I'm a sides girl. When it comes to a Thanksgiving meal, I like the stuffing, the canned, cylindrical mass of cranberry, and especially the jello and whipped cream "salad" my Aunt prepares every year -- the serving size of which she's increased, especially now that she has identified the family member who attacks it with the most vigor.
It's true I'm getting older, and therefore possibly more introspective, and it's true I have easier access to apps that allow me to figure out the the caloric value of all foods everywhere. So maybe that's why I have less and less of an eye toward the feast and more of a focus on the "thanks" part of the holiday.
I've created my own tradition of taking a purposeful step back to assess the long mental list of thanks I've created since the beginning of the year.
I'm thankful for the Usuals (family, friends, gourds), but a day like today punctuates the gratefulness I try to carry around daily just a bit more. I'm also grateful for another recognizable list of items: my job and the boss who advocates for me, the house I live in, the car that transports me faithfully, and the soundness of my body and mind. I also thank my lucky stars for the people in my life who frequently demonstrate kindness, compassion, commit random acts of altruism, and display infectious passion and courage, which in turn inspires me more than they possibly know.
But, I'm not the only who's thankful. Herewith, fellow guest bloggers have offered up a few sentences that capture their gratitude in 2011.
"I am grateful for the 15 years of companionship in Blue. He was protective, loving, loyal, and a mischievous little trouble maker and I miss his presence every day. From the eye rolls, to his constant patience..I think he's still keeping an eye on me from doggy heaven and for that I'm grateful.
P.S. I also think that Blue sent Diggy my way because he knew we could cheer each other up."
"I'm thankful for Siri, the genie inside my iPhone. Just to see if we were on the same page, I told her I loved her. She said 'You are the wind beneath my wings.'
I'm also thankful for KCRW, the antidote to LA traffic."
"I am so thankful that I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful job and fantastic friends. I am also thankful that 2011 is drawing to a close."
"I'm thankful that life changes and provides you new opportunities. I'm also always thankful for my job (teaching 4th grade). The kids are continually funny and caring and are happy to see me even when I think they shouldn't be."
"Thankful that my only stresses derive from '1st world' problems rather than '3rd world' problems.
Thankful that I don't have to fight for my freedom.
Thankful that I will have a challenge outliving my relatives (all lived past 85, grandma lived to 102! all in '3rd-come-1st world' India!)
And... thankful for beta carotene rich, vine-ripened, autumn seasonal fruits (a.k.a. GOURDS)."
"I'm thankful for my many friends on many continents and for the health and happiness of those closest to me."
I am thankful for so many things: laughter, fresh air, walks, family, friends, taste buds, and spontaneity. Health and prosperity, too, but those are a given. You can also quote that I'm thankful for GOURDS, Thunderbirds, and Greeks.