The historic "first Thanksgiving" – you know the one that schoolchildren across the country have re-enacted on gymnasium stages for decades if not centuries – people were grateful just to have enough food to eat so they wouldn't die of starvation over the winter.
The past few years have been some of the most overall difficult in my lifetime. I say overall difficult because, like many others, I've had time periods that were personally far worse than this. Like the two-year span when I lost my dad, my job, my house, my car, and then my children's father? That really sucked indescribably.
But as far as overall mental health crises, grief, financial problems, stress, dystopian laws, rage, crime, and a change to our way of life, these past few years take the American cake for my lifetime.
So what the hell are we so thankful about right now?
I'm glad you asked.
Gratitude will get you through a lot.
Just as our long-ago Puritan ancestors were grateful for some corn and pumpkin and their new neighbors who showed them the fruits of this land (before all-out slaughter occurred, but that's outside the scope of this article), we too have small, humble blessings which we must not overlook.
Perhaps you're having chicken instead of turkey this year, visiting a soup kitchen for your meal, cobbling together a feast based on what you have on hand, or just having a burger. It could be that you're all alone and missing your family and a video call is a cold comfort when you just want a hug from the people you love. You may have downgraded your living accommodations due to our economic crisis, or you could be packing up to do just that, or hosting your last Thanksgiving in a home where you raised your children and lived the story of your life.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that some people have it worse. You already know that and it surely does not make your situation any better. Life isn't a game of, "Well at least things aren't as bad as they are for Hildebrand next door." (And if that IS your life, you need to re-prioritize, ASAP.)