Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the fact that my family has these amazing traditions that only we celebrate because there is only one “us”: Everything from who we spend the holiday with to what we eat to the fact that we line up our games and movies way ahead of time. And every Friday after Thanksgiving there’s always an outing: We used to do Civil War battlefields when we were celebrating in West Virginia (I love my family but SNORE– except for the year that we got a personal tour of Gettysburg from the historian Gabor Borrit, who also happens to live in an 18th-century farmhouse on the edge of the battlefield– yeah, I have a cool family), but it could also be going into the closest city and sightseeing (one year we rented a van and went all over Boston together; the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, etc. and one year we explored beautiful Concord, MA). Some years we’ve gone to see the Hunger Games movies and other years we’ve taken hikes and learned about John Brown at Harpers Ferry or gone shopping out in Berkeley Springs.
I love the people who I choose to spend this holiday with, and I love the fact that there are no presents, it’s simply just about being together (and OK, maybe the turkey. And the stuffing. And the pineapple soufflé and the sweet potatoes. But I digress). My family really knows how to do it up—we gorge ourselves without guilt and then lie around and spend some time debating between playing games or watching movies (we usually do both, multiple times if we’re lucky. We are masters at Balderdash, Taboo, and Wits and Wagers. Well maybe not the last one. You mean people don’t eat 100 lbs of candy a year just themselves? That’s just us? Oh). And I love the gratitude that is in abundance and the fact that I don’t have to go to work for a few days and that SHL and I get some quality time together even though we’re with others (something about traveling together and staying in a hotel and just getting a change of scenery makes it feel special, somehow).
I’m so grateful for being forced to slow down and do a whole lot of nothing for a few days. I try to take gratitude with me wherever I go, but I enjoy the fact that this is “THANKS” “GIVING”—two great words. I’ve started my own tradition of donating to Feed America on behalf of myself and my whole Thanksgiving family at this time of year (I can’t stand the thought that some won’t have the comfort, joy and nourishment from food that we all do not just on T-giving, but every day).
And so, I encourage all of you to really be present with the festivities during Thanksgiving and try to translate them into the rest of your year (and your life). (I know that not everybody loves Thanksgiving and a lot of family stuff can arise, but even if you can just take this time of year to focus on what makes you feel joyful and at peace, that’s great).
I like to start my day with an intention and end it with loads of gratitude. Some days that’s harder than others. I just got over being sick for 2 + weeks with a cold and then strep and I was so frustrated and concerned for my immune system. Worse than that, there has been a lot of grief around my office lately with close family members of my colleagues passing away. And after what’s happened in Paris and what our world is facing, it can be tough sometimes to see the good. I’ve had days recently where I’ve felt really angry and sad and like the whole world is upside down. Today my intention was to just love myself and let myself be, even if I’m in a funky mood.
But my gratitude—that list is endless. I’m grateful for a family that wants to protect me, the comforts of home like heat and a cozy bed and the fact that I finally started to feel well enough again to make shortbread cookies for my loved ones (little things), and friends that enrich my life more than I ever thought was possible (big things). My relationships just continue to grow and deepen and as dark as the world can seem, people still continue to surprise me with their generosity and spirit. And in a crazy way, I’m also grateful not for the cancer of course, but for all that I have learned about myself since being re-diagnosed. And that is what I will focus on, as the world spins upside down…
So I ask you this my friends and family: What are you grateful for on this Thanksgiving? And what are you grateful for… Always?
Love ya Team Lozier and wishing each and every one of you a very special Thanksgiving filled with yummy turkey (or tofu), whatever your heart desires. May you give and may you be thankful. xoxo.