Giving Gratitude From a Distance

Ah, Thanksgiving. A holiday to wind down from the daily stresses in one’s life to spend quality time with family and friends. It is also the time to get hyped with one another, catching up on the latest gossip, chowing down on good food, and overall just enjoying each other’s good company.

At least, this would be the definition of my type of get-together. Growing up in a large family, getting the time to meet with my cousins, aunts and grandparents has given me time to really immerse myself in the people whom I don’t see often, but cherish the moments in the time we do spend together regardless. 

However, this year’s Thanksgiving is going to look a whole lot different. I won’t be able to meet in person, take crazy, chaotic family photos, sing karaoke, and play games with each other. Luckily, we all live in a modern world in which technology connects people by a simple Zoom call. So, although we are apart, there are still many thanks I want to give to those who I won’t see this year.

First and foremost, I want to thank my immediate family, the ones with whom I have been in quarantine with this entire time. I am blessed to have been stuck with caring, loving people, despite all the times that we can bicker and be annoyed with each other’s presence. I know that many do not have a safe place to call home, so I am truly grateful for all the comfort and light-hearted laughs.

Next, I’d like to be thankful for my cousins my age, who have the time to answer my late night Zoom calls in times when I need extra motivation in studying or to get my mind off things. The ones I go to immediately in a family gathering, sharing secrets and playing jokes that leave us clenching to the sides of our stomach. With them, I still experience that same effect, even over video calls. Whether it be working on our homework in comfortable silence or competing with each other in online games, I’m so glad that we have one another as an outlet and resource for whatever, whenever.

Another would be the friends I have made in university and the friends that I still connect with in high school. You have made me feel that I am not alone in this pandemic, reaching out to me and making memories that I thought were only possible in person. As I reflect on this first semester in college, I believe that keeping our connections and making new ones gives us something to look forward to each time we tune in to our meeting calls. It keeps us grounded and excited for all the new things we plan on doing when it is finally safe to go out.

Lastly, I am thankful for making it to another year healthy and able. The events over the past few months have overwhelmed many of us and have changed our lives deeply. I believe that it is important to give ourselves grace during these times, acknowledging the privilege we have and taking the time to reflect on the lives we lead. 

Thanksgiving is not a holiday that everyone celebrates. Whatever place you are in your life this coming Thanksgiving, whether it be another typical day, a time to finally disconnect from your daily work or anything else, I give my gratitude and wish everyone a wonderful and safe day. Happy Thanksgiving!