Thanksgiving has always been my favorite day of the year. I get to engorge myself with the most delicious of foods, surround myself with my family and close friends, and enjoy a day without work or the stresses of my everyday life. It’s a perfect storm of enjoyment and a day I look forward to. But more than that, it’s a day where I am given the opportunity to take stock of what I have and acknowledge how thankful I am for it all.
I find that even though the holiday itself is called Thanksgiving, I don’t often take the time to actually give thanks. I’m usually too busy eating myself into a coma and watching my hometown Dallas Cowboys disappoint the entire city with another loss. So, if you’ll indulge me, I want to take the time and tell you what I’m thankful for this year.
This isn’t something to be taken for granted. As kid I thought tomorrow would always come and nothing would ever really change. The same people would be in my life and they would be the same as I always remembered them, no older, no different. Well, life taught me pretty quickly how wrong I was. Whether we want it to or not, the supporting cast of life is always changing, but I’m thankful that my supporting cast remained relatively unchanged this year, save for a few key additions.
Of course I’ve had family and friends go for various devastating reasons, but I’m thankful for the the opportunity to be sad about those things. I’ve come to learn that loving someone, regardless of the outcome, is something to be grateful for.
Growing up I always thought of failure as a bad thing - mostly because, if I got an F on a test or assignment, there would be hell to pay (no video games or TV was basically a death sentence). That fear of failure followed me through high school and college; I was afraid of failing so much that I basically took no risks or tried anything new and unfamiliar.
Since I graduated college, however, I’ve found myself much less risk-averse to the point where it almost seems like I go out of my way to find things I can potentially fail at.
What I’ve realized is that failure isn’t something to be fearful of, it’s something to be embraced. Without the prospect of failure, I’m less inclined to put forth my best work. It could be a workout, a conversation, or my profession, but if I’m not confronted with the possibility of failing, what drive do I have to work to avoid it?
I can’t properly verbalize how thankful I am for everyone in my life who has given me the opportunity to fail and try again and fail and try again and fail. Without the belief they’ve shown in me and the confidence they have in me I wouldn’t be the person I am, which would be a bummer.
I could go on forever about things I’m thankful for, but I’ll spare you. Instead, I want you to enjoy your Thanksgiving to the fullest. Try to go through and acknowledge the things you’re thankful for. Try to think about the little things that happen in your life that have brought you to where you are, even if they don’t seem like great things on the surface. You don’t have to verbally or publicly share them; you just have to think about them. After all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is really all about? Being thankful for the little things in life?
Until next time – Thank you.