What does Thanksgiving mean to you? For me, it usually means Turkey dinner amongst family, pumpkin pie for desert and a food coma to follow. It means being well into the busiest time of the year, be it school, sports or professional work. It means Fall Fair season, with Ferris wheels, candy covered apples, chai lattes and farm animal shows. It means crisp mornings, cosy sweaters and cinnamon scented candles. It means leaves changing colours and the natural transition into another season. But mostly, it means giving thanks.

While 2020 has thrown the world for a loop – you know the whole global pandemic, political unrest, economic decline and social media wars, there are still many things to be grateful for. Being that it’s Thanksgiving and it’s written in the name, I think it’s a good time to muster some up. Especially being the tough year we’ve had. So let’s dive into some good. Change your focus, change your life right (or something cliché like that).

Here are 7 things that put a smile on my dial:

  1. Engagement

Perhaps the best part of 2020 was getting engaged to my partner of 8.5 years. I spent a romantic week away in the Amalfi Coast with Jack. We’ve both known for years that we wanted to get married, but we prioritised travel and life experiences before ‘settling down’. I’m thankful that my future will be spent with someone who shares my core values, who is driven and goal oriented, who has the biggest heart and who is so darn handsome.

2. Friendship

Planning a wedding is a catalyst for bringing attention to your friendships. Making a guest list is no easy task, especially when you’ve lived in Canada, Australia and the U.K. Admittedly, I wish our guest list could be twice the size, but due to capacity reasons, we’ve had to narrow it down. Being forced to reflect on the people in your life makes you really appreciate them – be it old friends or new friends. Basically, I have some epic humans in my life and I’m thankful for that.

3. Family

I’m thankful for having the opportunity to go home for 7 weeks while on furlough. It gave me a chance to spend some quality time in with my parents, sisters, brother in-laws’ and best of all, my niece and nephew. It also meant revisiting some of my own triggers – old triggers. Which I now see is actually quite important to experience and move through. I was checking back in with everyone and that matters. We aren’t perfect, but it’s family, so you carry on don’t you. Onwards and upwards!

4. Job

I’m thankful for my job. Being put on furlough for 4 months and having so much time off work, helped me see that I genuinely like it. I’ve spent a decade thinking that the 9-5-office job was something to escape. But really, it’s not all that bad. In fact, life is better when you have somewhere to be, someone who counts on you, and a team to collaborate with.

5. Movement

My Gym and Yoga Studio were closed for most of the year. While I’m not someone who does HIT training per say, I do have a fitness routine that I try to stick to, which involves a rotation between Gym and Bikram Yoga. Yes, I was doing some activity during lockdown, but it wasn’t near enough. You know the ‘Freshman15’ saying (gaining 15lbs in first year Uni) well mine was more like Covid15, which by way is totally fine. But I’m fully aware that I personally need someone pushing me, to get the most out of exercise. So, I am very thankful to be back in motion at the Gym / Yoga Studio.

6. Variety

Variety means having an assortment of things to choose from. It could be big, like choosing your University major or career path. But it could also be small, like whether you want Oat, Almond or Cow milk in your coffee. Do you want to take the tube, bus or walk?  Are you craving Pizza or Sushi? Do you feel like going to the bar or staying in? The point is, having a variety of things to choose from, gives you more freedom to do what you actually want. I’m thankful to be living in a city that offers a lot of variety, because variety helps prevent boredom and makes the choice that you made, feel like your own.

7. Food

Over the past 6 months and especially when bars and restaurants were closed, food prep was and still is, a common occurrence in my household. We’ve been buying recipe books left, right and center, making a variety of homemade dishes. I already enjoyed food and community before, but I’m thankful for having some extra time to slow down and put some more love and care into our wholesome, delicious meals.

Overall, I know things are strange at the moment, but it’s Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s still a good time to do an inventory check of the things you are grateful for. It doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the bad things, but more choosing to focus on the good.

So, Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

Thanks for reading.