1 : the act of giving thanks
2 : a prayer expressing gratitude
3 a : a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness b capitalized : THANKSGIVING DAY
It seems to me that the true meaning of Thanksgiving Day has gotten lost somewhere amongst the family get-togethers, large meals, and an overabudance of football. Between running around to get all of the right ingredients for the one big meal that most families actually sit down to eat together anymore and the obligatory trips to the homes of relatives that are practically forgotten during the rest of the year, I wonder how many people actually take the time to stop and give thanks on the one day of the year that is expressly reserved for that purpose.
I opted to spend this Thanksgiving Day at work even though it was my normally scheduled day off for reasons that I won't go into here other than to say that disappointment was at the top of the list. Because I was going to be working a double yesterday and then going in for dayshift again today, Mike and Laura offered to have Amanda over at their house in Rhode Island so they picked her up yesterday afternoon and I will pick her up tomorrow morning.
If there's one thing I've learned in all my years of dispatching it's that holidays on the desk are going to be either feast or famine when it comes to call load and today turned out to be a vertitable smorgasbord of 911 calls, paramedic intercepts, and STAT transfers out of local hospitals. Add on to that the handful of dedicated individuals who came in on their holiday to drive patients in wheelchair vans between nursing homes and relatives' homes and back again and it made for a pretty busy day.
Well, scratch that - it made for a very overwhelming day; a day when I left the dispatch center with stress riding solidly on my back between my shoulder blades and my head pounding just a little bit at the temples. A day when I got in the car after work and sat there for a moment or two and wondered what the heck just happened and where the last ten hours went before I wearily threw the car in gear and headed home.
Because I was feeling particularly drained and came home to a house empty of all but the cat I sat down and stared at the wall for awhile trying to think of what it was that I was thankful for this year as I thought that might help with my mood. In no particular order some of what I came up with is the following:
The fact that Amanda gets along with her brother well enough that he invited her over for a couple of days. When they were younger there were times when I despaired of them ever getting along.Taking the time to think about what I had versus what I don't was helpful in calming me down and even though that's only a partial list, as there are so many other things that I'm thankful for, I thought it was important to list at least a few. I've found it's easier to live by the words you utter when you write them down so that you can remember them later on.
My health - despite the other medical issues I've had this year I no longer have the back pain that I did last year and have only had minor issues that Tylenol or Aleve can handle.
My friends - those both close and far away without whom my life would be empty. They make me laugh, they understand when I cry, and they keep me more or less sane.
My job - despite the fact that I was ready to call it quits when I first got home today. It can be maddening, it can be stressful, it can be overwhelming but it gives me the opportunity to help people at times when they most need help. And I like being able to do that.
So tell me, what are some of the things that you're thankful for?