Although Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on Columbus Day, and although Pilgrims, tea parties and vigourous independence didn't really figure in Canadian history, Canadian children of my generation were required to compose essays of Thanksgiving every year in public school. Thematically, this often got old pretty quickly because, with some exceptions, Canadian history is often kind of bleak. During settlement times, in much of the country for much of the year it often seemed to me that there was precious little to be thankful for.
For those who are interested, pioneer author Susanna Moodie's book "Roughing it in the Bush" makes an excellent case for just how tough life was in my part of Ontario in the early 1800's. Given that my family emigrated shortly before this book was written, and given that they stayed, and, evidently, prospered, gives me a lot of respect for their mental and physical health and stamina. Compared to most people today I work pretty hard at an unending and very physical occupation. In spite of that, I very quickly came to the conclusion that our pioneers were an awful lot tougher than me ! That these folks could find things to be thankful for in spite of their often intolerable living conditions leaves me in slack jawed amazement.
Fast forward two centuries and relative to our pioneers, my list of things to be thankful for is literally endless. However, like most Americans, more often than not I'm guilty of finding things to bitch about rather than spending any of my time looking for things to be thankful for. Rather than further testing your patience, dear reader, by making you read through my endlessly mundane list, I'd encourage you to take a few moments to discard the mistrustful detritus that clogs the arteries of your brain and think thankful thoughts about the many good things that have come your way, often, I daresay, in spite of yourself.
If, despite of my good thoughts, you still find yourself struggling with this concept, take heart....you are not alone.
In spite of my meditative mood and generally happy demeanor while thinking positive and thankful thoughts, earlier today I found myself fervently wishing for a pair of machine guns mounted on the hood of my truck so that I could take out the slow SOB in a big black sedan who was happily tooling along at 45 in the fast lane on the interstate while slowly accumulating a mile long train of traffic behind him.
Given the looks on some of my fellow motorist's faces, I'd say I wasn't alone in my thoughts. I take heart in that. If you can't be thankful, aim for frustrated and see where it takes you. It's been pretty good to me !
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. :)
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