch swing and in the winter he slept on the couch in the house. He had a hard life too, just like my mom. When he came to the age of 18 he enrolled in the army, and through the army he went to college and received his Master's in Finance and Business. After college, he went back into the army and worked his way up to being an army ranger. When he was stationed in Tacoma, Washington, he met my mom. I am very thankful for my dad.
My parents have taught me how to be thankful, and how life could be a lot harder than what it is now. After all, I am in college, not worried about money, have a roof over my head, a place to call home, and the most loving and supportive parents I could ever ask for. My mother taught me to aim for your dreams and my father taught me to be who I want to be. Without their guidance and support, I would not be the person I am today. Now both of my parents have good jobs, a beautiful place to call home, three wonderful children who love and respect them. My parents, coming from nothing, were prone to dropping out, doing drugs, and committing crimes, but they rose above that and became the wonderful parents that they are today. I am so thankful that God had his eye on both of them and made sure that they didn't fall into that lifestyle.
I know one day there is going to come a time when I don't have my parents, and I'm going to miss them like hell. They have lived without me, but I have never lived without them, and now that I'm older I have realized all they have done for me and I appreciate it all. I want my parents to know that I am so thankful that I have them. Even when I was younger and we got into fights about the stupidest things, that after, I always went to my room and I thought about my actions from their stand point and I would change my perspective. I respect my parents too much to fight with them like I did when I was younger. I do not want to disappoint them in any way, so I always think about my actions now that I'm away at college. They have made me the best version of my self, they are my best friends, they understand me more than anyone else, and I know that I can always count on them.
Thank you for everything! I love you with all my heart!