My American friends and acquaintances are today celebrating Thanksgiving. I do not know a great deal about the origins of this national holiday but, from the little that I have read, some of the historical details are a bit suspect. By that I mean, as I understand it, some of the things that happened way back may not be the sort of things that should be celebrated. Nevertheless, it is now a long, holiday weekend with a tradition of spending time with family to give thanks for what each has. I like the idea of that.
I like the idea of stopping what we are doing for a little while and giving thanks. I am thankful for the good health that I and my family enjoy, for our comfortable home and for my husband’s ability and willingness to work hard and thereby provide us with all the essentials and a fair few luxuries as well. I am thankful for the love, care and consideration that I experience each day from those around me. I am also thankful for my friends.
I have given my friends quite a hard time over the past couple of years. As I have backed away from so much social contact, concentrating my efforts on my writing and on line presence, my friends have not been given the time and attention that they deserve. As I have struggled with my own inner demons, I have neglected the many friends who have been there for me. I am thankful that they have put up with how I have treated them, that they have made the effort to stay in touch and meet up on the terms that I can cope with.
I love the way it is possible to have minimal contact with old friends but then, when we do manage to get together, often after many years of not seeing each other in person, our enjoyment and conversation feels so natural, as if we did this all the time. I hope that these friends know how much I treasure them.
Newer friends have been willing to schedule in time for walks with me, even when their lives are so busy, thereby allowing me the one to one social contact that I can manage. If it weren’t for these people then I would be at risk of turning into a hermit. I am thankful that they have put up with my panics and imaginings, reassuring me that it is okay for me to work through this period of my life in whatever way I need.
And then there are the friends who have surprised me with the efforts they have made to help me out. I find it hard to ask for anything, I much prefer to give. These people have stepped in with practical help for specific problems without expecting anything in return. I am immeasurably grateful for their efforts on my behalf. I am thankful that we can be friends.
Although I am aware that many people feel uncomfortable with on line, social media, I have found it of great value in recent times. It has enabled me to, not just keep up some contact with those I know but do not often see; but also to reach out, share and learn from those who I would not otherwise have any contact with. It has enabled me to keep in touch with many I may not know well but would like to know better. I am thankful for these more distant friendships too.
I feel privileged to live amongst so many interesting people with their disparate lifestyles and views. I feel privileged that many count me amongst their friends.
The evening meal that I will prepare for my family later today will consist of our normal, midweek fare. My husband will come home after his long day at work, my children will have homework to deal with. Although on this side of the pond we will not be celebrating anything special, I will still give thanks.
My life is good because of the people I share it with.