It is the day before Thanksgiving as I write this. 2014 has been a tough year. It started out great – bonding with the family dog during an extended winter break, returning last January to my job in Mexico City with eager new students, and enjoying a day trip with a good friend to the former spa town of Tequisquiapan. But I was living in Mexico on borrowed time, and just as I had finally expanded my local friend circle to a satisfying degree, the time came for me to return.
I have spent much of the time since then in a sort of daze. Although I’ve enjoyed scoping out my new surroundings in Eastern Tennessee, I can’t help but feel that I’m not living up to my full potential…whatever that may be. That being said, I know that 2015 will be a better year, and I’m going to do my best to find direction and stability in my life and to take on a more positive general attitude…as of this moment. For starters, I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with my parents for the first time since 1999. I can taste the cranberries already!
Continuing with the theme of being positive, I wanted to write something uplifting about the holiday. My life may have taken some strange, unexpected turns that I never would have predicted in a million lifetimes, but I still have much to be thankful for. Here are just a few things, in no particular order:
- I am thankful for turkey dinner with all the fixins.’
- I am thankful for having parents who are healthy and still married after 45 years.
- I am thankful for having Molly the Dog in my life – she’s “just a dog,” as some might say, yet she makes me incredibly happy.
- I am thankful that my sister’s health is improving.
- I am thankful for Kettle-brand salt and fresh ground pepper-flavored popcorn. It’s a real thing!
- I am thankful for my Stephen King book collection.
- I am thankful for this blog, which gives me free reign to channel my thoughts about a vast potpourri of subjects.
- I am thankful that my back isn’t hurting as much as it was just one month ago.
- I am thankful for travels near and far. I have a lifetime of memories and several hard drives’ worth of photos.
- I am thankful for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
- I am thankful for Bill Bryson’s wonderful book “A Walk in the Woods.”
- I am thankful for Scala & Kolacny Brothers, who have turned some of my favorite songs into…some of my favorite songs.
- I am thankful for the Great Smoky Mountains.
- I am thankful for Cheerwine, a fizzy, black cherry soda-meets-Dr. Pepper concoction from the Carolinas, jam-packed with high fructose corn syrup. Something of a guilty pleasure, what can I say?
- I am thankful for llamas.
- I am thankful that the “jeggings” fashion craze has finally waned.
- I am thankful for (almost) every moment in Mexico City. While I am a different person because of the time I spent there, I’m a better person, too.
- I am thankful for second chances.
- I am thankful for everyone who helped me this year. Whether it was another set of hands to help pack my belongings for transport cross-country; whether it was a quick emergency loan; whether it was just a couch to crash on for a night or two (or three); I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without your help. You know who are…and I thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving, Loyal Reader. Feliz Día de Gracias.