Yep yep.. it’s a cliche Thanksgiving post.
Don’t stop reading yet, though! It might actually be good!
Maybe.. I mean.. I’m not making any promises. You’ll have to decide for yourself.
There’s a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t like Thanksgiving.
For one thing, on my fathers side, I’m of Native American descent. A lot of people see Thanksgiving as a slap in the face to Natives. Here let’s celebrate a day when, after the Indians had taught the settlers how to survive here in their land, the pilgrims shared a meal with them… and then eventually stole their land and brought on eventual genocide. In fact, some Natives don’t even like being called “Native American” because it implies that they are natives of “America”..when this, in their eyes, was never “America” to begin with. Some prefer to be called “Indian”, because it’s easier, I think. Even though they’re not “Indian” either. And of course, you could always just call us by our names…
Aside from that, I’m vegan!
Why would I want to celebrate a day that we Americans refer to as “Turkey Day!” ? HOW would I celebrate without TURKEY?!
Well, let me just tell you. I love Thanksgiving. No, I don’t eat Turkey on Thanksgiving. No, I don’t particularly enjoy the misrepresentation of Native people. But that’s not what I celebrate on Thanksgiving.
It’s called THANKS… GIVING… Giving thanks.. Appreciating everything we have. There is a stellar article, written by Jacqueline Keeler of the Dineh Nation, that really hits the nail on the head. I won’t repeat it, so you can read it HERE.
Maybe later we’ll talk more on the native stuff.
As for the vegan in me, well I find Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to share some really AMAZING vegan recipes with my family… like the pumpkin pie I made that my brother, who is a non-vegan pumpkin pie loving fool, says is the BEST pumpkin pie he’s ever tasted. 🙂
But I really didn’t want to go on about that stuff in this blog.. I wanted to talk about how hard it is sometimes to be thankful.
Life is hard.
No matter where you are in your life, I am pretty certain that you’re struggling in one way or another.
Sometimes it seems like a never ending battle.. You accomplish one thing, but your struggling somewhere else… and you think “When?! WHEN will I have it all together?! WHEN will life slow down and get.. easier? Why can’t I catch a break?”
For me, that’s like.. almost every day. hah!
But then I have to remember… it has gotten easier… I have seen worse days… there are people who are struggling so. much. more. than I am.
Should I be thankful for that? How can we be thankful that our lives are better or easier than someone elses? That seems so.. selfish.
But then, what if things aren’t better? What if right now is the worst time of your life? You’ve reached an all new low? You’re sick.. you’re angry… you’re desperate… How the hell are you supposed to be thankful for that?
How are you supposed to be thankful when you have no food to put on the table? No warmth. No friends. No family. No job. What is there to be thankful for?
I posted an excerpt a few months back from one of my favorite books that I’m going to reference here again.. because it’s amazing. Whenever I start to get really frustrated with my life.. I think about the things that this woman wrote. The things that this woman experienced. And the beautiful and amazing thing is that she never lost faith… Betsie ten Boom, I mean. Corrie’s waivered, I believe… but her sister, Betsie… she kept the light on for her. If you didn’t catch that excerpt, take a moment to read it HEEERE…
The fact that.. in the middle of a concentration camp.. after losing your family and being in mortal danger every single moment.. these women still found things to be thankful for.. Well, it really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
And so I’m overwhelmed.. I look past my shortcomings and what I’m missing.. where I am in life and where I wish I was… and I smile. Because I’m thankful.
God bless you.
And have an awesome Thanksgiving 🙂