Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving, to me, is about being grateful and giving thanks for what I do have. Not regretting what I do not have.

I didn’t do the usual 30 separate Facebook status posts for the month of November because I know myself well enough to know that I’d rather give thanks at one time, in one blog post, as opposed to mentally beating myself up because I missed two days on Facebook and then having to play catch-up. It’s not my style.

So from that last paragraph I found 4 things I’m grateful for:

1. Being able to share this blog post with you.
2. Working on not beating myself up all of the time and learning, through yoga, how to let thoughts enter my mind, acknowledge them and then move on.
3. Knowing myself well enough at 32 years of age to know what is and is not my style.
4. I never do “the usual”—to quote myself!

So what does a unique, vegan girl and her vegetarian husband do for Thanksgiving dinner? Well, we usually spend Thanksgiving with my grandmother. Since Pete and I have been together, my husband always cooks Eggplant Parmesan and we take it over to my grandmother’s house to share. My grandma always takes all of the leftovers and we laugh, like that’s a surprise to us. For some reason, we always take my Monster (a/k/a Kasey—my dog that eats everything that’s not food). This year, since my yoga studio is open on Thanksgiving morning, I will be going to a class in the morning.

And the list of gratefulness continues:

5. Having one tradition left with the Dalton side of the family.
6. Obviously—having a dog called Monster that we can take places, knowing that she will be good the entire time we are there.
7. Being vegan.
8. Having a husband that became vegetarian because he respects, not only my veganism, but me as well.
9. Having yoga classes to go to in general, and a studio to go to that’s open on Thanksgiving morning.
10. Having another option for exercise on Thanksgiving that does not involve getting up and standing outdoors in the cold to run any distance at all.
11. Having a husband that cooks.
12. Sharing a meal that doesn’t involve harming any animal.
13. Having a portion put to the side that is vegan with no Parmesan cheese all for me!

After we share our meal, we visit with my grandmother in her living room and watch TV. Afterwards, as we drive home, we gawk at the Black Friday shoppers that are all lined up outside of Best Buy at 9:00pm on Thanksgiving day. As I go home, visit with my other two dogs and eventually go to bed I think to myself how grateful I am that:

14. I’ve spent a wonderful day with my grandmother and my husband.
15. I’ve got two other dogs waiting to greet me when I get home—Mr. Biggs and Bonnie.
16. I have my grandmother in my life.
17. I do not have to stand in line at any store on Thanksgiving night, outside, in the cold.
18. I do not have to stand out in the cold ever and will always have a home.
19. I have a job and could go out shopping the next day but choose not too.
20. Did I mention how grateful I am that I don’t have to go out on Black Friday? Well, let’s square that to infinity and beyond and you’ll know how grateful I’m for that.
21. I have a car that gets me to places I choose to go, like my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner or work or to out to play with friends.

So that leaves me with nine more items to be grateful for. Honestly, nine isn’t enough. Ten isn’t enough. Eleven and twelve wouldn’t be enough. However, I set the list at 30 so here’s the rest. If I had to list only nine more things that I’m grateful for, they would be:

22. All of the lesson’s I’ve learned in my life so far and to come.
23. The coffee I drink after yoga is over.
24. Having time off to spend time with family and friends.
25. Life from my mother and father.
26. All of the following activities I’ve been able and am still able to participate in: dance competitions, 1/2 marathon, a full marathon, triathlons, swimming, cycling tours and hot yoga.
27. The willingness to try the activities in post 26.
28. Teachers that give up their time to teach.
29. The beautiful autumn we had and the exciting winter to come.
30. The ability to smile.

If there had to be a 31st gratefulness post, do you know what it would be?

31. Soooooooooo grateful for not having to go shopping on black Friday.

No joke.

Have a wonderful day of giving thanks!

Sara Sawochka