For many, Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to spend with family and loved ones. There’s food, celebration, gathering, and a feeling of warmth and thanks for the many blessings you’ve been given.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have Thanksgivings similar to the one I just described, full of family, food, and festivities. As I was chatting with my parents earlier, though, I realized that this year was the first Thanksgiving I haven’t celebrated with my family.
It’s a bit of a bitter-sweet feeling. Bitter, because I love my family and it reminds me of how much I miss them. But sweet, because it also reminds me that I’m getting older and things are changing, and they’re at least changing in a positive way, providing me with much to be thankful for.
Amidst all of this year’s chaos, I often try to find times to be thankful, but sometimes it’s a very difficult thing to do.
Trying to tell myself to be thankful and remember how blessed I am is hard when when I’m having a stressful day at work, or when I’m feeling particularly homesick, or when I wake up in a bad mood and it’s just one of those days where the smallest thing causes maximum irritation, like stubbing a toe or accidentally spilling a cup of tea.
In those moments, it’s not easy to take a step back, take a breath, and try to stay calm and remember to be thankful. In those moments, it sometimes just feels like you need a good, long scream.
And the news of 2020 hasn’t made the situation much easier. The year started with the Australian bush fires and, as we all know, has really only gone downhill from there.
However, throughout all of this, I try really hard to remember the things I’m thankful for and the incredible blessings I have in my life. My family is incredible and supportive, even from halfway across the country. I’m living and working in a beautiful community, full of incredible people who have made and continue to make this job an absolutely fantastic experience.
The fact that I couldn’t celebrate with my family this year also provided me with even more opportunity to be thankful. Thankful that I have a family to miss, and who are also missing me. Thankful that I have a place to stay and can afford to still have my own Thanksgiving dinner here.
Thankful that I’ve made friends here who have already offered to take me into their own families for Thanksgiving, and thankful for the kindness of their families who also extended the offer, despite not even knowing me yet.
Despite the horrible things that have happened so far in 2020, I still have things to be thankful for, as I’m sure many of you do, as well. And that’s just an incredible feeling, however sappy it may sound.
— Clare Rayment, Kitimat Northern Sentinel editor