#Gratitude: 2018 Has Been Difficult. Here's How I'm Staying Thankful.

This year has been hard on my family. In May, my Nana passed away. Shortly after, my grandmother passed away. This upcoming Thanksgiving, I know that we're going to feel their absence. Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for what we have, and I'm determined that this Thanksgiving is going to be a great one, and here's how.

 

1. Think about Others Before Myself.

I have a bad habit of turning something on its head and making it about me. I might still be processing my Nana's and Grandmother's passings, but I know my mom was hit the hardest after their deaths. My Nana actually passed away while my mom was having surgery, so my mom was in both extreme physical and emotional pain for months. Just when she seemed out of the woods, her own mother passed away. I can't fathom how difficult this year has been for her. Out of all the people I'm grateful for, my mom is my rock. Thanksgiving is about giving back and showing others you love them, so I'm going to try to focus more on my family and less on myself.

2. Unplug and Acknowledge. 

In this social media world, I'm constantly plugged in. Whether I'm watching random Youtube videos or movies, doing my homework, etc., I'm always on my phone or computer. Considering that I'm a college student too, I don't get a lot of breathing room to just take in everything and realize how privileged I am. This Thanksgiving break, I don't want to be on my laptop or my phone 24/7. Instead, I want to spend quality time with my family. I might have lost two family members this year, but I still have an amazing, supportive family. This year has taught me not to waste the time I have with my family, and I intend to make the most out of my break with mine.

3. Accept Changes.

I don't think I'm alone when I say I don't like changes. Even though I won't be making the customary phone calls to grandparents anymore, my Thanksgiving tradition is also changing with a new addition to our little family, my sister's girlfriend, Jaxeli. Jaxeli makes my sister so happy, and even though Thanksgiving will be different with Jaxeli, I know she'll be a bright light this Thanksgiving. Instead of comparing this Thanksgiving to others, I want to be in the moment and go with the flow.

 

This year has not been smooth sailing, but this Thanksgiving is a reminder of for what I have to be thankful. I've decided to not dwell on the bad of this year but focus on the good. I have a wonderful family, and I cannot wait to spend time with them this Thanksgiving.