As I’ve gotten older, Thanksgiving Day has become one of my favorite holidays as there’s a simplicity in the day that I’ve really grown to appreciate.

The center point of the day can easily be summed up as “a day to pause and to remember the good things in our lives”. This creed easily crosses any divide humans have declared, not belonging to any race or religion, amplifying what we have in common, which is being humans connected to one another, whether by blood or by chance.

This is also the one day of the year where cynicism disappears, thank god. You’re allowed to express genuine and outward emotion to people around you, and these little gestures of appreciation get no sideways looks, as, sadly, they might on any other day.

Consumerism hasn’t managed to make any major inroads into this holiday. It’s hard to sell things to people where the day is fundamentally about intangible things like family and friendships. I love Christmas, with its anticipation of gift giving, and I love Valentine’s Day (though I try to shower excessive attention on my wife on more than just one day of the year), but TV and magazines have convinced us that these holidays are best expressed with money spent. Thanksgiving has escaped relatively unscathed.

Unlike New Year’s and its list of resolutions that people make and break, I have no problems reading lists of what others are thankful for, as I undeniably, and thankfully, find it difficult to enumerate everything good that I have.

So here’s my short list of things and people I’m thankful for, and in no particular order.

  • I’m thankful that I’m still able to call and talk to both my parents and my brother on the phone whenever I like (barring time zone differences) and we’re still excited to catch up with one another. I sometimes take that for granted but I know it won’t always be the case and today I get to remember that.
  • I’m thankful for Meghan’s fantastic in-laws, who are absolute pleasures to be around and have been nothing but kind towards us.
  • I’m thankful for relatively smooth arc of my life, and that it seems to be still trending upwards. I’m working my dream job in one of the best cities on Earth, and though some days are better than others, I have to pinch myself occasionally that I’m working daily on something that millions of people, including myself, love.
  • I’m thankful for my incredible co-workers, past and present, that are so gracious with their patience in teaching me to not only to be a better engineer, but a better professional. I’m thankful that Simon took a chance on my resume, flew me out, and changed the course of my life more than most people have. Specifically, I’m thankful for what Neil, Trevor, Dunstan, Henry, Bogan, Eric, Timmy, Pancakes and Bert have taught me about loving what you work on, and have proved to me, once again, that some of your best friends can come from your place of work.
  • Lastly, I’m incredibly thankful for Meghan, who continually makes me attempt to be a better person. For reasons I still don’t understand, she decided to marry me, and then follow me across the country, and put up with my curmudgeonly ways, and I’m thankful that I have my best friend accompanying me along these journeys.

So, today, I’m going to enjoy the company of good friends and I hope you can do the same. It’s nice to pause and think of how good we all have it.