Thanksgiving-Palooza: Part 5…Finishing the Leftovers

You know Thanksgiving-Palooza is coming to a close when your “Thanksgiving Hoagie” ingredients are dwindling away:

1 sandwich bunhoagie

3 slices turkey meat

2 scoops stuffing

1 dollop cranberry sauce

1 tbsp mayo

Lettuce and Tomatoes

Or, in Lehman’s terms: the leftovers are gone and Thanksgiving is over…yes, you may shed a collective Internet tear here.

To put the stuffing sandwiches and cranberry-turkey-sweet potato milkshakes to bed (don’t ask), I will close out my first annual Thanksgiving-Palooza with an official top-ten list of things I am grateful for this holiday season.  And no…the Thanksgiving Hoagie is not one of those things, although it’s now an intrinsic staple to my diet.

Aunt Bethany’s Thanksgiving-Palooza Gratitude List 2010

OR

Reasons Why I’m Still Kicking

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10. I am grateful to have stumbled upon WordPress.com nearly a month ago and discovered the world of Blogging.  Since that time, I’ve uncovered a new world of creative expression that has changed me as a person, as a writer, and as a friend.  I am equally as grateful for the online contacts I’ve made through the process, especially The Edmonton Tourist, Ferabeth, SisterMerryHeliish, Chase MacFadden, and Uncle Lewis, to name a few.  Blogging is now a part of my life now, and I’m uber-excited to see where it leads.

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9. I’m grateful for my favorite television shows which somehow always manage to bring a smile to my face, no matter how stressed out I get.  This may seem like a trivial thing to be thankful for, but I’ve lost count of the number of times my favorite sitcoms and dramas have brought me out of a bad day or sour mood.  Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, and The Soup always give me something to look forward to at the end of my week, and they all offered a bit of sunshine during the craziness that was my life for the past two months.

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8. Netflix! No more late fees!  No movies out of stock!  No limit on how many films you can check out per month!  And all for a flat rate of $8.99!  Plus, all those movies I said I’d get around to renting sooner or later now arrive at my door 2-3 days after I mail one back.  And, getting older titles on my Wii is an added perk, too.  (It’s also a great way to try out blatantly horrible movies and chuckle over poorly made horror flicks…don’t believe me?  Check out Thankskilling).

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7. I’m grateful that I’m completely healthy.  I’m grateful I was able to survive my hectic autumn without getting sick once…but more than that, I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to live my life so far without any major medical issues.  This summer, I did yard work for a friend struggling with MS, who is been bound to a wheelchair and can no longer even feed himself.  Sometimes, when I think I’m having a bad day, I simply need to remember him, and suddenly, life doesn’t seem so bad.  I’m also very happy to say that yes, I still have all my limbs.  That’s a plus.

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6. I’m grateful to have parents that have supported me through 8 years of college.  No, I’m not totally inept at the whole educational process…I just happened to hit a fork during my collegiate career which directed me down a different path.  Now, 8 years, one Bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree, AND a teacher certification later, I am now a certified music teacher.  Most parents would have just thrown their hands up in the air and left me to sort things out on my own.  Not mine.  I still contend they’re not right mentally, but am grateful for any brain deficiencies that may have clouded their judgment during the past 8 years.

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5. To springboard off of #6, I am grateful to be done with student teaching! Finally!  I can begin to apply for a big girl job!

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4. Can I take a moment to extol the virtues of my Keurig Coffee Maker?  This machine has single-handedly saved me money, made my mornings run faster, and taken my caffeine addiction to a whole new level.   Want a chilled cup of iced coffee?  Keurig can handle it.  A spicy mug of chai?  Keurig’s got it.  Pumpkin Spiced Morning Blend?  Relax, Keurig can do it.  I’m positive I could produce mocha-flavored world peace with that machine, as well.

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3. I am grateful for the city in which I currently reside.  My life has been all over the place during the last 4 years, and I’ve now settled down in a wonderful town with numerous performance opportunities, a beautiful lake, ample diversions, and a close proximity to my family.  I know if I were to mention #3 to my city friends that they’d look at me as if I had grown 5 heads.  They don’t see their city as anything special, but after spending 2 years in the busiest city in the world, I am grateful for a place that offers a sense of community and togetherness.

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2. What on earth did I do before I had an electric blanket?!?  I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have this item.  I’m what you may call…heat challenged. 9 times out of 10, I will be in need of a warm, fleece sweatshirt.  I am famous for walking the streets of New York City in 90 degree heat with a cardigan on, no sweat in sight.  I’m not a cold wuss:  if I have enough layers on, you won’t find me complaining.  I just don’t have a high tolerance for weather below the freezing point.  So, at the end of the day, when I can go to bed, you’d better believe I’m grateful for my electric blanket.  More importantly, though, I’m grateful to just have a warm bed, period.

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1. I am extremely grateful for finally finding real, true-blue friends. I didn’t know what real friends were until last year.  These are the people who build you up when you’re having a rough day, and, most importantly, even when you’re not. You know…the friends who celebrate you for who you are and all that you can be.  They’re the ones always on your team, always on your side, even when you’re at your worst.  You know they’re real friends when, you just know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they’ll never turn your back on you…you never have to even question it.

I could go on with this list for about another 50 items, including tri-flavor buckets of popcorn, Harry Potter movies, living in a climate with 4 seasons, and I’ll close out our first annual Thanksgiving-Palooza with an RAC update.  My Tuesday and Wednesday RACs fell into the same category:  communication.  On Monday, I was surprisingly received a Facebook message from a long, lost friend…someone who I had a falling out with about 5 years ago.  He wrote me a long note, basically telling me that he missed our friendship and wished to catch up.  There were some concessions made on his behalf, and to make a long story short, his note was very humbling and kicked up a lot of lost memories for me.  At first, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to answer him back.  Our falling out was honestly due to poor judgment on his part.

Have you ever heard the advice:  get rid of the negative aspects of your life and focus on the positive? Sad to say, but our friendship had become a negative aspect in my life.  I’m sure there were things I could have said or done differently to avoid losing his friendship, as no one is ever blameless…but I had been burned by him too many times before…I knew I had to let him go.

But, ‘tis the season…for Christmas spirit…and forgiveness.  So, yesterday, I wrote him back.  The contents of my note would be too personal and distinct for a post; anyone removed from our situation wouldn’t understand.  Suffice it to say that I opened the door for communication…and a possible reconciliation.

My RAC for today merely involved a choice to use the telephone as opposed to a written email message.  I had attempted to make plans for Thursday evening with a friend I have not seen in a long time.  I had originally mentioned these plans to her in passing, and wanted to solidify them by tonight.  For the sake of time, I had intended to simply email her and leave the decisions to her…but as I was driving home tonight, I realized that I need to be better about making real contact with someone as opposed to electronic communication.

So, out came my Droid, and within minutes, we were discussing our plans for tomorrow night, as well as for the rest of the month.  I found out that she may be a candidate for a new teaching job, which is something huge for her.  And, the great thing about telephones?  You can actually hear someone’s tone…you don’t have to guess what “LOL” means or sounds like…you can actually hear them laugh!  Who knew?

These were small RACs, but meaningful.  You can’t aim for perfect RACs all the time…they can be big, small, quick, well-planned…the point is:  a random act of Christmas needs to just be something that you wouldn’t normally do for someone other than yourself. All that matters are the intentions behind those acts, and the rest will fall into place.

Well, folks…that’s it for our first annual Thanksgiving-Palooza! Thank you for tuning in throughout our 5-part series.  If you happened to miss our first four installments, you can check out the links below…or, you could even stop over to my RAC Suggestions Page to offer me your ideas for my next RAC.  This is Aunt Bethany, signing off for Thanksgiving-Palooza 2010….see you next year for more turkey, more wine, and more frivolity!

Thanksgiving-Palooza

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

RAC #32 & 33: Made contact with a long lost friend & spent 10 minutes on the phone with a friend instead of trying to make contact over the Internet

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6 responses to this post.

  1. To be thankful is one of act of prophecy and part of virtual approach so keep it up by discarding all deficiencies of your life.
    All experiences good or bad are your real teacher so learn from all of it and never stick to negativity of others, it has more learning impact then lessons of friendship and love which sometimes pampers us or might be weak our emotion for taking tough decision of life.
    Keep loving your family and nearby people with thankful expressions as you did in last days without expecting any return from them.
    I am sure as per my experience God would bless you with genuine and long lasting relations in your coming life and it might be great surprise for you
    take care and God bless you for writing good expressions

    Reply

  2. Aunt Bethany: Glad you stumbled upon WordPress, as well. Your writing has a ton of voice, witty and humorous with moments of intimacy sprinkled throughout. I really enjoy reading your posts. And the whole concept of a blog centered around the holiday RACs is clever and inspiring.

    Plus, there is the whole Christmas Vacation thing. Goodnight! That is my absolute favorite movie, regardless of season. Well played. Well played, indeed.

    Take care,

    Chase

    Reply

    • Thank you so much, Chase! Your blog was one of the early ones I read to get inspiration…so reading your comment really means a lot to me. Gives me energy to keep plugging away at the whole blog thing!

      I’ve loved hearing about your family’s antics. I cannot wait to see what trouble the munchkins get into around Christmastime.

      Happy birthday to KAW! Sweet 16!

      Thanks again for stopping by…see you when I open my subscription page tomorrow morning!

      Aunt Bethany

      Reply

  3. Blogging, much like turkey sandwiches, is addicting.

    Reply

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