Give Thanks

I cannot believe it is already Thanksgiving. Soon, it will be Christmas, and then, a whole New Year.

This post is not about biking, running, nursing, or swimming, although those activities may peak through.

It’s about thanksgiving, and being thankful.

This past year, or most of ’09 and ’10, were a couple of the most grueling years of my life–both physically and emotionally. It seemed as if one thing after another happened; feelings of being overwhelmed and as if I was never getting “a break.” I constantly found myself thinking, “Okay, God, give it to me, I can take it. What’s one more thing added to my plate going to do?” I felt like I was going to crack at any moment.

But I’ve learned over the years, without struggles, without pain, without tears– you cannot grow as an individual. If you make no mistakes, there’s no room for improvement. Making no wrong turns gives you no elbow room for right turns.

And, for that, I’m thankful. (In the midst of it, maybe I wasn’t.) I’m a stronger person now than I was a year ago.

I’m thankful I was able to spend my grandmother’s last days by her side, even if at the time I was jobless and physically worn down, unable to finish a 30minute jog without feeling out of breath.

I’m thankful for the job I have now–my wonderful coworkers–who have turned into friends and teachers.

I’m thankful for my family here, and overseas. I don’t know what I would have done without their unfailing love, guidance, and wisdom. Phone calls at 0200, teary eyed over life. Hour long talks over tea in the kitchen on 51 S. Chestnut Street in New Paltz. I’m thankful for being given the opportunity to spend more time with a cousin I never really knew growing up, who now has become the brother I never had.

My family is far from being a perfect family, but I know they’ll always be there.

I’m thankful for my wonderful friends who I’ve met along my journey–their advice on issues that only friends can give, their spare moments to listen to me ramble on about nothing. I’m thankful for  Thea’s birthday dinner, flowers from friends. I’m thankful for five hour long hikes, and friends not having either allergic reactions to or dying from the energybar I’m giving them for their hypoglycemic attacks. I’m thankful for all hikes, runs, rides, nights out.

I’m thankful that my friends can come to me for anything, at any time, and know I’m there for them, willing to listen and help as much as I can.

I’m thankful for my health. That I can breathe in the sweet, crisp autumn air, hear the leaves rustling in the wind, smell wood burning from fireplaces, feel the jagged edges of rocks when climbing. I’m thankful that I have the ability to run  and ride again, and now swim.

And I’m thankful for the little things:

  • the guys at the shop who fixed my tire and spent time teaching me how to use clip in pedals
  • my crazy cat who picks fights with her reflection in the window
  • State Troopers and friendly Dutchess County Sheriffs who are there to help when bad things go awry on rides
  • an elderly man who helped me find my car in the dark, packed, Walmart parking lot (yes, I once lost my car)
  • a friend, willing to help put up lights around my house.

This holiday today isn’t just about the turkey and trimmings, like Christmas is not simply about the gifts.  It’s about being thankful for what you have in your life,  and where you are right now.  It’s about family, friends. It’s about how far you’ve come, and how much there is in store for you in the future.

What are you thankful for this season?

I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving!

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