Gather; defined as “bringing together and taking in from scattered sources.” This year more than ever, I am recognizing what this truly means. Growing up in a relatively small town surrounded by family, I have never felt as if I was ever detached from home. I was constantly around those I loved, and therefore it never required any work to see my friends or family because chances are, I would run into them at school or at some point during the week. Being away from home, I have recognized how amazing it is to intentionally align ones schedule to allow for time together. Schedules become conflicting as life begins to move faster, and suddenly the people you saw everyday become faces you only see on occasion. My friends are spread all over the country now, and to be brought together for this magical time of year is going to be very exciting. I talk about this in Adjusting, having that feeling that you are so unfamiliar with what the new normal is. Now that I am happy and comfortable with being at school, its almost surreal that I get to visit what seems like a different life. I will be with my friends, family, familiar surroundings, and more than ever- I am grateful (& ridiculously excited).
Plain and simple, I am a family-oriented girl. There is nothing I love more than being with my relatives and I consider myself extremely lucky to have such a supportive and loving family. I call my grandparents and mom everyday (yes, even here at college), simply because I enjoy hearing from them and appreciate their advice. At home, I live five minutes away from my immediate family, so the now two-hour trek has made those moments we share together much more special. That being said, I am really looking forward to the upcoming holidays and being able to spend time with my loved ones.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays not only for the food, but also the excitement around it. Growing up in my town, this time of year is known for homecoming, the Thanksgiving Day game, and most importantly- a game we call Powderpuff. Being the town in which actually originated the game, it is something taken quite seriously and brings a sense of nostalgia regardless of how old you are.
Between the high school football games creating excitement, family members traveling home, and just being in the presence of friends- it feels that all is right in the world. The icing on the cake is that this holiday is centered around food! The preparation that goes into it by every member of the family provides a feeling of love and comfort. When it comes time to share that meal around the table, focusing on consciously being grateful is truly something wonderful.
Immediately after eating on Thanksgiving, the sweatpants get put on as my cousins and I play board games (barely able to move after eating copious amounts of turkey and potatoes) before the shopping craze begins. These simple little moments of gathering are what I look forward to year after year. I hope you take a few minutes on your holiday to look around and appreciate all that you have.