Its hard to believe that its already the end of November and that Thanksgiving is this week! Ironically, the number of Christmas and other holiday related decorations and related festivities that have already made their appearance is astounding! One of our local DC radio stations went to all Christmas music 24/7 last week, yet we have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving! When Preston and I ran the Veteran’s Day 5K earlier this month, the town center where the race was held had already decorated its Christmas tree! And that’s just the beginning of it!
Despite what seems to be an earlier and earlier arrival of holiday related activities each year, I try to take a couple of moments around this time of year to think about what I’m most thankful for. With how commercialized the holidays have become, the real meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas is often overshadowed by the American public’s desire to stake out the best deals in order to secure the most sought after material possessions of the year.
Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving with my godmother and her family outside of Baltimore. We live less than a quarter mile from Target, and on our drive home as we passed the full Target parking lot all I could think about were the poor employees who were had been forced to cut their Thanksgiving gatherings short in order to staff a store for those who couldn’t wait until the next morning to start their shopping. When I first heard about Nordstrom and other stores taking an active stance against opening on Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but think “thank goodness!”
With how materialized our society has become, the real meaning of the holiday season is often lost. Thanksgiving and Christmas are about much more than camping out outside of Best Buy days in advance in order to get the latest and greatest electronic. Its about much more than piling presents under the Christmas tree. The holidays are supposed to be about giving thanks for what we do have and spending time with those we most care about, as well as celebrating one of the most important birthdays in the world – Jesus’!
As always, there’s so much that I’m thankful for this year! My top list of things I’ll be giving thanks for during Thursday’s festivities includes:
1. My health and my physical ability to run
I’ve always been an active person. Having danced starting at the age of four and making the decision to start running back in March, I’ve never been one who can easily sit still. I’m beyond thankful that I’m in good health and that my only physical obstacle to running is a weak ankle. There are so many people in this world that lack the ability to be as active as I am, and I cannot allow myself to take my abilities or health for granted.
2. My family, especially my parents
I wouldn’t be who I am without my family. Although we haven’t always seen eye to eye, they’ve always been there for me and supported every decision that I’ve made, including choosing to move hundreds of miles from home for college and making the choice to start running. I have to give a special shout out to my mom, whose handwritten notes and cards that she sends always bring a smile to my face whenever I see one sitting in my mailbox. My mom doesn’t text, touch computers, or even have the voice mail on her cell phone set up. Although we often joke around in our family about her not being technologically with it, her old school methods of communication have always touched my heart. She’s sent notes and cards to me ever since my freshman year of college, and I’m beyond grateful for the time that she takes to send them!
3. My first race medal from my first 10K
My Biggest Loser 10K medal means so much more than just being a a piece of race bling. This medal symbolizes the hard work, determination, and focus that I’ve put into my running since I started running back in March. This medal is a constant reminder of the fact that I can set goals for myself and push myself to accomplish anything. Up until eight months, I had no idea that I could set a running goal for myself and see to it that I do whatever necessary to accomplish it. But throughout this training process I’ve been able to prove to myself that I can conquer what I previously thought was impossible.
4. My network of running buddies that I’ve met through this blog and through Social Media
Although I’ve met none of these people in person, my fellow runners seem to know exactly what I need to hear when I’m feeling defeated by a bad running day. Reading their blogs and interacting with them on Facebook and Twitter pushes me that much more to do whatever is necessary to conquer my goals. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet some of these people at Marathon Weekend in January, particularly those that I’ve connected with through Team #runDisney.
5. My running partner in crime, aka my best friend, aka my husband
I don’t know where I’d be without Preston. He supports me in all that I set out to accomplish, running related and not, and I couldn’t ask for anything more in a husband. He knows exactly what to say when I’m facing a difficult run, and provides me with the necessary support to make it through all the challenges that I face, whether they are running related, work related, or anything else that I face in this life.
QOTD: What are you most thankful for?