Canada typically slips under a deep turkey-induced slumber over this weekend, as is customary every year. Canadian Thanksgiving – yes, the real Thanksgiving! – is celebrated about a month before the American. The usual meal come dinnertime is a fully stuffed turkey (without stuffing, there is no turkey), soothing gravy, heavenly roasted potatoes and peas and carrots (yes, just peas and carrots). We say goodbye to a joyful summer season full of activities in great fashion and gear up for old man winter. This is "hands down" my favourite holiday because it is one last hurrah with the family before Christmas and it becomes more difficult to get around when we are buried under hundreds of feet of snow.
|We can be heroes, just for one day|
In the past, our ancestors used to congregate around the dinner table, thankful of a bountiful harvest. I always believe that the closest families are those that sit and eat their meals together, cashing in on some valuable and much needed face time. Communication is everything, don’t you know? The elegant turkey, a wonderful beast native to North America (nothing short of a gift from God), replaces the jolly old goose that the English consume over important festivities. In the old days, if our adventurous farmers avoided their routine obligations of labouring the land, winters would not give up the chance of punishing them. There were no Costco or Walmarts back then – hard to believe, isn’t it? Nowadays, we take for granted the fact that we can go into any supermarket, any time of the year, and buy “fresh” fruit. Our strategic free trade agreements truly play an important role in stocking our finest stores with produce.
Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate everything we have earned. We all feel we deserve the break. Let’s not forget, there are also many unexpected gifts that come our way during the year, making the nature of our lives so much more the sweeter. We spend our days in hectic, fast-paced environments, which facilitates forgetting far too easily our blessings. We are guilty on several counts of complaining to our friends and family that we want more out of life or we would rather be in a different situation. We all have our own paths in life and there is no “one-size-fits-all” prescription to our life’s purpose. It is amazing how we can neglect all the little (and not so little) things that make us wealthy in every sense of the word and sometimes, the envy of others. What we should be doing more often is investing more on our worthwhile relationships instead of pushing these aside putting all our eggs in the wrong basket.
This season, I am grateful for my dearest friends and family who have been extremely supportive during my injury and the challenging road to recovery. On June 24th, I celebrated Saint Jean Baptiste in the emergency room after tearing my left Achilles tendon, something I cannot recommend anyone else to do. On the plus side, I lost a few pounds I didn’t need due to the trauma. That is still not much of a tradeoff. A few weeks later, I dropped into the hospital to undergo day surgery and they sure weren’t kidding when they thought that name up. I did spend almost an entire workday there. All of your visits, phone calls, e-mails – and let’s not forget the Soy Tazzo Chais from Starbucks - letting me know you are there for me. That means the world to me and it is the best gift I could ever receive, far surpassing anything material. In fact, you really know whom your friends are when you go through these kinds of situations and I am truly blessed. Now, I am taking on physiotherapy and look forward to the future.
|A portrait of a healthy man... minus the left tendon foot|
In the spirit of Turkey Day – more like Turkey Weekend, am I right? – I hope you are all extra careful out there on the road and eat turkey in moderation. This fantastic fowl has some somniferous proprieties. Everything always has a catch. This is a time where joy, appreciation, friendship, reconciliation and quality time with your loved ones are the most important ingredients to your family gathering. The good times are the special moments we hold dearest, giving us the edge over challenging moments. It is also an ideal time to grab a coat and head to the nearest shelters to help those who are less fortunate. There are people out there who could use a smile and a hot plate of food to warm up their Thanksgiving. Happy tukeying to all!