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Editorial: Thankful for the hand I’ve been dealt

Thanksgiving was never my favorite holiday growing up. As a kid, it was just one more thing to get through before celebrating my birthday and Christmas. Plus, sitting for an extended period of time at the dinner table just wasn’t a great time for a kid.

But, as I’ve grown up, I’ve come to accept it for what it is – a laid back holiday that gives me time to sit down and see my family. I didn’t grow up in Western New York, and the last few years I haven’t made it home for Thanksgiving. Christmas is the (second) biggest holiday in my family – we throw a pretty good Fourth of July party – but Thanksgiving hasn’t ever been a big thing for us. And it still won’t be this year, not all of my siblings will be there, which means my niece won’t be either. Despite all that, I’m still excited to go home.

I’m thankful for my family, I don’t need a holiday to remind myself of that. I’m thankful, too, for my fiance’s family, who have welcomed me as one of their own. Again, I don’t need a holiday to remind me of that. But it’s nice to acknowledge it on a more conscious level. As far as lives go, I have a pretty good one. I have a wonderful, large family who I can count on for anything, I have a “second” family who has stood in as my own on the holidays I don’t go back to Staten Island. I enjoy my job, and my coworkers. The Springville community has embraced me, and helped me share their stories with their neighbors.

My car is a handed down hand me down, it’s been in the family since 2007. It doesn’t have a navigation system or heated seats, but it runs. I don’t get to do everything I want to do, because I’m still paying off student loans. But I have never known real need. There is always food on my table and heat in my apartment. I can afford simple luxuries, like new clothes just because, that I know a lot of other people can’t.

I am a generally happy person, and I attribute a lot of that to the hand I’ve been dealt. My life isn’t perfect to someone on the outside looking in, but it’s perfect to me.

Here’s to hoping you all feel the same about your own lives. And if subconsciously you know there is good in your life, let’s use this day to bring it to a conscious level.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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