Traditionally, Thanksgiving is supposed to be a sort of "end of the harvest" event, mostly started by the pioneers to celebrate the fact that the crops are all in and it looks like they might avoid starving to death for one more Canadian winter. Even though I live in a time and place where starving is not a danger, (in fact, quite the opposite.) I'm still very thankful to have plenty.
Things I Am Grateful For and Never Take For Granted:
- Central heating and central airconditioning. Having control over the temperature of the air I inhabit is an incredible luxury that is fairly recent in human history. Whenever I read about people not having enough coal for a fire, or sweltering in the tropics, or trying to keep a fire from going out because of rain or wind, I am again grateful for modern comforts.
- Salt has no calories.
- An afternoon nap.
- I have the money, the means and the freedom to go out and buy pretty much anything I really want. Conversely, I am free from wanting all that much.
- The health of myself and my family. We are all ridiculously healthy, with nothing more than the occasionaly cold or achy back to plague us. And if we are sick, we live in a place where health care is available, excellent and affordable.
- Stability, security and peace. I live in a time and a place where I don't worry about my children being snatched off the street, where my husband isn't out fighting a war and I can walk out my door without being shot at, kidnapped or robbed. I don't have to worry about what I say or what I've said in the past, I can read whatever newspaper I like and go about my day without censure. Those are things that lots of people can only dream of, and I get to live it every day.
- Laughter. My friends, my family, my co-workers, my clients, they all make me laugh, and there are very few things in life finer than an gut-busting, all-encompassing, bent-over, tears in your eyes, deep from the belly laugh.
- New sheets on the bed.
- A hot shower. Especially when you've had to go without for a few days.
- Reading a good book that is SO good you think about it when you are not reading it, and can't wait to get back to it, and think about it long after you've finished it. The only bad thing about that good a book is that you wish you could read it for the first time all over again.
- Electricity. Driving away the darkness with a flick of a switch. Cooking a meal with a turn of a knob. Boiling a kettle without starting a fire. Washing a weeks worth of clothes in a few hours instead of a few days. I appreciate electricity all the time.
- I have choices. I'm lucky enough to live where women can do pretty much as they please. I can marry or divorce, be in charge of my own money, own my own property, vote and choose to pursue whatever line of employment I fancy. I can conduct my life as I wish, and believe me, that? is something I never take for granted. And I especially appreciate that on behalf of my daughters, who will never have to limit their choices in life because they happen to be women.
- I spend my day at a job where people appreciate my efforts, where I am happy and comfortable and I am lucky enough to get paid well to do it.
- My friends, who I am lucky enough to have a bounty of. They make me laugh, they give me perspective, they love me and they give me enormous joy. And, in the case of Big Liver Girl, they bring me an apple pie, right out of the blue.