When I moved to the US some 15 years ago, I remember being extremely skeptical about Thanksgiving Day. I can almost say I despised the holiday simply because I, as an immigrant from a war ridden country, had never really taken a day to just give thanks.
I use to tell friends, family and co-workers that Thanksgiving was “just not my thing” and a holiday “I couldn’t connect with.” I couldn’t understand why someone like me would need to give thanks (in a pompous dinner that would take me a whole day to prepare by the way!) if my experiences had been so unhappy at times, many times scary and full of religious guilt. Who would want to give thanks for that?
I used to tell my husband, every year, I was not cooking that turkey and spending all day slaving away in the kitchen. He can attest to this! I was just not ready to give thanks and I was convinced there would never be a day I would look forward to Thanksgiving Day. How naive, ignorant and narrow minded I was.
Around 7 to 8 years ago, I finally had my “a-ha” moment one day. I was on the phone with a very dear friend of mine, who just like me, was struggling fitting in and finding contentment. We were both immigrants, new moms and had kids the same age at the time, and while we were bitching and moaning about the hardships of motherhood, the lack of appreciation, you know, being bitches! she said to me “but aren’t we thankful that we can run to the pharmacy at any hours of the night if our kids are sick, and not be afraid to be robbed, kidnapped or worse, killed just because we are looking out for the wellbeing of our children?” That single, honest comment stirred me inside and opened up the door for a newfound appreciation of my life, and the simple, most basic right of freedom and security. For the first time in my adult life I was truly thankful for the circumstances that led me to where I was and the choices I had made, inadvertently, to bring the experiences into my life to be thankful for.
My gratitude now extends past the opportunities that this country has afforded me and my family. It extends past the environment that encourages me and all those around me to seek happiness, and do it in a setting that rewards persistence and dedication. My gratitude reaches past the fact that I am able to reinvent myself, if I please to, without reason or cause. And this year, this very special year, my gratitude extends to YOU, the reader of this blog and to this platform that allows me to share tidbits of my mind with you.
So this Thanksgiving Day, I wake up early and ready to cook this big meal for my family because I am convinced now this is “my kind” of holiday. I will connect with it for the rest of my life and appreciate it for what it is: a day to give thanks, with body and soul, for the wonders of life in all its forms.
Until the next one~
The Minimal Sisters.