I probably haven’t had a traditional Thanksgiving for a few years now. While I must admit, I do miss having a home cooked, multi course, dinner with my whole family in California where I can lay on the couch after dinner, unbutton my pants, and watch the Harry Potter marathon, some things will always remain the same. No matter what, my family – my mom, dad and sister – and I always are together for Thanksgiving, whether we’re at home, San Diego, or this year in New York. We may not have a home cooked dinner – last year we had a buffet style Thanksgiving dinner at a hotel in SoCal, and this year we’ll be having dinner at the Time Warner Building’s Porter House – but the food is always the best. Most of all, despite where we are, or who decides to join our family for dinner, the conversation is always good, and its always a great time. THANKSgiving is obviously the time where we reflect upon what we have and are grateful for.
Family*. Being with the people I love and care about is not only a privilege but something I am very thankful for. Typically I spend my holidays with my parents, sister, aunt, uncle and cousins. We’re a tight knit family. I’ve denoted the asterisk because as many of you do as well, I think the word “family” is much more inclusive. When I think of family, I automatically include my best friends, close friends and family friends. Essentially the people I love and care about and the people who love and care about me.
A roof over my head. Of course I bitch about my living situation all the time. Its dirty. Theres honking outside. The heater doesn’t work. The air conditioning doesn’t work. There are probably dead rats fermenting in the walls. The garbage chute stinks. Theres probably mold in the bathroom. Theres not enough counter space. Okay, its not that bad at all actually. I’m just dramatic. The list goes on and on. I will probably continue to bitch and moan. But the fact of the matter is, at the end of the day, I have a warm, snuggly, lovely place to live and I am very fortunate. During Hurricane Sandy when we were forced to evacuate our building, I realized that I take having warm, running water, electricity, heat, and my own place, for granted.
A sense of humor. You cannot get by in life without a sense of humor. I repeat: you cannot get by in life without a sense of humor. Sometimes I’ll be in public, and either say something really awkward and weird or funny to a stranger. The way they respond tells exactly what type of a person they are: A) They’ll think I’m hilarious and we’ll instantly become best friends. These people are the cool optimists in life. Can’t live without them. B) They’ll humor me. But call me out on being a freak. These people are the realists in life. Again, can’t live without them. C) They’ll scoff at me, ignore me, or look at me in complete disgust. These are the pessimists / people with sticks up their asses. These people, you can live without. In fact, I highly suggest you do so, or else they will bring you down. A sense of humor can help you in a variety of situations, crises, awkward moments, and it builds personality. Don’t have one? Get one.
Food. Duh. Thanksgiving is all about
gaining 10lbs eating delicious foods. Sweet potatoes, turkey, stuffing, pie, CRANBERRY SAUCE. Food is the fucking shit. Thanksgiving food, in particular is the bomb.com/delicious/amazeballs.nom So with that, I leave you with a video of the purveyor of all things delicious/fattening/BUTTER… Paula Deen. Please watch it, I promise you will NOT regret it. Seriously, you won’t.
There are very little / no other times we have as a culture where we devote a time to give thanks for what we have. Whether you’re religious / spiritual or not, I think that its always important to take time every so often to be aware of what you have, and be grateful for it. We don’t do it enough. I certainly don’t. So I urge you, and I’m challenging myself – to at least once a week, think of one thing you are thankful for, no matter how little.
I really don’t pay attention much to the people I come across each and every day… and I suppose I should… Considering, in some way or another, they are a part of my life. Every morning I pass by the public safety officer of my building, who reminds me of a grandfather-like figure, yet, I would totally be confident in their ability to kick the shit out of some bad guy. There’s the adorably, cute, old African-American lady that works at Au Bon Pain who rings my coffee up every morning. She always calls me some term of endearment that just melts my heart, “Have a great day dear!”, “Have a good one love!”. I like to feel I’m special, but I wonder if she makes other people buying their coffees/sandwiches/pastries feel all warm inside too. This is bad, but most days walking to classes I’ll pass by this one homeless lady who has my heart, on Broadway. Sometimes I give her money (depending on my bagel/coffee expenses thus far). I feel like she and I have shared the most intimate encounters… I mean, I’ve seen her pee and defecate on the street. And we always smile at each other – one time, she even smiled at me WHILE peeing. Rain or shine though, she always wears these really ultra fabulous sunglasses that reminds me, no matter how shitty life gets, there’s always a silver lining – like ironically owning a pair of oversized Marc Jacobs sunglasses. My day usually comes to an end at yoga class, where I always set up my mat in the same place… unfortunately next to the Yoga Nazi. He’s really mean, always screams at people who have their cellphones in class, and is even meaner to all the obvious newbies of the yoga studio. I’ve never talked to him before – aside from the few times he’s asked me to move my mat over so he can have more room. As mean as he is, there’s a good lesson to be learned there. Don’t take life too seriously. Every time he snaps at some poor, innocent girl whos phone lit up next to her, I just laugh while holding my Warrior II. Really guy? What are you trying at here? Unclench your asshole, and relax.
There are a bunch of other daily encounters with people I have… these ones are just worth mentioning. Why am I thankful? Because not only are they part of my life, every, single day, but also because I don’t want to take these people for granted. I take a lot of my daily routine for granted, and never really think about the people who are a part of it… no matter how small their role.
What are YOU thankful for?
“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them” – Dreams For An Insomniac
Because a life without love, even love lost, really isn’t a life at all! I’m not talking about the love from your family, your friends, your neighbors, or your mentors etc those are vital, necessary and amazing types of love. But I’m talking about that real love, that, “ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love” – as my fictional spirit animal, Carrie Bradshaw would say. And as if he’s reading this, I’m sure my boyfriend has just rolled his eyes at me for not only quoting Carrie Bradshaw, but for also citing her as my fictional spirit animal (it is what it is babe!). Its with him I have been so lucky to have found a love just like that. It’s a love that just manifested, under the craziest, most testing circumstances, that we’ve grown into. Despite the challenges he’s faced and that we’ve faced together, I’m constantly in awe of the bond we share each and every day. Love, through the form of my boyfriend, has made me a better, kinder, caring, happier person. You know its a good love when you look at your relationship and see that it hasn’t compromised either of your personalities, values, beliefs, goals… and even better if it has made improvements in your own personality. I’m thankful for this love that never dies. I feel the same way about him from when we go to bed at night, and wake up in the morning; whether we’ve gone two weeks without speaking, or even just two minutes. I’m thankful for this love that completes me, makes me stronger, helps me grow, and teaches me new things about myself everyday. I love you, and I mean it.