Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giving Thanks



Well, it's that time of year again when we sit together around a table enjoying a huge feast while giving thanks. This feast can take on many forms whether it's done at your home, some else's home, or at a restaurant. It can be traditional, modern, or something completely different. It can be an excuse to get all the people you care about together, or an excuse to have your little family to yourself. It might go smoothly, it might go badly, or it might be somewhere in-between. It might be done for tradition, to honor the first Americans, or because you want to show that you can, indeed, make a large meal without burning down the house.

We're talking about Thanksgiving, of course, and there are many different ways, kinds, and reasons to celebrate. Traditionally, Thanksgiving was a way of giving thanks for the year's Harvest and for the bounty of the year in general. A big feast would be made using the fruits of everyone's labor as a way of indulging in what otherwise would have been just another year of being thankful that there would be enough food to tide everyone over for the Winter and into the Spring.

Plenty of people do try in earnest to be thankful in today's world during this time of the year, even if we don't have to rely on a good Harvest to survive the harsh winters. Now, we live in our comfy homes and run to the store when we need to restock our supplies. We are truly a lucky bunch, and there is still much to be thankful for.

It's been a simultaneously great and rough year for me. For all the good that came my way, there was still plenty of strife, much of which I documented right here on my website. As the year winds down and we head into the last month of the year, I look back in reflection as I so often do many times throughout the year. Through it all, I am very thankful.

I am thankful that I know who I am and what I want from my life. I'm thankful for finally being able to make peace with the bad and move forward. I'm thankful that I have a good job and can still do what I love in my free time. I'm thankful that I've made steps in the right direction as far as my health is concerned, and that I'm healthier now than I have been in a very long time. I'm thankful that I can finally see the future I envision just off in the distance. I'm thankful that I followed my dreams and that my latest book is doing well. Finally, and most importantly, I'm thankful for the people in my life who give it so much meaning. 

That last one can't be stressed enough. The family and friends I have cannot be beat, and I'm grateful for their presence every day. I'm most thankful in the whole world though for my children and their love. All the times in my life I wanted to give up, run away, or hide have been numerous, but the love for my children has given me the strength to always pull myself up from the bottom of the pit and discover the light again. 

Lastly, I am very thankful that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and a quality of life that eludes so many of my peers the world over. It's easy to forget how fortunate we are sometimes when we perceive only the things in our life that cause us grief. Perception then, is one of the biggest enlighteners and barriers to being thankful, and, in turn, happy. Happiness in life can often be found the littlest of things.

I hope on this holiday that you find a reason to be thankful, no matter how rough things might be. If your life seems great, then be in the moment, and if things seems dark, remember that sometimes it's our perception of things that makes all the difference.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends: I am thankful for you and your support. Keep on being you.

-H.A. 

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