Cihacekj’s Weblog

November 27, 2008

Thanking outside the cornucopia

Filed under: Seasonal — Jessica Cihacek @ 8:35 pm

CB006061Let me guess.  Mom, Grams, Uncle Dennis or Crazy Carl probably  initiated a pause at the Thanksgiving table for all to do what this day was originally created for: giving thanks for the many blessings in life.  Turkey, pumpkin pie, and the presence of family and friends probably topped this year’s list (and last year’s).  And while all of that is well and good (and delicious), there is much more than life’s obvious pleasures that we should grant props too.

I’m talking about the unfortunate circumstances, situations, and roadblocks in life that are rarely considered valuable, let alone worthy of much gratitude.  Everything happens for a reason, or so I’m convinced, so why shouldn’t our appreciation stem from a sweeter state of mind and remain in our souls much longer than Turkey Day leftovers?  It can and will…if we begin thinking outside the box.

You may be able to relate to my recent complicated, yet credited matters of thanksgiving:

  • The smelly surprises my roommate’s dog always leaves in my bedroom usually gets me a little heated.  Until last week.  Sure, the little Yorkie (with whom I have a love-hate relationship) teaches me patience. I’ve realized, however, that one day I’m going to miss my college days, living in a duplex with my best friends and in a litter box of a room.  For these reasons, I embrace the poo, the signs of my young adulthood and the presence of such special girlfriends (and their dogs) in my life.
  • That speeding ticket I received last month? Late for work, going 60 in a 45.  Cherries were the last thing I wanted to see in my rearview mirror.  Instead of deeming every cop I see, now, as a pig, I’ve learned that I’d rather spend $100 on shoes.  Getting ready 20 minutes earlier can help me achieve that.  I’m thankful for the personal responsibility I learned by paying the ticket and slowing my driving.  Not only for the sake of a future citation, but what could prevent an incident much more detrimental than being a little late for a job.
  • Arguing with my parents is never something I enjoy.  Especially when I feel my maturity and responsibility being underrated.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.  Not only does this allow for open communication and the chance to express our frustrations and differences, it encourages me to examine my own rationale.  It makes us more appreciative of the positive interaction we share and less insolent to, “Jess, you better be watching the spending,” and “Would you stop with the nagging, already?”
  • Missing out on a most merry shindig to stay put with a bedridden friend can make it feel like an obligation when hearing of the bash the next day.  I didn’t have to keep her company, though, I got to.  I got to make her dinner, flat-iron her hair and laugh with her over how she broke her foot in the first place.  Most importantly, I got to show her I cared.  I’m thankful I was a source of comfort to her.  We both missed quite the social event, but I’m counting it as a blessing this Thanksgiving.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve had my heart broken, but every now and then the twinge of uncertainty, apprehension and confusion will strike.  Especially in an early twenty-something life when the concern of your family is always, “Is she ever going to get married and settle down?”  Thank goodness for striking twinges!  They may cause me to overanalyze every guy’s motives, but they keep me grounded and never settling.  I’m grateful for broken hearts and the emotional growth they provoke.

Join me, this Thanksgiving, in recognizing how sacred life in general really, truly is.  Every part of it.  The ups, the downs, the twists and the turns have played a part in who you are and what you find pleasure in.  So go ahead, and give thanks for filling up on Aunt Deb’s famous stuffing and buttermilk taters.  Just remember, it is in what we make of everyday misfortunes that determines what makes it on our personal list of blessings.

Merry Thanksgiving.

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