Thanksgiving is not a holiday I typically get excited about. Normally we're away at a cyclo-cross race or I'm in the midst of packing my bags to get on a plane - so the holiday gets overlooked. But this year we're home and are able to take in the long weekend and holiday action.
Earlier last week my colleague from India asked me about Thanksgiving. I couldn't really explain the holiday to her. I think I summed it up with: people get together and eat a lot. That's it. I might have mumbled something about Christopher Colombus and North America.
Yes, I forgot and neglected the whole concept of being "thankful". Now I don't believe this is entirely my fault. I blame popular culture and the media. Most of the hoopla surrounding Thanksgiving is about the turkey, the pumpkin pie, and football. And if you were in the grocery store this weekend or even Wednesday or Thursday, you likely saw people with overfilled carts of copious amounts of food. So ya, food, seems to be the big deal about Thanksgiving.
But yesterday and today, I've started to feel a bit differently. Maybe it is because we didn't have a big Thanksgiving meal or do anything really special. We raced our bikes in Perth yesterday. Had a relaxing afternoon. Good night visiting Marc's parents, sister and brother-in-law and chilled out at home. Today has been equally good - some cooking, reading, running, cycling and generally just doing what we want to.
I didn't think much of this activit until I turned on CBC Radio this morning and listened to stories about people who go out of their way to help others, to make a difference in people's lives and to generally give of themselves. This is when the message of "thanks" sunk in.
I realized that even though I'm not doing what I "planned" and that life these days doesn't seem to be all that "fair" - I'm pretty darn lucky. No, I'm not going to Belgium this year - instead I'll be skiing and snowshoeing in the Gatineau Park. No, I'm not chasing UCI points racing all over Europe - instead I'm racing in the local Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Series. No, I'm not as fit as I once was - instead I'm having fun commuting to work, running, and doing yoga without concern for training plans and wattage numbers. No, I can't eat whatever I want - instead I have to follow a restrictive diet - but at least I can eat and I'm no longer going to the bathroom 30 times a day.
Sometimes it takes a while for these messages to sink in... The trick now is in remembering them and not losing sight of this bounty.