Hi friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!

My family celebrated today, a day ahead of schedule, because of my mom’s work schedule. I did a lot of cooking and it all turned out well. Laughter and gratitude filled the air. All of the food and drink was delightful.

Maybe the best part about Thanksgiving this year was just the group of family that was there. I have a big, interesting family, and the details of the Thanksgiving meal (who’s hosting, who’s going, how large of a group… and there have also been years with multiple Thanksgiving events to go to) can really vary year-to-year. I’m lucky to say that my long-ago-divorced parents are still on friendly terms and in fact come together to share holiday meals. (!!!) So, the meal today was hosted by my maternal grandpa, and attended by my mom, dad, step-mom, step-dad, two brothers, both of my paternal grandparents, and me .

What a crowd! We were maybe an intimate group in actual size, and could fit at a large table together, but I say we were a crowd because we had that level of rowdiness that induces a pleasant sort of crowd-sense, the being-inside-a-group feeling. It’s relaxing, makes you want to sit back and crack jokes.

One interesting thing about Thanksgiving the day before Thanksgiving…. you can go out later that night if you want to! My dad, brothers and I went to get a casual drink tonight at my dad’s favorite local joint, and were a little surprised to see it packed full with what looked to be the home-for-the-holidays-from-school-or-what-have-you young crowd. We squeezed our way in to the back corner of the bar, ordered a beer, and people-watched.

I wasn’t really invested in this situation, wasn’t really dressed to be ‘out’, and am getting up early for a kind of intense mountain bike ride, so was mostly there just to go along with the group but not really trying to drink much. I’m more than a little bit impressed by my younger brother though, who became more and more energized as we stood in there, and decided to stay back by himself after the rest of us left to try to meet people. He was so confident and happy. It truly amazed me, and just really made me feel how held back I can be by my insecurities sometimes. How unlikely I would be to make the choice he did, to be at a bar by myself trying to make friends. But like anything, those things are muscles you can work, so… maybe I’ll give it some love and work at some point? I don’t know, it would be nice to have more social confidence, to be able to strike up conversations more easily, to become better at meeting people and making friends. Something to aspire to, I guess. Good job brother, thanks for the inspiration.

I’m super wiped out, so it’s bedtime for me. Truly, it is a wonderful day to practice gratitude. Gratitude is a ritual, maybe the primary ritual that I believe in attaching to our eating experience. Remember today to think for a moment about all the forces that harmonized to bring you the food in front of you. Think about the farmers, the soil, the sun, the bugs, the people driving trucks full of food, the people working at the place you bought the food, the people who spent time cooking things and setting things up, the people gathered around you spending their precious time with you, in this moment. It’s really so much, and life is always like that, giving us so so much… it’s easy to miss it. But practice gratitude, and gratitude grows. Life becomes more sacred. We slow down. It’s all good!!!

Thanks for reading!

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