When my family and I gather around the dining room table at Thanksgiving, there’s a ritual we always follow. Before we dig into the turkey, the ham and all of that stuffing, we join hands and in turn, everyone says what they’re thankful for.
I love the opportunity to be together, to give thanks and to say out loud what we are most appreciative of. It’s a tradition I insist upon, but I’m usually the only one around the table enjoying the ritual that apparently I’ve foisted on everyone else!
My nephew Adam Sherring generally tries to start eating in the hope of avoiding the joining of hands and giving thanks. My boys, now both adults, certainly aren’t enamoured with the tradition either. Over the years, there have been plenty of “dittos”, similar thanks – and when the Blue Jays make the playoffs, lots of spirited hope for their success!
I’m okay with all of it.
I’m also someone who loves New Year’s Eve, all birthdays, Hallowe’en and Christmas. Any chance to celebrate, to be together and remind ourselves how lucky we are is good with me. So on this Thanksgiving weekend, there are many things I’m thankful for.
For starters, I’m very thankful that a downsizing move I’ve just made this weekend is almost over. I’m in a new house, but I know it will become a home. It’s been years since I’ve had to move and this time, essentially moving on my own has been tough. But I’m so thankful for great and wonderful friends who’ve been there for me, cleaning my house (I’m a terrible housekeeper), offering their support and not looking the other way when I suddenly break down in tears at the enormity of the move. Neighbours who’ve turned into best friends have made the experience manageable.
I’m thankful for having tossed my name into the 2014 municipal election. Yes, I’d be happier if I’d won but I experienced something few get to. It’s an incredible feeling to have people you don’t even know campaign for you, to devote hours to help you win. Total strangers reached out to help and I’m proud to say that several are people I now call friends, including Helen McLaughlin and Carolyne Lynch – two women I didn’t even know before the campaign. I’m thankful for people like Sherry Franklin, Randy Hansen, Isabel Metcalfe and Patricia Pepper, strong, thoughtful women who devoted an inordinate amount of time to my campaign – and so many others – like Jay Tysick, a political animal who is always battling for what he believes – though notably I don’t always agree!
Speaking of which, I’m thankful for the Women’s March, where like-minded men and women gathered together in a common cause.
I’m thankful to have a family – Shirley, Kathy, Alice, Jim, Gary – that has rallied around me as I move on to the next stage of my life.
I’m incredibly thankful – especially now – that I live in Canada and Donald Trump isn’t the head of our country/!
I’m thankful that while I no longer work for the established media, I can write a blog and have so many people get involved and welcome me back to journalism.
I am grateful that through the course of my journalism career, I’ve developed strong friendships, though admittedly I’m still waiting for some of them to tweet out my blog! Jon Willing and Joanne Chianello – this isn’t a subtle hint!
Most of all of course, I’m thankful for my family, especially to my sons Pete and Jamie, now men, who still put up with me around the dining room table to give thanks to being together and being a family.