Thanksgiving is a week away, and it feels like time has flown by.
It feels like just yesterday it was August, and I was nervously fretting about how I could possibly even try to run a newspaper. (Well, this is issue number 10, and I feel like I’ve done an average job.)
Right now, tensions are still running high in the week following the election. Some people are disappointed, angry, terrified and upset; others are excited, happy, glad and looking forward to the next four years.
I find myself in the middle, caught between being terrified and realizing I can’t change the outcome.
I’ve come to realize that I can show up for the people around me, and that’s a pretty important thing, regardless of which “side” I stand on.
At various times since the election, the future has seemed dismal, with hope hard to find. But there has to be some hope to find, otherwise, what are we all fighting for?
So to remind myself that there is hope to be found in this world and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve compiled a list of things that I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for my family. It’s cliché, I know. But they stand by my side and love me, regardless of the fact that our political opinions differ. We can still talk and enjoy each other’s company, and I feel safe there. Not to mention, their homemade food is delicious.
I’m thankful for my friends. We can have deep conversations about our different understandings of the Bible, or we can laugh through “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” because that movie is honestly hilarious. We can have a conversation about the harder things in life like grief and mental health, or we can go to Dairy Queen because ice cream really can solve a number of problems (unless you’re lactose intolerant).
I’m thankful for good books. They expand my horizon and often give me a perspective different than my own. A good book gives me an escape for a few hours because sometimes reality can be a real downer. It also helps me feel like a kid again (shoutout to the “Harry Potter” series), reminding me to keep my imagination and an open mind.
I’m thankful for laughter. In times such as these, laughter really is the best medicine. It is a constant reminder that there is good to be found in this world, even on those days when it feels like there isn’t.
I’m thankful for Christmas lights. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and you’re probably wondering why in the world I keep bringing up Christmas, but the Christmas lights that hang on my walls give my room a soft, warm, cozy feeling, for which I’m grateful.
I’m thankful for words. Words can make you feel deeply; they can make you think, cry, laugh or just smile with appreciation. This year I’ve been skeptical of words because it felt like everyone was just talking over each other. But at the end of the day, words have deep meaning, and we can’t forget that.
The election was only last week, and I don’t expect everyone to have processed it yet. If you’re looking for someone to talk with, I’d love to sit down with you over a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, regardless of who you voted for.
But for those of you feeling down about the election, I would encourage you not to stay in the darkness longer than you need to. Process what you will, but then turn around and work for what you think is right.
Make sure you ask yourself:
What are you thankful for? What’s worth fighting for?