Today is Thanksgiving: in my mind, a pre-Christmas excuse for a party/dinner — A practice-Christmas, if you will. The holiday appears to only have very loose religious connections, while also having non-religious beginnings. Thanksgiving, for me, is a pure, unadulterated, celebration of thanks — whilst still being the “ultimate privilege-checking holiday“.
Mano Singham writes about how it hasn’t been commercialised, that it’s core idea of reflection still remains:
I mainly like the fact that the holiday has managed to avoid being commercialized and merchandized to death. There are no gifts and cards associated with it. There are no ritualized ceremonies, religious or otherwise, that one has to attend. There are no decorations. Dressing up is not required. Although the holiday’s roots lie in giving thanks to god at the end of the harvest season for bounties received, that thin veneer of religiosity can be easily discarded and it is now essentially a secular holiday so no one need feel excluded. The thanks that are offered need not be overtly religious but are just for the good fortune of being with family and friends.
It is a holiday filled with clichés, most of which have been covered in American movies: turkey (and the President’s pardon, dinner, family, parade (with massive helium balloons… I dunno what else really. My impression is that it’s a time to travel long distances to see family and have a massive dinner, and that’s all well and good, but it isn’t celebrated in that way outside North America. In fact, it isn’t even strictly American.
However, the idea of being thankful for stuff is universal. And so, I have compiled a small, non-exhaustive, list of things that I am thankful for at this particular time in my life. This list does not concern itself with clichés, otherwise there would likely not be a list.
There are a number of reasons why Darren gets pride of place at the top of my list: beyond being smart, thoughtful, handsome, nerdy, funny… Darren has put up with a lot over the past few months, and he has been there for me. Almost more so than I could have expected: he has kept me grounded, listened to my troubles and given advice. But mostly, he has just been there, and for that I am extremely thankful.
The roof over my head
Almost something I didn’t have a couple of months ago, and it’s still a touch and go situation, but I’m extremely thankful to have a bed, shelter from the wind and rain and central heating.
It still feels like a new thing, and it is a fairly recent thing, but I love having people I can call my friends. People around me, people I can call on, people I can drink with, rant at, share moments with, who accept me, who have been there for me, and I know will be there again. I have great people around me who have been there for just these reasons in recent months, and for them I am extremely grateful!
Social Media and Social Networking have been very good to me. I say this every so often, but I’m thankful for them. Social Networking has enabled me to meet many people, to make many friends, and to keep in touch with people that I’ve known for a long time, don’t see very often, or connect with people I’d like to meet. The way I see it, there is little reason why I won’t meet many of these people. The connections online have been a big part of my life over the past number of years: in growing my own confidence as well as giving me greater knowledge and scope to deal with the world.
Despite everything, I am healthy. I thought I was getting a cold a few of weeks ago, but a couple of mugs of Lemsip sorted that out. I’m in good health. I’ve quit smoking (long may it last) and appreciate my body.
Overall, I’m thankful for my life. For being alive. In this time and this place. Despite everything, I keep going. I am motivated by everything.
Ze Frank broke down the feeling of being thankful. I agree with so much of this.