Thanksgiving - a day set aside to shamelessly eat and drink to your heart’s content, tolerate your extended family’s political views, and continue to ignore the dark, historical connotations that the holiday represents. Don’t worry, you’re not on Buzzfeed. We won’t get too deep into that.
Even overlooking the tradition of pretending that early Americans and Native Americans were buddies that enjoyed hosting potlucks together, there is something fundamentally flawed about the holiday. The family part is great. There should be a few times a year where everyone can get together. The “being thankful” part is what really bugs me.
There shouldn’t need to be a holiday to remind people to be grateful for what they have. This should be an everyday thing. It doesn’t need to be a prayer or a mantra; just a simple acknowledgement of the positive things in your life, whether it be wealth, health, or loved ones.
It’s been a bittersweet year. Kate and I got married, but we’re still not able to live together. I started freelancing full-time, but I am fighting for every penny I earn. It’s been so great to see my family after being abroad for so long, but it is stiflingly boring in my hometown compared to China. I’ll stop there because I’m getting away from the main point of this ramble.
For every gripe I have, there are twice as many things that I should be grateful for. Kate and I are still apart, but I am very grateful for the spectacular wedding we had earlier this year, or that I even found someone so perfect that it tests my disbelief in fate. Freelancing is hard as fuck, but I make my own hours and I get to work from home. My hometown is boring, but at least I don’t have to wear a pollution mask when I go outside or worry about going blind from fake booze.
This is a short one and the idea is simple: be grateful. Not just one day out of the year, but every day you’re able to wake up and get out of bed. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but it has the power to snap you back from the brink of a bad day. Thank about it as having solar panels for happiness and the sun is not living in a war-torn, famine-ravaged country or dying from an incurable alien illness from outer space.
As the holidays get closer, I will be very busy trying to obtain my Chinese visa, for which the rules have changed completely. Expect an updated how-to post on that (if I’m successful). I will also be hustling hard for new accounts before I leave the country, so I will be taking a break from the blog until the New Year. Until then, cheers! Happy Holidays!