i’ve got a quick break from the madness here at school, and i thought i should give pause to think about the good stuff in my life. today is thanksgiving, even though it doesn’t feel like it. i’ve been teaching a silly power point on it all morning. kids all laughed at the turkey and called it “big chicken.” they got excited to see pictures of hello kitty floating over the macy’s parade. i showed some old pictures of the pilgrims and native americans, and they all yelled “indians.” that’s about the extent of their understanding of thanksgiving.
i’ve been feeling pretty melancholy about it all week, not gonna lie. i usually do okay when it comes to the whole “homesickness” thing. i miss it, but i don’t dwell on it. i keep busy, i have fun, i try to have some perspective (this too, shall pass). but the holidays are the hardest for me, because we always have such great holidays back home. nothing can compare. here, there are no turkeys (or stuffing, or gravy, or cranberry sauce, or yams, or pumpkin pie…). there are no cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, or parents to be with. no glowing house filled to the brim with yellow lamps and homemade sweets and warm drinks and movies and loved ones.
okay, that’s enough. i was going to write this post to try and feel better, to conjure up some gratitude, not to pine for things so impossibly far away.
so, in the spirit of thanksgiving, i will hop on the bandwagon. here is what i am thankful for, especially this past year.
1. our waygookin friends. these guys are the best. they are our family while we are here. we’ll go over to adam and angie’s tonight to celebrate thanksgiving, and i’m really looking forward to it. i am amazed at how close and comfortable we’ve become with each other in just one year. i can’t quite picture what life will be like when we don’t live in the same city anymore (and i don’t want to picture it).
2. travel. the journeys of the last year have been great. the highlights of course being our time to travel to australia, and home to america (where we indulged in everything we missed). it’s fun to be so transient for a season.
3. health. seriously, this is huge, and i’ve realized how important it is as i live overseas, in a place where it is extra scary to have to go to the doctor, and it is extra frowned-upon to take a sick day.
4. skype & long distance phone calls. it helps me feel close to my family and friends. without these 2 miracles, i’d go crazy over here.
5. the 2% of my students who like me. who are sweet to me. who greet me, get excited to see me, try new english phrases on me. my job is miserable, but these kids are like a brief shelter from the ever-raging storm that is their classmates.
6. the future. the potential. i know we are never guaranteed that tomorrow will actually materialize, but if it does, i like hoping and dreaming about all the next steps. i look forward to so many little things, and i know i will be all the more grateful for them if/when they happen. after living here, i think i will treasure such simple gifts – driving a car, ordering a sandwich (a real, beautiful sandwich), not getting gawked at on an hourly basis, and having a warm bathroom being just a few examples.
7. david. my one and only. where do i begin? how can i even start to summarize all the amazing ways he’s kept me sane this past year? he cracks me up, he keeps me on my toes, he keeps things interesting, he lets me vent, he listens, he reminds me what’s important and what’s not. he makes great french press coffee (every morning!). he is so humble, so cool, and so easy to be around. i couldn’t, and wouldn’t do this without him.
8. korean grills. i can’t get over how awesome they are. and i love all the little sides!
9. a good run. always clears my mind and makes me feel better.
10. a good nap. does the same, and you don’t get all sweaty after.
11. a good book. it’s the quickest/cheapest getaway.
12. some good music. discovering new tunes always puts me in a better mood.
13. saturday mornings. and sunday afternoons. and, basically, every single moment of the weekend.
14. walking to/from work. clears my mind and readies me for the day ahead, or helps me to decompress and put behind the tough stuff on the walk home. and it’s good for the earth, to boot.
15. living in a big city. i always wanted to live somewhere bustling and metropolitan, and i am finally getting this checked off my list.
16. the support, encouragement, and love from family back home. i can not wait to spend next thanksgiving with you!
well, there it is. a little list that makes me feel a little bit better. happy thanksgiving!