Isn’t it kind of crazy that one person can be the leader of an entire country? Just think about it. One single person, a person who has particular values and viewpoints, is the head of a place filled with over 300 million people? That’s nuts!
It makes you realize that, no matter how the election went, you are still you, and your values, beliefs, and priorities are likely the same.
The paradox of the election and Thanksgiving being in the same month tickles me. On the one hand, we have this event that highlights our differences, sparks debates and ignites political fires. On the other, we have a holiday that encourages us to be thankful for the tangible and intangible things we have, a holiday where we get together with friends and family, no matter their viewpoints, and celebrate being together.
I for one am very excited about Thanksgiving. It’s our second year preparing vegan dishes for both us and our family to enjoy, and our first year preparing vegan dishes for Matt’s family. I love cooking and am excited to get started on working out the details of our Thanksgiving feast. Plus, I like to eat. So there’s that.
I know it’s early, but the election has reminded me to rejoice in my life and reflect on what I’m thankful for. So here’s my top 10, the things I really enjoying enjoy having in my life and would be remiss to ever let go:
1. My Family – I have always had a supportive and encouraging family, and I’m lucky for that. Even if our viewpoints differ, we share the idea that love will always trump differences.
2. My Husband – You guys know, I could go on and on about Matt. He’s been a huge factor in encouraging me, loving me, and shaping me into the person I am today. Huge, positive changes were made in my life because of him. I’ll never be able to tell him how much he means to me, or how supported I feel being with him. I am one lucky lady.
3. My Values and Beliefs – I really enjoy having both a set of values that I feel strongly about, and the ability to change them over time. I feel strongly about certain issues, most of us do, and we should be thankful for that ability. I’m not the same person I was five years ago; my values and beliefs have changed. And I truly hope they continue to adapt as I get older.
4. My Body – This is one that many of us can feel downright sad about. We can look at our bodies and pick out all the things we don’t like. But what’s the point? I’ve learned to love the things that make me stand out physically. But what has really pushed me toward self-acceptance is working out and being strong. There’s nothing that makes you feel quite as good about your body as going for a ten-mile run or deadlifting 245 pounds. Seriously. Try it and tell me you don’t feel good about your body.
5. Our Kit Kats – They’re so cute! And they love us unconditionally. I enjoy coming home to their hunger induced mewing every day. If you don’t have a pet, you should consider inviting one into your life. Check out your local shelters and find someone looking for you as a forever home.
6. The Ability To Make Myself Heard – Having open access to the internet means I can easily get my voice out there. And while I may receive negative feedback, that doesn’t deter from the fact that I am perfectly in my right to tell people how I really feel.
7. The Right To Change – I can quit my job today. I can move to a different state. I can cut my hair. I have the chance to be a different person tomorrow than I am today. I live in the luxury of knowing that I can improve myself over time.
8. A Flexible Lifestyle – Negotiating for vacation days is something I will always do, as long as I’m working for someone else. Flexibility is very important to me, and I’m lucky that I not only feel strongly about having a flexible lifestyle, but I can implement these feelings in my life. I can essentially do what I want, when I want. And as someone who prefers autonomy, this is a great freedom.
9. Having Compassion – Not everyone has compassion, which I believe is deeply unsettling. I would consider myself to be on the more extreme side of compassionate; my heart plummets every time I see a dead animal on the highway. While this can sometime be tough, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It has inspired me to be who I am, to care for the causes I do. I’m a better person for it, and I’m thankful I put compassion first in my decisions.
10. A Viewpoint of A Self-Guided Life – Things don’t happen to me, I make things happen. I’m so thankful that I’ve learned that I am the one who drives my life, nobody else does. If something bad happens, I have every ability to pick up and move on. If you’ve been beating yourself down over the years over what other have done to you or circumstances in your life, try taking a different viewpoint. What can you do today to affect positive change in your life? I bet there’s at least one thing. And when you change it, you’ll feel completely empowered to improve other parts of your life.
Take the time today to think about what you are thankful for. And spread the word of thanks and love. Not to get too philosophical on you but, if you really think about what the heck our lives are meant for, can you think of nothing greater than to love others?