Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite holidays. I usually volunteer to work each year, including this one (hello holiday pay!). But this year I was passed over and ended up with it off, for the first time in a few years. And the icing on that cake? My family has decided to come out here this year. Joy!
But really? Thanksgiving, what a weird holiday. A day we "Americans" (I use the term lightly since so few of us are actually native to this land) celebrate with a giant feast giving thanks for the settlers that crossed over and made a new start here in this great land. We won't go on to say what else those settlers did to the natives after that. But I don't celebrate Thanksgiving for that reason. I use this as a time to be with my family, and to truly reflect on what I am thankful for in my life.
The last two years have beaten us up pretty badly. My husband lost his job two years ago in October. Needless to say it was hard to be thankful at that Thanksgiving, having no income, and no prospect for jobs, and an impending move from a house that we loooooved. And last year we were trying so hard to recover from a brutal economy, having lost over $18,000 in savings, retirement, bonds for Ethan's college just so we could survive. My husband's car was repossessed and we were facing another move since we couldn't afford to live in a house anymore. Not to mention, we were stuck in Vegas, just the three of us, while our families got together to celebrate. It's hard to feel grateful when you've faced such a rough few years.
But this year? This year has been a much better, not quite good, but better year than we have had in a while. I have so much to be thankful for. For the first time in a few years, we are living well. Gone are the days when my husband and I were living off top ramen just so we could have milk and food for our son. Gone are the times when we were overdrafting our bank account each and every pay period, gone are the days of only having one car, and my husband bringing in $350 every two weeks. Things aren't perfect, but they are so much better. We actually donated about $85 this Thanksgiving to needy families, not huge, but for us it was. Now don't read this as me saying, hey we have money now and are super happy! Because that is not it, nor is it all I'm thankful for.
I have a beautiful, fantastic and supportive family. Our families have helped pull us out of the rubble of our old lives, never once lecturing, or being condescending as parents and families can be at times. Just extending a hand, sending a thoughtful card, a random check. I am so thankful for my family! I feel truly blessed. And my husband? An amazing support. He knows just how hard it is for me at my job. How much I hate being away from my son and how much I ache to be a stay at home mom again. He is working so hard at school, and is constantly nurturing me and supporting me through some pretty ugly times. My son? A little ball of wonder and energy. Pushing us to our limits, testing us, growing and learning. He knows how to push all the right buttons and then turn around and make you fall absolutely in love with him in one second.
I am also thankful for amazing friends! Friends that have been like family, helping us out in a pinch, lending a house to stay in, or money, or free child care (you know who I'm talking to here.) And friends that no matter what the distance is between us, they can surely be counted on for anything (late night blogging advice, books for my kiddo, ect!)
I don't need fancy clothes, cars, expensive purses or any other kind of material junk in my life. I currently have all I need. And that is what I am truly thankful for.
What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!