Thanksgiving Day, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Even if you don’t live in the United States where Thanksgiving is a national holiday, having a specific day on which to take time to stop and be thankful is something you can still add to your own traditions.

I’ve started this blog post 3 times, after trashing my first 2 attempts. In March, I made a decision to take a sabbatical from all ‘official’ holidays in 2021. Which isn’t entirely true, I guess. I took a sabbatical from all of the preparations around those holidays that seem to center around food and/or gifts. I felt like I needed to reconnect with what the meaning of each holiday was, not what tangible things were associated with them.

A few years ago, a social media site friend started something where, from November 1st through Thanksgiving Day, we listed one reason daily for which we were thankful. If you ever watched the movie “Miss Congeniality”, you know that, sooner or later, everyone wanted “world peace”; and when those participating couldn’t think of an answer, they just read the posts of others and borrowed one, changing a couple of words.

As those posts came up in my history, I read my answers, surprising myself that I had some good and probably unique answers among mine! But I’m pretty sure I had some “world peace” answers as well, because we all tend to be grateful for certain things.

I don’t know if I could find 25 different things to say I’m thankful for without becoming passe and boring. But I’m going to try and come up with my top five here.

#1. I am truly thankful for our service men and women have had and who are, giving up being with loved ones on holidays in order to be out in the world maintaining our rights and freedoms. While we should be thanking those people each and every day, this year gave me the opportunity to be more reflective on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Patriots Day and Veterans’ Day and the history behind those holidays. I didn’t need a cook-out with friends; in fact, I enjoyed those holidays much more because I gave reference to their true meaning.

#2. I am always thankful that I know and have a lot of positive people in my life who bring me joy in sharing a part of their lives with me. Some are acquaintances, some are friends, falling in categories from casual friends to good friends. And then, there are those great friends and best friends, people who support me and acknowledge me in good times and bad, and who never judge me for what I think, what I feel, what I do.

#3. Though I’ve recently learned that my landlord is someone who will lie in order to ‘cover his butt’, I am still thankful to have a livable apartment, although, the longer I live here, the more I wish I didn’t.

#4. I’m thankful to have savings I can use to replace my beloved car, even though I don’t like taking a chunk from them. And I’m certainly thankful that I have several months in which to find something I’ll be happy with rather than have to settle for something. No doubt, it will be the last car I ever purchase (unless my car is in an accident and doesn’t survive) and even though I only put between 1500 and 2500 on it a year in miles, I don’t want to drive something I’m not happy with.

#5. I am over-the-moon thankful that I have an amazing brother and that we have the relationship that we have. He (and my bestie) gives me advice whenever I ask and sometimes, even when I don’t specifically ask! When he sees that my thinking might be somewhat skewed, he’s willing to suggest the “what if” questions to help me look at something in a different way. The innate trust we’ve been able to build between us is something I know other people don’t have with siblings, and I try never to take it for granted.

My life, when I look at those things, helps put into perspective how much I do have to be thankful for. And so today, when I make a sort of “compact turkey dinner for one”, I will remind myself that, while I am a long way from having everything I want, I DO have everything I need!

Take some time to reflect on the many things you have for which to be grateful, and carry them in your heart every day.

MIXER – My new online family

Although I still think I’m an introvert, the anonymity of the online world has helped me be a little more open. I’ve told other people in my life that writing a blog allows me to be much more vulnerable and honest about myself because I can’t see the faces of my readers and try to guess what they’re thinking of me.

I also have an addictive personality – a controlled one but addictive nonetheless. I’m not addicted to things illegal and/or immoral, somewhat because of my values and somewhat because of my fears. I don’t gamble because I can’t stop once I start. I don’t do drugs out of fear of becoming hooked as well as the need to have control over my surroundings and be conscious of them. Coffee and nicotine are my ‘legal’ addictions.

Having said those things, it’s not really such a wonder that I enjoy encounters and conversations on social media. Sharing giggles/laughter, sharing common values, sharing warm, fuzzy feelings with others creates a bond, even though it has to cross through cyber space.

A few months ago, my ‘nephew’ (the son of my ‘sista from another mista’) started streaming games on Twitch. In order to support him, I became a viewer when he was streaming. Later, he tried out another platform, Mixer. Of course, I followed him there as well.

I started browsing other streamers and discovered that I enjoyed the Mixer platform much better – the viewers in the room watching seemed more friendly, the streamers paid more attention to the viewers’ chat, and Mixer allowed you to earn “sparks” for watching and chatting. Both platforms are free to watch, but why not follow the one that ‘pays you back’?

Other bloggers who read this will understand the sense of community that can form from online associations. We, the bloggers, feel a sense of that community in the way we support and encourage each other. Well, Mixer also gives that same kind of opportunity to build a community as you meet to support and encourage the streamers.

I am, with 99% certainty, the oldest member of the community I’m part of. We don’t discuss ages other than some streamers sharing their ages in their bios. Oddly enough, and enchanting as can be, is the fact that I don’t feel my age when I’m hanging out with these people. I’ve been aware that I sometimes keep my fingers still when I think of something that would certainly “date me” among this crowd. I’ve become like an adopted mom to some of these folks (little do they know that I could, quite possibly, be a grandma to some of them!)

Recently, I mentioned my blog in the chat and a couple of people came here to see what it was all about. I was flattered when some positive comments came back to me in the chat about what they’d read. More recently, my blog has been mentioned and, as a result of that, I’ve picked up a handful of new followers to this blog. To say that I was stunned would be an understatement! All of that love and support tossed upon me – in rapid haste, I might add – was overwhelming!

To my Mixer family – and you know who you are – I love each and every one of you! Unless you take upon the undaunting task of reading all of my past blogs, you will never know the ways that being a part of your world gives me so much joy and constantly lifts my spirits. You are all GOATS to me! And to my blogging family – your support and encouragement help me stay focused on sharing my thoughts in written form.

I couldn’t ask my life to be in a better place – thanks to all of you! I feel truly blessed!