Friday, November 27, 2009
A Plateful of Gratitude
I believe that Thanksgiving Day should be celebrated everywhere.
What I like about it is that it pretty much forces you to step back and appreciate the things that are going quite well for you. In these fast-paced times of high-maintenance toddlers donning iPods and cellphones, we start to take simple conveniences for granted and constantly bitch about the small things that go wrong.
I admit that I belong to that group of formerly-idealistic gen-Xers who were out to change the world but- after being immersed in this cesspool called Life- were suddenly transformed into these hardened shells of our former selves, jaded and cynical. Nevertheless, once in a while I make a conscious effort to be appreciative of the blessings that have come my way. That is what makes Thanksgiving Day, in my opinion, so great. It’s because any day that makes people a little bit happier- a little bit more grateful to be alive, despite all the craziness in the world we live in- should definitely be celebrated. Nobody, I believe, should be exempt from it.
So, while I enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at Circles in Shangri-la Hotel Makati with Matt, I reflected on the things that are making my life awesome.
First, I am thankful for the year that passed. It was a long and crazy journey filled with tests, life lessons, major changes and adjustments. But then again, it was also a year of reunions, happiness, laughter and new beginnings. I have always been a firm believer that all things happen for a reason and I have learned to take every challenge that comes my way as a fortifying agent that strengthens my spirit. Bring it on, as they say. Therefore, I am thankful for all that passed, both good and bad.
After getting married and living away from home for the first time ever, I have become more appreciative of the good health and happiness of my family. I still see them regularly, of course, but it was a major change for me not to see them first thing when I wake up, to hear the animated chatter outside my room and I’m even beginning to miss the constant invasions of privacy (mostly by my mom). Now, I find myself thinking about them all the time and have even begun to worry about them occasionally, which is something I never did in the past. So, yes, I’m very happy that we are all thriving and happy, even if we now live 20 minutes away from each other.
I am grateful that love continues to grow in the new home that Matt and I are building together. I’m not talking about an actual structure, but that figurative safe-place where we can always find comfort, security and, above all, love. That adjustment period that everybody was talking about has been a pain in the neck, but we seem to be gracefully transitioning and things are getting better. We still have a long way to go, but I take it as a good sign that despite the new challenges we face together, we come out of it stronger and even happier to have each other.
Of course, what would life be without family and friends? I am thankful to be surrounded by good people who always want what is best for me and who usher me towards the right direction when I am beginning to lose focus. I have also been very lucky to have maintained my old friendships and continue to meet new people who are teaching me new things and adding excitement to my life. Aside from those that I see regularly, there are also my relatives and friends who live far, but have always kept in touch and are generous with their love and concern, even from a distance. Oh, and let’s not forget my new relatives from Matt’s side! I am really grateful that they truly are a wonderful family of good and genuine people. Honestly, I feel very, very lucky to have them in my life.
Finally, I am thankful to have found happiness and fulfillment in everything that I do. As a new wife, I am truly enjoying my new role and everything that comes with it. I never thought that I would find so much satisfaction in hearing Matt say, “OH MY GOD! Your Caldereta is THE BEST!” Aside from the bliss that I find in my culinary triumphs, I am also thankful for the happiness that writing continues to bring me, as well as the job that allows me the time to write and draws on my strengths as a creative and a multi-dimensional person.
Looking at this entry that I expected to be just a couple of paragraphs long, I cannot help but be thankful that I actually have so much to be grateful for. It’s good to know that when things are looking a bit grim, I have this list to remind me that God has been kind and that I should not dwell on the bad stuff.
All this, thanks to a plateful of turkey and stuffing.