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Being thankful is important in good times and bad times

It has been a challenging couple of months. I sometimes feel that if I’m given one more obstacle or ball to juggle, everything is going to just crash down around me. The reason that I’m writing this is in spite of the obstacles I’ve been given, I have also been given the opportunity to learn about myself.

It has been interesting hearing words or actions be misinterpreted. It’s allowed me a place to step back and focus on goals, not gossip. It has been a time of power outages, work snafus, septic line replacements, political conflicts, child and eldercare. Nestled between the layers of stress are the spaces for being thankful.

I understand the original story of Pilgrims and the Wampanoag meeting over a harvest meal and the joining of cultures that has been fed to us along with the side dishes and pie. It seems so idyllic. The other side of the narrative is those Native American cultures observing Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning. One celebrates peace between cultures while the other recognizes the long, bloody conflict between Native Americans and European settlers. I want to work on peace.

In October 1863, two years before the end of the Civil War, President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation dedicated the last Thursday in November as a day to celebrate the victories of the ongoing Civil War. “In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved…” One month later he would stand and deliver his “Gettysburg Address.”

As humans, we tend to repeat mistakes over and over. We can always look back and blame because there is justification in setting that blame. We can focus on miscommunications, but that won’t help us move into the future. It just causes us to remain stagnant, constantly trying to place fault for past regressions.

When I sit down with family and friends for Thanksgiving, I hope to reflect on a place of finding those layers of thankfulness. I wish you all a day of peace and thanksgiving. (I’ve also been told that Mercury was in retrograde and now everything is going to get better. I have no idea what that means, but at this point, I will take anything.)

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time guidebook series. For more family-friendly activities go to AdironackFamilyTime.com.