I should know by now that true happiness comes not from the things I possess but by being grateful for every little thing that I have. I learned it the hard way, but I learned it anyway. I stopped wanting things I don’t have and play around the things I own; everything beyond that are but a bonus, a consolation, a surprise ~ my secret to happiness. Wants became just a part of my wish list, I work on them, yes, but my happiness doesn’t depend on them ~ they are rewards for my labor. I make sure I deserve them, I do.
At this time last year, I was reviewing for the NCLEX. One of the professor asked me how I’m going to spend my first Thanksgiving in America. I was clueless, we don’t really celebrate this holiday in the Philippines, so I said, work. And added, I will celebrate it better next year. I have passed the exam and would be an RN, I could celebrate the real essence of thanksgiving by then.
I am an RN now.
I was excited last week to find that thanksgiving falls on my day off. I made plans in my head how I’m going to spend my first thanksgiving. But it was a fleeting kind of joy. Call of duty ruins everything, my plans evaporated to crisp chilly air when I got a call just now informing me that I need to work this holiday.
I remember the voice of the professor asking how I’m going to spend my thanksgiving. After a year my answer is the same, work. But I should be grateful still, going to work this holiday is my way of celebrating the real essence of thanksgiving. I am an RN now, I was just wishing and praying for this last year ~ it was granted. I need to pay forward for the blessing. A turkey in my table, dining alone in my apartment is not enough to express my gratitude to God for granting my prayer. Working, serving and caring for sick people at this time of the year would.
Today, I have no complaints. Instead I read a note I kept for all my blessings.
In the past there was no electricity, nor there were lamps
Life must be dark then, but grateful people thanked the heavens for the stars.
There were no houses then, nor roofs over their heads.
It must be so uncomfortable then, but grateful people find joy in the shelter of caves, trees. Their was no rent to pay. They don’t pay anything to have a place to call home.
There were no faucets then, nor water system.
It must be hard then, but grateful people bless the streams, the river, the lakes, the sweet milk of earth for they are nourished.
There was no table, nor there were grocery stores to buy foods.
Life must have been tough then, but grateful people celebrate the real essence of thanksgiving for the abundant harvest in the wild ~ they have the whole earth to shop. No credits to pay.
There were no pillows and blankets, nor there were warm bed to rest their backs.
It was not an easy life then, but grateful people find warm in each other. The lullabies of the earth and the canopy of heavens bless them with peaceful sleep.
I can go on and on with my list, I have more to write but lets stop it here, write them yourself so you will know how the modern world is trully blessed.
But there are only a few left of the grateful people. The modern world is breeding more of the unhappy people with insatiable needs, and yet they are celebrating thanksgiving.
This is my second thanksgiving since I came to America. I’m still clueless on how to celebrate it. But I know in my heart the real essence of thanksgiving.
Happy Holidays everyone!
I wish you well.