One week ago I celebrated my first thanksgiving. This is one of
the most important holidays in the US. Its roots go back to the time of the first settlers. It is said that the first Thanksgiving was a three day harvest fest in Massachusetts which the pilgrims held together with the native americans. But now this roots are not visible anymore. There is no deeper meaning to it. It is all just about the food. You come together with the whole family and you cook a huge meal. While you´re doing that, you watch stupid tv shows and drink plenty of alcohol. This is at least what we did. After France, thought I would never eat that much food again but I certainly did over this long weekend. The Thanksgiving meal is not just a one day thing but you´ll have leftovers for about a week. Even for me, who doesn´t eat the traditional turkey there were pletny of dishes on the table. We had four kinds of differnt vegetables, stuffing and the best dessert ever, homemade pumkin pie. What should I say, I just really love good food. Especally when I have it together with great friends and a glass of wine. I had a wonderful day
But even though the original meaning of Thanksgiving has been lost, it made me think about one important thing I learned. Thankfulness. As with so many other lessons, I understood that on my tree month pilgimage to Santaiago de Compostella. Being thankful is just one of the easiest ways to keep a positive attitude towards life. It is equally true, the glass is both half full and half empty. It is your desicion on what to focus. There are always clouds and there is always sun in your life. You either can get mad about the clouds or just enjoy the sun. When we practice thankfulness, even if it is only five minutes a day, we start to see how blessed we actually are. Why aren´t you thankful for your nice collegue but moan about your boring job instead? Why aren´t you happy that you have a computer, unlike many other people in this world, but complain that the wifi connection is so bad today? When I went back to school a few years ago I only had 250€ for a month. This is not a lot of money. But I decided to see it differently. I had a place to sleep and I never had to go hungry. Since those two basic needs are fullfilled I am already richer then a big part of humanity. So I decided to be thankfull for what I had and never felt bad about things I couldn´t afford. To remind me about that each day I give thanks every morning before I get up and every night before I close my eyes. I list to myself ten things for which I am gratetful each day. Often it is just that I slept well and that I am healthy. This does not require much effort but it really helps me to smile as often as I do. Life is, in the end, always what we make out of it.
Ten things I am thankful for today
- That I had the balls yesterday to sing Nothing Else Matters at the karaoke night
- The wonderfull new friends I have made here
- My friend Randy and his wife Janet who welcomed me in their home for weeks
- Writing! Writing!! Writing!!!
- Randys bike, which gives me a lot of independence
- The great food I eat every day
- My family who support me in what I am doing
- That I have the freedom to do whatever I want with my life
- My friends all over the world and that I have a home in which to stay on so many continents