No Turkey for you! Err, for me.

A post hidden away in my draft folder from almost 2 years ago…  I didn’t get around to posting for the last two years. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving…

Happy Thanksgiving folks! I wrote this during thanksgiving, but missed pressing that tiny blue ‘publish” button. So here ya go, better late than never, right? 😉
While it is important to give thanks everyday, I want to send some good vibes out there for all the people who support the choices I make and the lifestyle I live. Saturday night, 14 great individuals surrounded me as I feasted on all the gluten-free vegan delights that were presented. Talk about accommodating! I truly have amazing people in my life. I brought a Spiced Coconut Spinach Salad to the gathering. I found the recipe here: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/spiced-coconut-spinach-recipe.html and it was fantastically tasty. I multiplied the servings, so there were leftovers.
Last night I was equally blessed by great company. About a dozen of us went out for dinner and then to one of the Calgary 2012 events “One Love”. What a great evening of cultural diversity!
This morning I was baking a pumpkin pudding, one that I noticed on a blog posted yesterday, and I was mulling over all the things I feel thankful for. There were so many reasons to be thankful that I wanted to make a list and put it out there. So, I will offer up my top 10 things that have taken my attention thus far. They are in no particular order, I used a statistical program for randomization (ya I did!):
1. I still get to see my boy Billy (the unofficial shared custody puppy) as much as I want. He is a never-ending smile and every time he comes to hang out he looks for Winnie. He is my camping buddy and a great running partner. The last time I went camping I woke up to find him curled around Winston’s ashes, sleeping.
2. I had the most amazing adventure companion for over 14 years. My dog Winston died this year, but he had followed me everywhere when he was alive, and he continues to do so via the life of Quacky (one of his coddled stuffed squeaky toys). I stuff Quacky in my purse, in my book-bag, in my pocket, and anywhere else he will fit, as a constant reminder of the love I received from such a great character: Winston.
3. I am grateful for water, food, shelter, and sleep. All of these basic (and required) elements keep me alive and safe.
4. Curiosity and the bravery to see where it takes me. I am far too curious to contain, and that’s OK.
5. I am grateful for my chosen family. I have three of the most supportive best friends a girl could ask for; two of which actually live in the same city as me and the other I am fortunate to see about twice a year. I have an unofficial niece that I adore and have had the pleasure of watching grow up for over 8 years now.
6. I am grateful for biological family members. They are supportive and caring and even though they all live so far away, I get to see most of them almost every year. They have all helped me on my academic journey and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to succeed because of their help and support.
7. I met some great people over my summer in Korea. a) I met a woman who inspired me to continue with my Buddhist curiosities and to consider a greater role in my religion. This led to me saying yes when an opportunity of doing just that opened up to me. b) I learned how to pack a suitcase tetris-style over the summer by someone who took the time to show me how. I have applied this technique well. Camping was much easier once I got back to Calgary. c) I met a crazy fun Czech guy that is a foodie fan as much as I am. Our hikes were long and full of conversations worth having. And yes, Francesco.. I do think you can be a Buddhist without choosing a Sect to belong to. d) A wonderful younger woman, who dropped out of high school in Korea due to the stress of it, showed me her kindness and gifted me a wooden worry block and a handkerchief. I will cherish meeting her and these gifts, even though attachments lead to suffering!
8. I am grateful for science in general and for the medical care my friends and I have access to in Calgary.
9. I have a Sangha and a religion that I can turn to for guidance and acceptance.
10. I have the daily opportunity to learn in an environment that is conducive to my personal development. My university is an amazing institution and the supervisors and professors I get to work closely with are brilliantly inspirational. If I have a goal, they guide me and help me learn the tools I need to achieve it.
Here are a few pics relevant to this post. Hover your mouse over the pic and you will have the details.

 

 

I cannot wait to see what awesome things I can be thankful for tomorrow, because my Thanksgiving weekend really reminded me to take a moment to breathe in all the greatness around me. Be well my friends.

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