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Thankful

Family
Part of my wonderful, chaotic, entertaining family celebrating my Nana's 90th birthday.
Family

Part of my wonderful, chaotic, entertaining family celebrating my Nana's 90th birthday.

 

It’s been a rough several weeks for me over here, though many of the reasons for this are what might condescendingly be called “First-World Problems.” The two extra days off work I get for (American) Thanksgiving can’t have come at a better time; most of my partner’s side of the family has come out to celebrate the holiday with us, and the chance to spend some time relaxing with them sounds like a dream to me. In spite of an extremely controversial history, American Thanksgiving (as opposed to Canadian Thanksgiving, which is in October) does bring with it the opportunity, in the words of my dad, “to be mindful of our blessings and share them with others.” In this spirit, then, I’m going to pause my usual column and list some of the things in my life for which I am grateful:

  • For my mom, dad, and sister, who have been unconditionally supportive of me for the entirety of my life;
  • For my in-laws, who have been a wonderful addition to my family;
  • For my partner, who cheers me on, adventures with me, and provides balance to my insanities;
  • For email, Skype, and the miracle of the telephone;
  • For the roof over my head, the food in my fridge, and the bed in which I sleep at night (especially since this bed doesn’t deflate every few hours);
  • For my voice, however tiny it may feel at times, and its ability to effect changes in my community, my country, and my world;
  • For my job, which may be extremely frustrating at times but which also proves to me on a daily basis that things can change for the better;
  • For my health, and for access to the medical care that can maintain and restore it should the need arise;
  • For the opportunities that have allowed me to travel and live all over the world;
  • For the optimism that drives me;
  • For the friends who keep me thinking, keep me laughing, and keep me grounded;
  • For the strength that keeps me asking “why?”;
  • For the little traditions that provide continuity in what has often been a chaotic adulthood;
  • For the education I received from the public school system and the universities I attended;
  • For the cat who thinks I walk on water, even when I’m wallowing in self-loathing;
  • For chocolate, and its incredible power to make any day better;
  • For the ability to recognize that, even on a terrible day, there are things for which to be thankful.

I’m keeping this list short on purpose because I don’t want to engage in hyperbole, but I hope it inspires you to take a moment this weekend- wherever in the world you may be- to be thankful for even the tiny things in your life that deserve your gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Erica Laue
Erica first set foot on a plane when she was ten months old. 28 years, 18 countries, and four continents later, the travel bug’s still strong in her veins, and she's become increasingly engaged with issues of power, gender, sex, equality, and access around the world.

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