Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a safe, happy, and restful holiday. Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, or perhaps are all ready to dismiss this as a cliché Thanksgiving post, I still feel like it’s a good time to take a step back from the crazy antics of everyday life and consider what we have to be thankful for, cliché or not.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I mean, what’s not to love? There’s good food (Tofurkey anyone? Pumpkin Pie?), warmth of surrounding friends and family, time to rest, tradition. Where I live, the leaves fall into beautiful slick patterns on the street. I can wear cozy cable knit sweaters without fear of sweating off all of my makeup. The scent of roasted cinnamon and rich wine seems to follow me everywhere, mixing in with the cool crisp air and creating a beautiful aroma of autumn.
Okay, I’m done reminiscing. This is what makes Thanksgiving wonderful for me, but I realize that the holidays are not always a happy time for people. This time of year has a way of bringing out painful experiences or memories that were so carefully pushed down before. My heart goes out to those people, and if you’re one of them, I especially want to emphasize that you are not alone. Opportunities for support and healing are everywhere, they may just be hard to find sometimes. If you think you have nothing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to consider the following list. We have our individual blessings, which of course are no less important, but I also want to emphasize the blessings that we can share as women living in the United States. I know that many of these statements can be crossed over to other cultures and for males as well, but the important thing to remember is that not all women in the world have these blessings, so we should still take them seriously. While all these things may not be true all the time and not everyone may accept them, I still think that overall, I can be grateful for them.
Things to be Grateful About as a Woman in the United States
As a woman living in the United States, I can be confident that my president is working towards gender equality and has my best interests as a woman at heart.
As a woman living in the United States, I can freely express a variety of emotions without fear of ridicule.
As a woman living in the United States, I can choose how involved I want to be in politics, and I can be confident that my opinion will be heard.
As a woman living in the United States, I am not limited to a single clothing standard—I can wear jeans or skirts or sweats and not get judged.
As a woman living in the United States, I can confidently ask for help without fear of seeming “unmanly”.
As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of things I can freely do without fear of seeming unmanly.
As a woman living in the United States, I can choose my career freely without being bound to a particular path.
As a woman living in the United States, I can find support for my personal issues, often without charge, whether it be through a support group, community center, or a government sponsored program.
As a woman living in the United States, I can show physical affection without getting criticized or called hurtful names.
As a woman living in the United States, I know that elementary, middle, and high school education for my children and me will come at no cost.
As a woman living in the United States, I know I have the rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and personal privacy.
As a woman living in the United States, I know that I have a roof above my head, food and water to nourish me, and clothes to stay warm. Even if I don’t personally have these things, I know that I can go somewhere, like a women’s shelter, which offers them without judgment or criticism.