Why We Give Thanks
In a few days, our American friends will be observing Thanksgiving Day. We here in Canada had our turkey and stuffing back in October. Why such close neighbours and cousins chose to observe Thanksgiving almost a month apart I honestly do not know but if you really are curious, Google is sure to have an answer.
I am neither a native of the United States or Canada. My migration to North America was years in the making but finally happened in 2002 when my family and I relocated from the warm shores of Jamaica to the land of the big skies – Alberta, Canada.
Celebrating Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day either in October or November is not one that Jamaica observes. Although we were very much aware of the special activities that North Americans have to mark the day, we did not share in it. Maybe that is why I did not have an appreciation for turkey, as it is not the preferred poultry on my island home. Last year, for the first time in my life, I made my first turkey Thanksgiving dinner. It was a long process as I followed a method and recipe that was supposed to make the bird tender and tasty. That will be the stuff of another post should we decide one day to do a cooking article. The long and short of it, however, is that maybe I needed to have kept the bird in the brine for longer.
Many of the blogs across the Internet – at least the ones that I read – have published pieces dedicated to Thanksgiving Day preparations, recipes and activities. Some have also been sharing more heartfelt inspirational posts about the people and things we all could be grateful for and how they will express this gratitude come Thanksgiving Day. It truly has been great reading these posts, so much so that we decided to dedicate this week’s posts to our own brand of Thanksgiving.
Alexis Ali and Robert Turner, two of our Contributors are expected to share their thoughts about Thanksgiving this week. With today being Motivational Monday across social media, I am sharing my thoughts not necessarily on Thanksgiving but on the broader matter of being grateful. This is something we have done before in several posts over the last few months. We shared:
- Enough: Is There In Your World
- It’s No Secret: You Can Change Your Life Story With Gratitude
- How To Use Your Gift And Thrive Wherever You Are
- Tap Into Your Gratefulness Force In 3 Steps
Whether it was directly addressing the topic of thanksgiving and being grateful or merely suggesting it, all these posts made the point that giving thanks is a key element of living a great life.
Thankful Versus Grateful
Some months ago, I shared that my vision has been compromised by years of denial about my medical health. While I am more mindful today about my choices when it comes to food and my overall well being, my eyesight needs correcting. As a professional whose job requires her to be at a computer all day and as a blogger who eke out more time than an average person to be writing on either her smart phone, Tablet or laptop – not having full use of my eyes is a major challenge. My eye surgeries were scheduled for April of next year but after a call to the surgeon’s office to say I am rapidly losing sight, I was recently given the first cancellation that came up after my call.
On Tuesday, November 24 I will undergo surgery on my right eye, then two weeks after that the left will be operated on. Sitting at home earlier this morning thinking about Thanksgiving Day that my US friends will be celebrating shortly, exchanging messages with Contributors about their articles to cover my reduced ability to write and edit over the next two weeks and trying to remain completely calm about the surgical procedures, I thought – “What are you absolutely thankful and grateful for, Claudette?”
Clara Brown, one of our Contributors, wrote about her understanding of the difference between thankfulness and gratitude on my former blog home. I will be republishing that here later this week. I have my take on this difference. Before demonstrating it, let me say that whether one prefers thanksgiving or gratitude you are right on track to experiencing a life like no other.
Here is my understanding:
I am thankful for the food, shelter and clothing that my late and estranged mother gave to me.
I am grateful for the lessons learned through years of neglect and absence of a mother’s love.
I am thankful for all the things that I have possessed over the years.
I am grateful for their loss as it taught me the joy of simplicity.
I am thankful for the opportunities given to me by employers and sponsors over my professional life.
I am grateful for the moments of challenge through which I grew and continue to grow into the manager that I am today.
I am thankful for the time lovers and marriage partners shared with me.
I am grateful for the strength they helped me to gain.
I am thankful for the friends who came alongside me, supporting and giving me comfort when I was down.
I am grateful for their examples of how to be in the world.
Happy Thanksgiving Day USA
That to me is the difference in being thankful and grateful. Two sides of the one coin. This Thanksgiving Day and everyday in fact, are opportunities to be thankful for what is given to you. How you live it out is your expression of gratefulness.
So, please subscribe and receive a daily email update of our posts. You will want to read them all especially this week. Do share with us what you are thankful for and how you are being grateful for them as we go through this Thanksgiving week.
Have you download my E-book as yet? Wait no longer as the year is fast coming to a close and we do want to end it on the best foot ever. Download it here and please, share it with a friend who might find it useful as well.