Wednesday, November 22, 2006

el Día de Acción de Gracias

I have only spent one Thanksgiving in my life away from my family. It was 2002, and I was spending the fall after I graduated in Costa Rica studying Spanish and "interning" with a few non-profits (I say "interning" as I mostly just hung out with some incredible people and did what I could to help them out - my Spanish was still developing so I couldn't be all that effective!). I love the Spanish translation of Thanksgiving, "el Dia de Accion de Gracias" - or literally translated, "The day of giving thanks." In Costa Rica, instead of sitting down to a standard turkey meal, playing the world's best version of charades (as we do every year after dinner - it's called "God" and involves teams) and spending the next morning playing in our annual "Turkey Tournament" (the one time a year I play tennis), I went to a Chinese karaoke bar with friends and sang quite possibly the worst rendition of "More than words" ever heard in Latin America. Still, as I stood outside the bar and talked to my family back home and heard the laughter and joy in their voices before rejoining my new friends who had taken me in as one of their own in Costa Rica, I had a lot to be thankful for, and the holiday was not lost on me.

This year is no different. I will be traveling home and spending the holiday as I do every year - but my thankfulness meter is on high alert. It's been an incredible year, full of blessings and growth I could not expect.

The short list of things for which I am thankful:

1) My family - which has grown this year with the addition of Dexter, and which continues to be the number one blessing in my life. I cannot imagine having come from any other place into this world - they have formed who I am and they are still my most comfortable fit in this world.

2) My friends - for those who have come back into my life after years of being out of touch, for those who have been consistently by my side, for those that have shared incredible periods of their own growth with me and set an example I can only hope to emulate, for those who have given me better insight into who I am and strive to be, for those who have showed me that life is meant to be enjoyed, for those that remind me just how simple friendship can be. For those I have not even met in person but who grace me daily with their writing.

3) Surfing - you've heard it all before but I had no idea how great this could be! From the overcoming a fear factor, to the contact it provides with nature, to the way it makes my body feel afterwards, to the fun it provides by meeting up with a friend to take in a day at the beach.

4) Growth - I feel like I can barely count the ways with which I have grown this year - some as a result of heartache, some as a result of opportunity, some as a result of the patient prodding of those around me, some as a result of finally casting off doubts and insecurities, some as a result of the world being so much greater than I can understand and my sense that ultimately, God's in charge and I'm just along for the ride. Growing up is not so scary as it was - it's kind of exciting, and I know I am lucky to be doing so within the time and space that I am, and that there's a reason for it all...

5) Dreams - I feel like this list is simply repeating things I've been saying a lot lately - but I cannot understate the significance of learning to dream again. Not that I've ever stopped dreaming - but to be able to do so without immediately cutting myself off and coming up with a reason why said dream is not reasonable or is too impractical, greedy or no good. The world and the life experience feels so big right now in the best of ways.

So with that I'm off to head north. I wish you all a wonderful holiday (though all you Canadians have already celebrated yours I know). One last thing - my links have been updated to reflect the lovelies who visit daily and comment often - thank you all for your insights and thoughts, and for sharing even more on your own blogs. And - best news of all - Dan, formerly of The Daily Dump is back with a new blog. Aside from Jason Mulgrew and Dooce he's one of the only bloggers that can take credit for me laughing maniacally by myself in my office on any number of occasions.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list!
And great minds think alike - I did the same on mine.
Happy Thanksgiving Indigo!

11/22/2006 10:20 AM  
Blogger S'Mat said...

Happy Day of Giving Thanks, MI!
There should really be a You'reWelcome Day too, no?

11/23/2006 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy thanksgiving...I'm a regular reader because I so identify with how you feel ar rhis point in my life...I love that post about that guy from Israel...sounded like something that happened to me. Ah, I know it all too well, hang in there lady..and keep blogging!

11/24/2006 4:51 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Thanks all! Check out Cherry's list - it's a good one.

S'Mat - that would be, 'el dia de accion de bienvenidos' I think!

runnin_anne - thank you for reading and commenting! Glad you can identify with my so-called love life :)

11/24/2006 9:15 AM  

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