Giving Thanks

Read Time: 7 Minutes

Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. By any stretch, this year has been … well … a year. Many people whom I have spoken with echo my personal sentiment that this year should be over and done with already.

When I first started my Instagram account, I thought of what sort of content I could produce, that wouldn’t require any sort of professional training (because I am not a professional) but that would still provide insight and relatability to the people who were following me. So I began a daily gratitude practice, listing three things I was grateful for, and committing to do so every day I was in lock down.

I believe it was that early gratitude practice to an extent, that kept me sane throughout those first few months of what was nothing short of pandemonium. The tension in the air that reverberated everywhere you went, the shelves at grocery stores looking like the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, registering but not registering the statistics over a virus that in some cases was/is asymptomatic. On top of all that, you have people continuously repeating the phrase the new normal. They speak of it like it’s something they know, like it’s an old friend mentioned in casual passing – when in reality, nobody has any idea what the heck that really means, because we’re all making it up as we go along.

While the axis of my content has changed, and I no longer conduct a daily gratitude practice on Instagram (I still try to do one in my personal life), and I still find myself in lockdown to an extent, my belief in the power of gratitude remains the same – it’s a valuable and uplifting piece of information you can share with the world that makes you feel good.

With all that being said, keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving and reigniting my gratitude practice once more, for today’s post I will be sharing with you a number of aspects in my life I am thankful/grateful for.

I’m sure there’s more than what’s on this list but these are the primary components. It can be difficult sometimes when you trip and stumble over the trivial matters in life, to remain aware of the bigger picture. However, there’s more than likely someone in the world who would kill to deal with your trivial matter – something on a much smaller and insignificant scale than whatever the situation or experience is they may find themselves in. By saying that, it’s not intended to invalidate your lived experience and what you’re going through, but rather to make you aware of the importance of stepping outside your bubble or your realm once in a while, to check in on the world.

I am thankful for the act of being thankful this year – as I mentioned, being grateful and thankful on a daily basis really uplifted my mood and spirits throughout all those initial months in lockdown and continues to do so. Of course, there were/are some days I still don’t feel good, but having the routine of appreciating various aspects of my life has certainly helped.

I am thankful for my passion for writing. My commitment to writing has kept me connected not only to the reality of my actions, my words and the length to which I needed/wanted to work on self-improvement, but to the world, the people in my life currently and the people who will enter it in the future.

I am thankful that life has shown me what it’s like, not only to not be invited out (friend’s parties, social gatherings), but to have no outings to go to. I once embraced my hermit lifestyle – I’d say no to invites but at least the option was still available to me – now it’s the option itself I miss, because at least then there was an option.

I am thankful for friends and family (and my cat), which might sound like the most cliché answer ever, but it’s true. Once again, it’s a matter of not knowing what you have until it’s gone. I realize now that I can’t see my friends at all, that I should have been spending more time with them pre-COVID. For any time I’ve needed to talk, for a space to get out of the house, for accepting me for who I am, for giving me room to word vomit over the latest guy who did me wrong (in my mind, anywaysthe awareness of my emotional immaturity had not yet formed), they were there.

I am thankful for my little home, the food in my fridge, being able to afford said apartment and food. I am thankful for my bed, for my couch and for creating a proper workspace for myself that isn’t my kitchen table. I am thankful for my deck, which I wander out to on cold, early fall mornings when I need to shock my senses awake out of sleep. I’m thankful for those early mornings, too. In the quiet of the early hours, my productivity increases tenfold – I write more, I put an effort into myself, I meditate. There’s also something peaceful about being awake before the world is needing something from you, or you from it.

I am thankful for my health. It seems as though good health has become a bit of a hot commodity these days – everyone wants it, wants to be in it, rejects the opposite and all that it potentially brings. That being said, I respect the good health I have and remain thankful that the people in my life are in good health, too.

I’m thankful for travel, a passion that I now realize I’d taken for granted until I was forced to be grounded. It’s the first time in three straight years I haven’t flown in an airplane, or am jet setting off somewhere new. I had been considering a trip to Argentina in early 2020 – now wishful thinking, I suppose. However, I go back to the feeling of, well, at least I have flown in an airplane, been fortunate enough to visit outside of North America. Many folks haven’t experienced that.

I am grateful for you, the reader – whether you show support outright by liking or commenting on my posts or following my site, or you are creeping in the background (because I know there are some – we all creep each other, let’s be real lol) – thank-you. It keeps me going on days when I ask myself What is this all for? Am I really getting anywhere with this?

Finally, I am thankful for myself, not only for having stuck with this site and this blog, but also the amount of self-improvement I have made this year, for consistently attending therapy, and for the breakthroughs, leaps and bounds I have made to become a better person. Like I said before, there are some days I get discouraged by a lack of progress (both within myself and my site), but being able to step outside myself to recognize that all good things take time really helps. Even if I don’t know how to get to where I want to be, I know it will happen if I want it bad enough and am willing to work for it. I am thankful for realizations such as these, too.

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