Being a U.S. citizen living in Canada with my Mexican husband means that our months overflow with holidays.
Last month, I celebrated Thanksgiving with the rest of Canada. Today I follow on social media the United States as it progresses from Turkey Trotting-Macy’s Day Parade viewing-baking-asking for cooking help on Facebook-traveling-eating-filtering Instagram posts-watching movies-watching football-eating-resting-drinking to sleeping. On Saturday, husband and I will have our own Thanksgiving dinner since we are going to his office’s winter holiday party tonight.
I love that my current life provides these opportunities to learn about and experience new national and cultural holidays. It also requires me to coherently explain U.S. holidays and their customs to my inquisitive husband.
I still am looking for a good rationale to justify marshmallows on Thanksgiving sweet potatoes other than they are sweet and gooey.
Though it’s a regular day in Canada, my cultural DNA motivates me to think about the many people and things I am grateful for this past year, and two activities come to mind.
I relied on writing (personal and professional) and running to keep me strong and optimistic while adjusting to this new life of freelance writing, marriage, and immigration. I am grateful for how the two activities combined into a single tonic for my mind and body that often felt queasy from all of the changes.
I also am grateful for how running lets me be a better writer or at least provides the excuse to take a break. Nick Ripatrazone beautifully writes about the link between writing and running in his recent piece for The Atlantic. It’s a terrific, encouraging read with many profiles of and quotes by authors who run. The piece itself is like a long run along Vancouver’s seawall with sudden, stunning views:
“Through running, writers deepen their ability to focus on a single, engrossing task and enter a new state of mind entirely—word after word, mile after mile.”
“Why do writers so often love to run? Running affords the freedom of distance, coupled with the literary appeal of solitude. There’s a meditative cadence to the union of measured breaths and metered strides.”
I am grateful to celebrate Thanksgiving every day I open my laptop and pull on my running shoes.