I know that there are a million blogs that have been written in the past week beginning with “I am thankful for…” But most of us do have a lot to be thankful for. And by the fourth day of Thanksgiving break with my family, I desperately need to be reminded that I am thankful for things. Desperately. Before I start shooting my siblings with Nerf guns.
I think that the things I most frequently remember to be thankful for are first-world amenities like indoor plumbing, running water, and air conditioning. And in the winter, I often remember to thank God for heaters, particularly the ones installed in cars. Particularly on days when the temperature is below 20 degrees. It’s incredibly easy to take our living conditions for granted, especially when we live at home and we don’t see the work our parents do to pay for what we have. While my family is not rich, and while we have gone through times when we could barely afford to survive, I have never gone without food or a home. I have been blessed. Yet, with all of my blessings, I forget to be thankful, and I forget that I have never been deprived.
Maybe some people don’t have days when they forget how blessed they are, but I definitely do. I find myself thinking “I have nothing to wear—I need to buy new clothes” as I stand looking at a full closet of seasonally-appropriate clothing choices, all of which are high-quality pieces. Many of my clothes I bought for myself, but some were gifts from people who were kind enough to share their surplus with me. I should be thankful that I always have what I need.
More than that, I should be thankful that I have excess. If I want to go out to dinner with my friends, I have extra money to do so. When I want a new pair of earrings, I can buy a new pair, within reason. I can go to college, purchase textbooks, live in a dorm, and even go on study abroad trips. I have been very blessed.
Not only do I have possessions and opportunities for which I am grateful, I also have people in my life that make me thankful. Even though I resort to shooting my family with Nerf guns occasionally, they’re still family. Not everyone has a family to go home to at Thanksgiving and Christmas; I am happy (sometimes) that I do. I have friends who wait to eat dinner with me so that I don’t have to eat alone, who take me to target when I need to buy post-it notes, and who will drive to Strange Donuts at 11:00 for a late-night snack. And I have a boyfriend who helps me find solutions to my problems, tolerates me when I talk during movies, and doesn’t laugh at me when it’s late and my words don’t make sense anymore. I mean, he laughs a little, but nobody’s perfect.
My blessings are well-rounded. I have enough to cover my basic needs, extra to make me happy, not too much that I’d be spoiled. I’ve been blessed with good health, with a working body, and family and friends who support me when I need help. There are so many people in the world who don’t even know when they’ll eat their next meal. Even in the United States, even in St. Louis, there are families who don’t have homes, people who can’t find jobs, people who can’t pay for their children to have clothes and school supplies, people who don’t have families to take care of them when they’re sick or sad. The least I can do, for everything I have, is say thank-you every once in a while. Even better, I can share what I have with those people who may have less than I do. Who knows? Maybe I can contribute to their blessings.
Have a great rest of your weekend! And good luck on finals!