Monday, October 13, 2014

Now we'll go around the table and all say one thing we're thankful for....

I'll have you know John took this picture out of his own
volition...with is own camera.
You know what one of the weird benefits of being an expat during a holiday like Thanksgiving is? Going around the table to say what you're thankful for doesn't take forever because in our case there is only two of us and you don't need to worry about someone saying yours before it's your turn.

I didn't make John talk about what he was thankful yesterday. I asked him but here's the thing, a conversation like that isn't reserved for Thanksgiving around these parts. No. That is a conversation that happens a lot. We figure the moment we stop talk about how thankful we are to have the life that we do, that's the moment we need to reevaluate things.

Despite the homesickness and the almost complete social media avoidance because we just didn't want to go there we are thankful. Very thankful. Super thankful. We're thankful we're in a place in our lives where we can recognize we're happy and doing well. We're not sitting around bemoaning what we don't have but happy with what we do have and with the direction our life is going. We don't feel the need to "keep up" with people. There is no, "well they did this...so now we look like we're unaccomplished...." We're just good where we are. We're not settling for less, which was a huge issue when we lived in Winnipeg, and we're just pleased with how life is clicking along at the moment.

I'm thankful for a husband who is a willing accomplice. I've said it before, when it comes right down to it, we are all we have over here. Over the last three years that has been drilled into our heads. He is all I have and I am all he has. This concept has become the new foundation of our marriage. We learned very quickly if we push each other out and alienate one another, we're so screwed. I'm thankful he's taking my second chance with roller derby in stride and helping me with my life/work/derby balance. I'm thankful he takes my phone and computer away and says, "the emails can wait." I'm thankful he'll put up with my random wandering as long as we end up somewhere that has "brauerei" in the end.

I'm thankful I have parents who understand that we may never come home. Where ever home is. They get this weird expat thing we're doing more than most parents would and they've accepted the fact that we've found happiness on a different continent. They also get that this is tough. Really tough. But remind us as long as no one dies in the process things really aren't that bad after all. I'm also thankful for the moments where they forget that I'm 30 and just be parents sometimes despite the fact that I'm married and live on another continent. Yes mom...I'm wearing a warm jacket.

I'm thankful for a best friend who keeps me connected to a home. Home for me is a non-existent thing. I have places that I have a strong affinity for but I don't have a place I call home any more in Canada. But then there's Jamie. Jamie is home. When I talk about going home in December for me that means seeing my best friend and my godchildren. They are home for me. That house, that living room, that space. Those people. That's home for me now in Manitoba. And she keeps me connected to it and her and those little people who are my godchildren.

I am thankful for the memories of grandparents that lurk in the background of my life.

I'm thankful for a job that keeps me on my toes by changing with every document that crosses my desk. That has taught me what a work/life balance should look like and for teaching me things that will be carried with me in what ever job I end up in later in life.

I am thankful for our plane tickets back to Manitoba because they mean hugs. Hugs from people I haven't seen in 2 years. Hugs from little ones who are now not so little and an epic meeting of the littlest little who has no idea we're actual people.

I am thankful for John's family who have embraced me. Quirks and all. I'm also ever thankful for the fact that they trust me to take care of him because let's me honest....John caretaker is not an easy job.

I am thankful for derby. Not everyone gets the chance to re-write their derby narrative. At one point in my life I thought the chapter about roller derby would with, "and then I had to walk away..." but now I get to continue the sentence with, "...but eventually I came back."



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