I know it’s corny, and I know that outside of the US, yesterday was just another Thursday. And I know that “Thanksgiving” represents a lot of other very NOT good things about people and how they treat other people. But there’s still something to be said for taking a little time out of your day to be thankful for things. In a perfect world, one could do this on a daily basis, but sometimes, you just need to be reminded, and what better time to be reminded, than at a time when many others in your culture are pausing to reflect as well.. At any rate, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Plus, I’ve been spending 14+ hours in the lab every day for the past week (ok, only 9 hours on Thanksgiving proper, but major conference coming up = crunch time!), and I felt a need to take a short break. So here goes.
I’m thankful that I have wonderful friends who have helped make having a very broken ankle not be utterly miserable. I’m thankful for all the rides, and the helping with dirty laundry and feeding me and just making sure that I’m still alive and “kicking”, metaphorically. And I’m thankful that my bones are healing and I’m now able to do my own laundry again. (Do you have any idea how weird and disconcerting it is to have someone else do your laundry when you’ve been doing it for yourself since you were 4?! I’ll tell you, it’s extremely strange, and for me, a little disconcerting.)
I’m thankful for the amazing woman I’ve been working with this quarter as a co-TA for the lab I’ve been running. Her patience, dedication, and enthusiasm, as well as her kindness, have helped to keep me sane this term.
I’m thankful for my job as a PhD student. I am so happy where I am, doing research, teaching, learning. I’m thankful that I am able to support myself financially and still do what I love, and that my advisor is an amazing person who encourages and helps me in every way he can. And I’m thankful for my labmates, who have watched out for me and helped me grow as a person and as a scientist.
I’m thankful for many little things every day*, from the clothes I wear (thank you, my job, for not requiring me to wear clothes that cause sensory overload), to the food I eat (thank you world, for allowing me to control the food that I eat, so that I can ensure that my diet is both healthy, and also safe for my consumption). I’m thankful that I have a place to live that is thousands of miles away from my family, and that I am able to support myself here.
I’m thankful for my kitty, who has been going through the wringer health-wise (x-rays and ultrasounds and prescription food and multiple day-long vet hospital stays after refusing tuna later), does not, in fact, have cancer. Still don’t know what it was that showed up on the x-rays 2 months ago, but needless to say, I’m incredibly thankful that this Monday, his x-rays were clear, and the mass we had seen before had disappeared. (And I’m incredibly thankful to my vet, who didn’t charge me at all for this set of x-rays or the appointment.) I haven’t written about this, because it was just too scary to write out. I’m thankful that even though I had made decisions for what I would do if my baby did have cancer, that I didn’t have to put those decisions into motion. I’m thankful for the miralax (yes, my cat now gets miralax) that has been helping him feel better, and for the fact that I can afford the slightly expensive food that ne needs to keep his tummy happy. And I’m thankful for more time and cuddles and purrs with my baby, and for the fact that he finally seems to be feeling better.
I’m also thankful for my autism. I’m thankful that over the past few years I’ve become increasingly self-aware and able to process and function better and in a much healthier way for myself. I’m thankful for the increased self-awareness that knowing I am autistic has brought about, and I’m incredibly grateful for the tools and tips and workarounds I have learned, developed, and become consciously aware of as I have learned about being autistic in a conscious way. In particular, I’m thankful for the other bloggers who paved the way for me to actually begin this journey as a blogger, and I’m grateful to those people who have reached out and encouraged me to keep writing, who have taken a minute to leave a comment, share a post, or even just stop by and read. I’m thankful to the blogging community I’ve fallen into, and for the internet in general, which has really given me the chance to use my voice. I’m thankful for being autistic and knowing it, because I am able to live a life that I love. And really, I’m thankful that I am the way I am, because right now, I am happy, healthy, and enjoying my life. And to me, that is the most important thing of all.
I hope that everyone who is celebrating it had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and that if you don’t celebrate it, whether you boycott the day on principle, or if you don’t live in the US, or whatever else, that you had a wonderful Thursday. What are you thankful for?