November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Special

Giving thanks can be hard. I want to give the disclaimer that I am writing this after a very strenuous day at work, so I’m cranky yet reflective. I often question my role in my job, and whether or not it is a sustainable career choice for me. Like everyone, I have my good days and my bad. But what is most important to note is that this career of mine is a calling for some people. While I do think that it has been my calling to work with these teenagers, I feel often very spent and tired.  As you can imagine, it is hard to show gratitude on the days that leave me feeling frustrated, tired, and questioning of *one of my many purposes.

It is on days like these that I go for a walk around my neighborhood. At the moment, the weather is just starting to get a little crisp (north Florida probz), and the sun sets in beautiful pastels. Some ambitious families already have the holiday lights up. My neighborhood is filled with canopy trees and draping Spanish moss that reflects the pastels from the sky. This scene is so restorative for my soul.

After my walk, I come home to a house of love. My two dogs and my gentlemen are there waiting for me, sometimes with a plate of food or a craft beer of my choice. Sometimes, with a cookie. And when I go to sleep, I think, how can I not be grateful for this wonderful life I’ve created for myself?

It is so easy to lose sight of the good that we have in our lives. And please, do not get me wrong when I say this- I understand that some of us have a really tough go at it. And there are numerous reasons for this. Wherever your place is in this world, there is always room to express gratitude. I remember listening to some of my students from years past and hearing how they would celebrate the holidays. What a different life than what I was living, and presently, I always make sure to take that into account.  I would not necessarily compare my life to theirs, but I would recognize the excitement that they expressed about all things, things that I would not normally think to celebrate. (E.g. The fact that the favorite uncle is coming into town. Or that the vending machine broke and Doritos were practically free.) There is beauty in everything; it all depends on what we make of it.

My job is hard. Some days, I want to lay in bed and watch Longmire and dream of a life out west.  But here’s the reality- There is so much good in my life, and I graciously except all good that comes into my life. Giving thanks is a practice that we are only trained to utilize around Thanksgiving, partly due to Thanksgiving themed elementary school plays and special prayers to be said around the dinner table as a 20 pound turkey is being cut by that favorite uncle. Let’s make it a practice to be grateful every day. Yes, we still have the authority to bitch as we please, and we still have the authority to question if life can get any better than this, but do not fall into the trap of overlooking the good in your life. In hindsight, we will have wished we would have said “thank you” more often.

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