Canadian Thanksgiving was on the weekend and you know what that means—time for a gratitude post!
When practicing mindfulness we’re supposed to find things to focus on right now—so in my gratitude practice for Thanksgiving here’s a list of 25 things I am happy for this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.
- Sunshine. Each day was quite sunny but when the clouds floated in for moments blocking the sun and then floated away the light seemed even more golden.
- Puppies and Kittens. I often say that dogs are better than people. I think it’s true. My boyfriend’s daughter brought her dog along for the weekend and that sweet girl filled my heart. She cuddled and followed me on my walks and was just all ’round wonderful. Tori brought her doggo, Hustler, to supper on Sunday and what an expressive face he has. Unfortunately his butt is a bit too expressive in the odor department. I also got some love from my mom’s dog who (finally) had a new fancy hair cut that made her look more like a dog and less like a rat. Both farms had plenty of kittens for cuddles in all shapes and sizes too.
- Cool air. Although I talk a lot about summer time, I love having the window open and having cold air on my face while I sleep. It’s crisp and fresh and feels like camping—which I love.
- Food. All the food. I had a traditional Thanksgiving feast at my my sister-in-laws (I’ve just made it official!) with all the popular fixings and on Monday I had a Greek-Canadian hybrid meal with turkey, of course, but also pork leek stew, spanakopita, taramas, tiropita, Greek roasted potatoes, Greek salad. I’m sure there’s more but you get the picture. Both meals were home made, real delicious food.
- My S.O. He’s just such a good human, including me in family events, feeding me, hanging with me, helping me. He’s incredibly generous and actually kind of funny.
- The open prairie sky. There’s something about it. Just being outside and enjoying the never ending horizon, not another person anywhere. Just me and it (and the dog). Really breathtaking.
- Comfy beds. I had the best sleep on Friday night, surprisingly on a twin bed. I woke rested and happy.
- Running. I will never run a marathon. I don’t want to. I’ve done a half marathon and that was plenty for a single run. However, I will always run whether it’s five or six or ten kilometers. I won’t go fast but I will go. I like pushing myself—just that much and I appreciate how good it is for my brain as well as the rest of me.
- Gardening. I transferred a lot of my outdoor pots indoors. My house is full of living things. A friend showed a photo of me standing in front of some of my plants to her boyfriend and he said “I think she’s a kind of witch that gets life from living things around her” and I took that as the greatest compliment. I’ll water my plants and love them all winter long. I’ll smell the earth and be happy.
- Gifts. I was given an early birthday present and it was both delicious, a surprise, and a little edgy.
- My family. Of course. Family in attendance for Thanksgiving has changed a lot over the years and also stayed the same in many ways. Mom and Dad are still mom and dad. My siblings are still my siblings, but I also have these sweet friends that feel like family. I have an extended family through my significant other and they are pretty wonderful too, generous with their time and space and hugs.
- Harvest. I don’t have a vegetable garden—yet. One day I will, but for now I extend my gratitude to all my people who grew vegetables and shared them with me, or those who were given vegetables from gardeners who shared those with me as well.
- Belly laughs. There were lots of those this weekend.
- Birds. The more time I spend outside the more birds I notice. Commonly, I’ve seen a lot of chickadees, robins, crows, hawks, Canada Geese, Mourning doves—standards in the city. But, this weekend, I saw a Great Blue Heron along the path where I run. It was alone, knee deep in the water, just towering over all the other birds hanging out there with this ‘hey man I’m new in town and I’m really tall and I’m going to hang out here. Cool? Cool.’
- Having help. I had to run some errands and it wasn’t all getting done so I reached out to my brother and asked if he could pick up the slack. Of course he said yes right away and lightened my load.
- The prairie sunset. The blessing of spending one of the days at the farm was the uninterrupted horizon line for a gorgeous wide lens sunset of all the colors and textures of sky and sun and clouds.
- Signs. I purchased two glasses for two dollars that had the word gratitude in cursive surrounded by fall colored leaves. This may be a kitsch purchase for some but for me it’s a reminder of what this time is all about.
- The Thankful Questions and Tina Mallory. At Tina’s supper table she announced that she didn’t want us to just say that we were thankful for “friends and family, friends and family blah blah blah. It gets boring” she said. So instead of just giving a lame answer she made us pull questions out of a cup to answer instead. It was a good idea. We had great answers. We laughed but moreover it was something I would also do and I loved that!
- Color. Especially because I’m so visual and everything outside is just so full of color and if it’s not turning some shade of red, orange, yellow, the complimentary blue hues bounce off everything making the world feel technicolor bright.
- My siblings. We drove out to mom and dad’s together and talked the whole way about all sorts of things, joking about the foolishness in the world, sharing stories, asking questions and enjoying a forty minute car ride full of conversations.
- Pumpkin spice. Don’t judge me.
- Hot morning coffee. I love it all year long but when I wake up on a chilly fall morning it’s the best thing ever to smell and sip.
- Meals to go. I literally was given food to go everywhere I went.
- My fireplace. My Monday evening walk was so cold. Hands cold. Feet cold. Fall temperatures are here but I have a fireplace and it and warmed the house and cozied up my chilly self.
- Transitions and acceptance. It’s fall. It feels like the middle of the night at 8:00 pm. Days are getting cooler. Leaves are falling off of trees. Food, drink, dress and routine all changes. Winter processes are becoming part of the day to day. This is a new phase of the year and I accepted it in all the crunchy leafy moments of Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Maybe we should be grateful all the time. But, maybe life gets a little nutso for us to be so engaged in thankfulness as it happens. So, once a year, on Thanksgiving we are reminded. We sit around with our people and tell them what we are thankful for or just quietly think about it.
With this list of things that I did, or things that happened I momentarily paused to write this blog and consciously think of all the good that has come of these couple of days and all the kind readers who will take a moment to read this post and think about the simplicity of life and how that is something to be thankful for.