Thanksgiving: A Shift in Thought
By Mya Karmelowicz
Thanksgiving: a holiday where you can stuff your face, watch football, and nap all day long with your family. This comes along with common traditions such as involving the whole family in food preparation, having dishes with turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, and going around the dinner table saying what you’re thankful for.
Not only do people express their thanks around the table but it has become extremely popular to post photos and comments on social media as well. They will share who and what they are thankful for, often feeling the family and friend love a little extra that day. This is something that has begun to shift my thinking, because I have realized that it is rare for a family go around and say what they’re thankful for on any random day or post about all the people in their life meaning so much to them. I feel like this mind set is something we should carry in our everyday lives instead of just one day. We should always be expressing our gratitude and thanks to our loved ones.
In the past couple of years I have noticed how blind I have been to what goes on in the world, including many injustices, tragedies, and everyday hardships people face. I have been sheltered in a lot of ways, and even a little bit spoiled you could say. I lose sleep over small stressors in life, while I know others lie awake not even knowing their fate the next day or how they’re going to pay the bills for the month. This year, my dad had been diagnosed with cancer for the second time, and ever since then my mindset has changed. Even though I am sheltered from many of society’s problems, I will not always be sheltered from death or disease. I realized I don’t live in this protected bubble that my parents created for me. I can only be sheltered from so much. I didn’t know what my dad’s fate would be, and thankfully he is cancer free again.
My dad’s outlook on life has changed; every moment is precious, every moment is a moment to be thankful for because you never know when it could be your, or your loved ones last. He’s more vibrant and happy than I have ever seen him before and I find myself wanting to go home and spend time with my family rather than staying the weekend at college to party. Priorities shift when you realize everything you have to be grateful and thankful for. Everyday becomes a day to tell your loved ones you are thankful for them, and it doesn’t need to be blasted on social media (although it can be!) to tell everyone but just simply said to them. Write them more often when you can not be together, and cherish every moment you have.
It’s easy to just say you’re thankful for something, but to truly feel it and mean it is what is most important. Everyone has their own stories and struggles, but there is always something in life to cherish even if it’s being able to watch the sun rise each morning.