It's kinda traditional to be thankful at Thanksgiving, or at least pretend to be. To be honest, I've never really managed to be really thankful for anything but my mother's stuffing, which is delicious. In the larger picture, I've been vaguely aware that I led a privileged and sheltered life, and I tried to be thankful for that, but I couldn't really get any strength of feeling into it. I didn't have anything to compare it to.
Being unemployed for nearly a year helped change that. Having to move out of your current residence before you lose it the hard way, and wondering whether you can even keep the little apartment you've ended up in. Being saved from bankruptcy by your parents. I won't claim that I've been through the school of hard knocks because I surely haven't. As bad as things have been, I have friends who are worse off. But it has given me a genuine appreciation for a few things:
I'm honestly thankful that I have a job. I work a lot of hours and the overtime is the only thing which is making ends meet, but if I didn't have it, I would be living in my parents' guest room now, and that would be much worse.
I'm thankful to have this apartment. Now that I'm over the initial trauma of having to get rid of stuff, I actually like the idea of having less stuff. It's not a bad apartment; as one-bedrooms go around here, it's actually pretty big. I have room to keep all the stuff that I really need and/or have a real chance of getting around to needing sometime. All the other stuff that was stressing me out because I had it but never had a chance to do anything with it -- I'm better off with it gone.
The emergency move was an excellent opportunity to get rid of a housemate without having to be the bad guy. I'm thankful for that, too. Despite everything, I'm happier now than I have been for a couple years.
And I'm thankful for all the friends who stood by me while all this was going down.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.