Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving. I’ve been feeling extremely low lately and today I’d like to take a moment to be mindful and grateful.
It was my 29th birthday at the end of September. I did the whole Facebook party thing, invited a bunch of people, friends and coworkers. Something really surprised me. More people showed up than I expected, and some of these people even brought me cards/gifts, which weren’t a requirement, I was just grateful and happy that people showed.
Even at your lowest point, take a moment to reflect on the last happy moment you had. It could have been five minutes looking at a funny meme on Facebook, or like me, a birthday dinner that surpassed expectations.
These are the things I’m extremely grateful and thankful for this Thanksgiving. For the people who care, who take the time out of their busy lives to just “be there.”
I had a friend there that I haven’t seen in a while, she’s been really busy with her daughter and moving across town. I’ve known her since early elementary school. She showed up. (and knowing her, with some bath and body stuff as part of a gift) She let her daughter pick the card, and it’s fitting. I can pull the card out and “just know.”
There’s an old coworker that I got to know as we bonded over liking the same band, we lost touch a bit after I went on medical leave and she left the job. But she showed up, and with an amazing fan picture to boot.
My best friend of 18 years has been going through a really rough time in her life. I wanted her there if she could make it, if not it was not the end of the world. But she made the effort to find her way there. And we both hobbled ourselves back to her house after dinner and she got me a ride home safe. She already gave me my gift a few weeks prior, and knows me so well. Harley Quinn, glass tumbler and canvas picture.
A few years ago, I interned at (what’s sadly now dismantled) our city’s youth newspaper. I met this girl, we knew some of the same people via the creative writing program we both took at university, but were never in any of the same classes. We are still friends today and she’s given me an amazing freelance writing opportunity with the company she works with. We went on a small shopping day and she bought me a gift of my choosing, which of course was a Harley Quinn tumbler. A friend of hers, which I’d like to now call a friend of mine as well, hung out earlier in the day. The mutual friend couldn’t make it to dinner, but she did, and brought me a homemade card. Every card she gives someone is personally made by her.
There’s this girl at my work, 18, a tad “quirky,” but gives good hugs. She not only came to my birthday dinner but she got me my now favorite nigh nigh lankie. 😛 (yes I’m a child, don’t judge me I’m almost 30 ) She asked me a few weeks prior, when I invited her, what I’d like for my birthday. I proceeded to tell her a gift was not required but she insisted. I said anything Harley Quinn and she said, “Spencer’s Gift’s it is,” in reference to where that lankie was purchased. XD She brought along another young coworker to dinner, whom I did invite and loved that she came. Mind you this quirky friend and coworker would have probably dragged her. haha
One co worker, of whom used to volunteer at a couple of the schools I used to attend, came to dinner and gave me an adorable card.
I got extremely spoiled this birthday, not only with gifts and cards, but with the people who came to celebrate. Including two co workers, mother (former but still works in the same building) and daughter, who showed up a little later in the evening.
Another coworker who showed later in the evening, joined for a couple of drinks, and brought along a card on behalf of another coworker who couldn’t make it.
I had three friends come to dinner, married couple and roommate. I knew what my gift was as soon as I smelled it… XD I’ll leave that there. I’m really grateful to have met them, have them as friends and glad they came and enjoyed the company.
In total I had 17 people come to dinner!!! It’s the biggest birthday party I’ve had in my life so far. Those who were not at dinner, and on my Facebook, (as well as most of those at dinner) wished me a “Happy Birthday” on my FB wall.
All it takes is something as small as wishing someone a “Happy Birthday,” to make a moment of their day better. No, it doesn’t always help, and sometimes they feel worse at that particular moment. But if they come back to it, it may just make a small smile on their face.
This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for being alive, even though there are many moments I have “suicidal thoughts.” I am so grateful for the jobs I have, the opportunities I’ve been given, the accomplishments I have managed to achieve.
I, like many, come from a broken home. My father is not one for any kind of affection. Any card I receive from him, I believe, is his way of showing that affection. It’s the only time he says that he loves me. He’s joining my mother and I for turkey, which is weird and awkward in and of itself. But I still accept it. This was the birthday card I received from him:
I am grateful and thankful for everything and everyone in my life that wants to be here with me. That’s very hard for me to express sometimes, since every day is a struggle. A struggle to stay positive, a struggle to drag myself out of bed in the morning, a struggle to just “be alive.”
No matter what your struggles in life, know that you aren’t alone. Breathe, (it’s hard and easier said than done but try), take a moment to reflect on the small things that have made you happy. Whether it be a favorite song, movie, joke, meal, anything that can put a smile (we’ll take a smirk) on your face for even a split second.
What are you thankful for?