How to celebrate Thanksgiving in a Strange land

How to celebrate Thanksgiving in a Strange Land


Once you decide that you MUST have some turkey and pie in the middle of October there are varying methods of achieving Thankfulness necessary.


First thing you must sleep in – as much as possible.  Try not to equate the time on the clock in your zone with the time back home as it will only serve to alienate you further from the strangeness of the land that knows no thanksgiving in october.  Ignore the complaining cats, outside and in, as much as possible.  Once you have risen from the bed and moved cat bodies in and out you can shuffle to the kitchen where you start your adventure – with a cup of tea.


Next, go to the computer and check your email.  Read several missives from folks at home wishing you a happy thanksgiving and telling you how much you are missed.  Get distracted by a news item about a 7-year-old boy who died from a brown recluse bite.  Google spider bites.  Spend some time researching brown recluse and black widow spiders.  Learn about their habitats and habits.  Think about all the boxes tosses unceremoniously into the garage.  Read about them climbing into clothes and living in closets and cupboards.  Resolve to throw crap out.


Check cupboards (after donning rubber gloves) for cranberries.  Get distracted and rearrange cupboards after discovering your current roommate has 35 assorted coffee cups and a stock of spices approximately 10 years old.  Discover there are no cranberries.  Take garbage out to garage, very carefully monitoring your surroundings for hostile bug life. 


Get coat and bag.  Gingerly shake out articles to ensure no hostiles are in hiding, shake out shoes as well.  Drive to Kroger’s and discover that you CAN have Thanksgiving from a can.  Call landlord/roommate and discuss the acquiring of turkey.  Discover said dispenser of turkey is located just next to the gas station you were just at filling up.  Get back in car and drive back to turkey dispenser.  On the way to obtaining turkey stop in at the inside flea market.  Discover the most awe-inspiring collection of ugly kitch in the known universe.  Determine that while the flashing blue pictures of dolphins are bad, and the cast iron monkey wearing jackets holding out dishes are horrendous, the brass table lamp with 8 glass plates featuring a vivid, colourful well muscled jesus dying on the cross is in fact the winner of the most horrible kitch.  Also discover where to buy incense and dragon articles in this town.


Buy turkey from Homestyle Barbeque.  Take said turkey home and discover that while it is indeed white meat, it tastes not quite like thanksgiving turkey should.  It does taste however, like barbequed turkey.

Relax with tea and book while keeping a sharp lookout for nasties.  Resolve to contact the bug-guy sooner rather than later to ensure that the necessary bug decontamination is done.  Glare at cats in case they think that they will be able to ease off in their bug detection duties.

Having done the hunting and gathering necessary for the thanksgiving feast you should now reflect on things you are thankful for this year.  Indoor toilets are always top of the list along with health and family.  Consider being more thankful for snow as it acts as a natural deterrent to toxic bug life however remember that it is also responsible for shoveling which you resolved to avoid this winter.  Be thankful that you can get thanksgiving fixin’s without having to actually cook yourself.  Realize you just used ‘fixin’s’ in a sentence.  Be thankful for PBS broadcasting and determine to spend more time with quality programming in order not to use more words like ‘fixin’s’.


When landlord/roommate returns display your culinary feat for appreciation.  Enjoy.


september 2004 – where do we go from here?

Now we all know that in developing and maintaining self-esteem people need to know that they are appreciated.  We also know that appreciation comes from others – how they value us, recognize our quality, significance or importance.
NOw recently I have had another epiphany (I love that when it happens!).  I would say that I have a fairly healthy self-esteem.  I know that others appreciate me and value what I do and I strive to be worthy of that appreciation. 
In my real life here I have recently discovered that my coworkers not only appreciate me, but I didn’t realize just how much nor just how valuable I was to the group.
This set me wondering about self-appreciation.  Do we value ourselves and our contribution enough?  Do we evaluate what and who we are in a meaningful manner or do we tend to diminish in our own minds the value of our worth?
I know thse terms are very subjective and it must be difficult to measure our worth compared to how others measure our worth because I don’t know anyone who gets it right, but ……well, it’s a strange phenomenon.
I can see the effects in people in environments where they are continually belittled or told that they are of little worth.  That I can understand.  This is different though.  I am not in an environment like that.  Although, strangely, there are plenty of my coworkers who feel that the environment is exactly that.  They feel that their opinions are not listened to or respected and that the work they do is not valued by the physicians.
I’m not sure why my interpretation of the physician’s behavior is that they trust me to make the right choices and to know my limits and when to call for help……..but that may just be another thread on perceptions.
Perhaps the internal diminished understanding of self-worth is a mechanism that drives us to continually be striving to be better?

diminished as in ‘less than’.  I don’t  suggest that this is a negative trait or condition, only that it was an internal blinder to assure that we do not see ourselves as others do.
I do not primarily determine my worth through others eyes, however, since I work with the public in an environment that functions best when people work together as a team, it is essential that I have an awareness of how I fit with other’s percetions of my role in the team.  This is true of life as well as work.
Too much introspection is as hazardous as not enough.  However, introspection doesn’t always provide you with an accruate picture of who you are.  We are social animals.  Who I am is more than who I think I am, it is a composite of who I think I am and who others think I am.  From their feed back I can evaluate and reevaluate myself and expand my perception of reality with me in it.
I am not seeking an assurance of my worth.  My internal self-worth is pretty high.  It was a suprise, an awakening to me to find out that others placed a higher value on me that I had anticpated.  My departure will have more ripples in the pond than I thought.  I knew I was appreciated. I knew I contributed a valuable resource, but somehow I diminished that value in my own perception so that it equal that of anyone else there.
Perhaps it is the egletarian within me trying to make everyone of equal value – you know that communist upbringing they indoctrinate us with up here in canada is pretty strong.
Or perhaps – and this is more likely – perhaps I diminished my contributions to that of anyone else so that I had a feeling of less obligation.  To make this easier.  It isn’t, it becomes more difficult with each day, but if I would have been able to see myself as replaceable it would have made one part easier.
My co-workers howerver, seem determined for me not to have that perception.  I damn them and thank them for that.