While there is nothing traditional about this year, today is the day that we traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving–a holiday that is questionable to celebrate in the first place, due to it’s colonial roots and the massacre of Native Americans. That is a larger conversation that needs to be had within our society, but you can start at your own tables, too: recognizing the dark roots of this holiday and doing what you can to be mindful of this and to make amends. For example, you could start by donating to any number of Indigenous groups, like:
- First Nations COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
- Pick from this list of Indigenous Charities and Funds
That’s not the focus of my post today, but I also didn’t want to gloss over it and not acknowledge that Thanksgiving is a problematic holiday to celebrate to begin with. It’s become even more problematic during a pandemic that’s killed 260,00–two hundred and sixty thousand–Americans amongst 1.2 MILLION cases (source), as many still want to travel to visit loved ones, despite that increasing the risk of spreading this disease.
So, this year, my partner and I are staying home and cooking for ourselves, instead of visiting family, because that’s the right and moral thing to do. We’re going to do Zoom calls so we can still see them and we’re going to be lazy most of the day, to be honest. But, 2020 has been one helluva year. So, I just wanted to take a moment and list some things I’m particularly thankful for this year, because if any year, you need to pause and be thankful, it’s this one.
For my health: The fact I’ve been able to stay healthy throughout this year is something I am so incredibly grateful for and will continue to not take for granted, by wearing a mask when I leave the house, not leaving unless I must, washing my hands and continuing to practice social distancing.
For my job and the ability to work remotely safely: In a year where my partner was unemployed for most of the pandemic and our savings ran out, I am very thankful that I have been able to keep my job (both of my jobs, actually).
For activists: This year was already so much with the election and the pandemic, so having activists continuing to fight, to inform and to hope has been a bright light amongst all of the dark days. I’m excited to continue learning from those who advocate for Black lives, for Indigenous peoples, for the LGBTQIA+ community, for Muslims, for immigrants, for the Latinx and Asian communities; I’m excited to continue learning and fighting alongside you.
For my pets: This pandemic would have been a lot harder to survive (and continue to survive) mentally without my dog and our cats. You three are the best and I’m still trying to figure out a way to bring you to work with me when we go back into the office.
For my partner: Likewise, you have been there this year through my darkness moments and darkest days and contributed to some of my happiest. I love you.
For my family: Though we obviously haven’t gotten to see each other as much as I wanted, I am so thankful for my parents and my siblings. They’re the best in the world.
For video games, writing, reading and blogging: My mental health is directly related to how much time I’m able to spend pursuing these loves.
For my therapist: I am so thankful for every session we have and how you’re helping me conquer demons that have hunted me since I can remember.
For my friends: I am so grateful to have such a number of friends who I can trust and adore. I haven’t done nearly a good enough job staying in touch with all of you, but that doesn’t change how much I adore you, all the same.
For the Twitter blogging and writing fam: You know who you are. You make me feel less alone.
For physical therapy: After back problems continued to worsen, I’m thankful for physical therapy to help me find something that finally works–even if I had to stop, since I couldn’t afford it anymore.
For my editor: Your insight is going to help my book be even more amazing than it already is and I can never express my gratitude fully.
There is plenty more I am thankful for and I can’t explain it all. Despite this being a trashfire of a year, I am grateful for the many blessing that I have. They are so many and sometimes, you just need to sit back and recognize that.
So, thank you to all who help me live the life I lead. I hope to be worthy of it.