Well technically, it's not really thanksgiving eve in the western world yet, more like thanksgiving eve early morning... but here at my computer in Seoul, Korea it's as good as here.
I taught some of my students about Thanksgiving today. They weren't nearly as excited about it as they should have been, issuing sigh of boredom during the youtube video of the macy's parade and twitching around as though visably tortured during my impassioned speech about the virtues of cranberry sauce. What they did handle well was the giving thanks "game" that I invented out of sheer desperation. We went into the gym and I threw a ball at them. If they caught it, they had to say one thing they were grateful for. It came out sounding a little bit like a prayer... if we said most of our prayers after someone heaves a huge exercise ball at your head. C was grateful that he had many friends, and many many toys and candy and a big house. J was grateful for his good dad and food to eat. And me...what was I grateful for?
Here's a partial list:
I am grateful to be a teacher (to which C said, "that's not a good thing, teacher. Being a teacher is not grateful" hrmmmph. ) It's not constant, but most days I feel this pang of realization. What I mean is just that I am realized to some degree because I am able to be around children all day. I really am meant to love them.
(side story) the other day someone (I think Lumina) asked Evan, all of 5 years old if he was happy. He looked at her sideways and answered her question with another question. "Is it Halloween? Is it Christmas? It is not Halloween, so I am not happy." There.
I am grateful that tonight I will go to bed ON TIME. that means 10:30. and it will happen.
I am grateful for my calling as the District Single Member Rep. Sometimes it can feel a little strange to be defined by the title of your calling...to step into a ward you are visiting and have every "don't worry you'll get married" comment in RS addressed directly at you because you have had to introduce yourself as single. BUT, it's really expanding my horizons and giving me opportunities to work and serve that I've never had before. I am experiencing miracles and hoping for them more and more. That feels nice.
I am grateful for a warm place to sleep even if it is on a mattress made of granite. (do you notice a sleep theme here?)
I'm grateful that I can fly home for christmas to see my best friends and my family.
I'm grateful for the military base that does "thanksgiving to order" at the commissary and for military friends who bring the turkey to us. The fact that I will be consumming honest to goodness grocery store turkey and stuffing in less than 24 hours in Asia is a small but true gift.
I am grateful for costco.
I am grateful for my health. And that my fingers and toes tell me when a low pressure system is moving in...it's kind of like esp and that's cool.
And finally, I'm grateful to be living in Korea. I really mean it this time. I'm happy. I was watching some american television commercials about christmas and it made my stomach a little queasy because I am so out of touch with American Pop culture these days. I don't know what anything is anymore. I don't know who the new celebrity babies are. I don't know what Britney's been doing with her kids. I don't know what the new movies are. But it's good. It means that I'm here now. I'll go home to america as a visitor and I'll be happy to come back to my HOME in korea. WOW. Home. I'm connected to something about Asia...there are people here that I love, people who live here and will always be here in Asia. I guess I could say that I'm grateful to love korea because I never thought it would happen for me. Hangkuk e Saranghaeyo.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends near and far! May the Holidays see you happy where you are and may our paths cross in significant ways SOON!