on gratitude and grief

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. You know, that time of year when we force ourselves to go be with a bunch of people, eat a ton of a food, and go around the table saying what we’re thankful for.

Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway), Thanksgiving is a problematic holiday for a bunch of reasons. It erases Indigenous perspectives on North American life, it celebrates hoarding food, and it encourages self-centered thinking (in my ever-humble opinion). Plus, we have to fancy ourselves up to go meet with a hundred people and have an enormous meal. Ugh.

That all is hard enough in a normal year when things are okay. This Thanksgiving is happening during a massive shitshow period of my life. My whole life, minus the barest essentials, is packed up in my sister’s basement. I am literally just getting by, one minute at a time. I’m eating a lot of Jell-O, and playing Gardenscapes a lot on my phone.

So what do I have to be thankful for? Probably quite a lot. I have lots of people who love me, a job, a wicked writing blog (ever heard of it?!). I won the first round of a writing contest, and I will be hearing the results of the second round in a few weeks (fingers crossed!). I have a bunch of awesome new-to-me furniture that is waiting to be arranged in my new apartment.

Sometimes I am thankful. Sometimes I am screaming into the void. And sometimes I am laying on the floor, tears dripping down the sides of my face.

Sometimes I get hit in the face with a moment of beauty, of comfort, of connection. Feeling my super-soft cotton socks on my feet. Tasting a perfect mouthful of Jell-O. Seeing a fabulous row of autumn trees in a burst of oranges and yellows. Being able to relax in that single instant makes me realise that I have the ability to enjoy.

In time, I know the desperate heartbreak will dissolve into moments of ease. And I can be thankful for that.

So this Thanksgiving, I raise a (metaphorical) glass to you, to myself, and to our journey forward. Even if we don’t feel like celebrating, we know that we can handle whatever’s coming. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Featured image was created by the author using elements from canva.com.

Published by amy

Coffee-drinker, money-saver. Laughs at "that's what she said."

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