What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
For many, it means food, family, fun (hopefully) and some time to get away from work and relax. Not everyone is so fortunate, however, and it is good for us to take a moment or two and reflect upon our blessings, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem.
Here are the things I am thankful for this year:
- I am gainfully employed. I work in the building that houses the local job center and I see so many people in the lobby and elevator visiting that office. I’ve chatted with several of them in passing and some are so sincerely wanting work and are at their wit’s end – it makes me sad. On days at work when I want to pull my hair out, I remind myself that I am lucky to have a job and to just “get over it.”
- My parents. For some reason, practically every electronic device, appliance, and automobile I own has decided to go on the fritz in the past year in a big way. I despise myself when I have to borrow from my mom and dad, but they are more than happy to lend it and I feel fortunate that they’ve got my back. I know it’s not always going to be that way.
- Smartphones. I recently broke down and bought a Google Droid. I am continually amazed by how much convenience is afforded in one small device that fits in the palm of your hand. Ten years ago, I complained to a friend that I wanted a single device to replace my music player, my camera, and my PDA. Apparently I wasn’t the only person who felt that way and I’m glad the tech giants were listening.
- Holiday music. I listen to holiday tunes starting in July, but they become very prevalent around this time of year (which means more variety and listening options). My favorites are the oldies – Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams, etc. When I was very young, I had a record player and adored my Perry Como and Andy Williams Christmas albums. Hearing those songs is like a time machine to the days when life was simple, and my brother and I woke our parents up at 5 am because we couldn’t wait to get started opening our presents. Holiday music = nostalgia = good feelings.
- Online shopping. I used to do the Black Friday insanity – camping out at my store of choice at 3 a.m. to get the “good stuff” before it was gone. Those days are over for me. I do all my shopping online, where the deals are just as good if not better than in the stores. Once again, hooray for technology.
- The nonprofit sector. I know that there are many days when we feel like we are beating our heads against a wall. When I think about how many lives our sector touches and the work that we collectively accomplish, however, I can’t help but feel grateful that nonprofits do exist. I cannot imagine leading a life driven solely by making money and I am grateful that I can work in a place that has meaning and a mission.
- President Obama. People are starting to complain that he isn’t effecting change fast enough. Give the man a break already. He’s taken the leadership mantle under the worst possible conditions – do we really want him making snap decisions? I like that he looks before he leaps and that he recognizes that problems that have been years in the making cannot be fixed overnight.
- Our soldiers. I frequently disagree with the decisions made by our government in sending troops overseas, but I appreciate the men and women who go forth willingly and do service for our country. We owe them our respect and gratitude.
- Windows 7. It’s about time you got it right, Microsoft. Thank you for finally making a decent OS that is stable, attractive and intuitive.
- Social networking. I love that I can talk to people with whom I went to high school so many years ago again. I love that I can play a game with someone in Thailand or Norway. We may not have figured out all the ways in which social networking can be leveraged, but I’m enjoying it as we do.
What are you thankful for this year? 🙂