Every past Thanksgiving, for as long as I can remember, has been a terribly ironic and unhappy day for me. Forced to look back and scrounge up some shallow and contrived reason to be thankful, nothing would come to mind, nothing but negative experiences and general discontent, every good thing in my life obscured in a fog of depression. Luckily, we never made a big scene of discussing the actual holiday, just slogged through it, so my dissatisfaction was only known through my incessant whines about having a big dead turkey on the table, how much work I could be doing if I had been left at home, and how little I wanted to talk to my relatives. Oh yes, I’m just a joy to be around on this occasion, and I know it.

2009, my 20th Thanksgiving, bears no greater happiness- In hindsight, it’s been a tough, unrewarding, and downright desperate year at times. However, that’s where the pattern ends. Despite all of that, it would be foolish to take all of my good luck for granted. For the family that continues to stand by and nurture me even as I sulk at the foot of the table, complaining about how there’s butter on practically everything; For the amazing opportunities I’ve had throughout the year, working with some fantastic people and organizations; For the support of every last reader who took the time to leave me just one or two words of encouragement in the comment section, and the few who delivered a whole novel’s-worth of pep talks;  For the nearly luxurious comfort of my home, and enough money to buy healthy, wholesome, vegan food; For the simple fact that I am still alive, as contrived as that may sound; For all of that, I am finally truly thankful, and endlessly grateful.

I hope everyone else can find at least one thing to be thankful for this year, too. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

31 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Such a lovely post, Hannah. I definitely understand the feelings you’ve had at past holidays, and I am happy that this year I feel truly thankful for my life as well.

    Have a good day :)

  2. Have your relatives prepare that buttered-up food with Earth Balance. Then you’ll have something to really be thankful for!

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Thank you, Hannah, for all of your blog posts about food and crafts. Thank you, too, for you book. Thank you for showing me the world of vegan cooking!

  4. YAY! Hannah I (and I’m sure all your readers) are thankful for your blog, and your presence, and all the wonderful things you do for animals, human and nonhuman! *hugs*

    LOVE the photo!

  5. Thanksgiving is a contrived day that makes me feel sad for any Indians we mistreated and lied to and stole from. So I do not celebrate it. I do, however, look forward to getting together with relatives and eating good food (some of what I find on the table, but not all of it!). Like you said, there are positives everywhere and I just ignore the crap.

  6. As much as I adore the holidays, sometimes they can turn on you and make you feel worse than ever. I really understand where you are coming from. I’m glad you can see the silver lining on everything and enjoy the sweeter things in life. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. We have so many things for which to be grateful, many of them so tiny that we often don’t acknowledge them (is it so very obvious in this moment that I’m also a yoga teacher?). I know I’m grateful for you as a person and all that you contribute to the vegan world. You’re amazing! Happy Thanksgiving and here’s to an all-vegan Thanksgiving in your future (I’m campaigning for one next year, as I’m forced to attend a non-vegan Thanksgiving with family, too).

  8. Now, I would have thought that you would have found a way to deliciously replace that dead turkey in the middle of the table with something way more tastey after 20 years, lol. Just kidding. At least you don’t have to be faced with knowing that there are cooked pig intestines (you read right) hiding around in a pot somewhere. I’m glad you were able to finally find something to be thankful for.

  9. I’m so touched with this wonderful post! I’ve started reading your blog not long ago but I enjoy reading your blog so much. Thank you for being such a great inspiration. Happy Thanksgiving, Hannah!

  10. Ive never thought about or celebrated thanks giving. Like you i think I would think more about the many things i have not been greatful for in the year I think, its terrible we remember the bad more than the good isnt it!
    I duno how people would rather eat dead bird than our yummy vegan food! I wonder if that will ever change. Im not looking forward to christmas when i have to watch my boyfriends family mung down on what looks like dinosaur bones :( But i do look forward to all the yummy vegan food i can make for family and friends!


  11. we don’t have thanksgiving here in the UK but being grateful every day has become the key for me to living a joy filled love so I am sharing your thanksgiving celebrations in spirit :o) It’s hard not to let the stresses and strains of day to day life make us sour and to cast our eye around at other people’s lives and think they’ve got it easy or wish we didn’t have it so hard. Taking time to notice the smallest of things to be thankful for even in the midst of the storm is like a balm that soothes the pain and brings an overwhelming sense of peace to almost all situations. My perpetual year calendar (which doesn’t even know it’s thanksgiving!) has this thought for today:

    ‘When there is inner peace, there will also be love and strength’
    I wish you and your family a peaceful and joyous thanksgiving.
    love Nic x

  12. On of the joys I had this year was reading your blog. I look forward to every single entry. Thank you Hannah and Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Dearest Hannah, I give thanks daily, not just today , for the beautiful,smart,strong young woman you have become. You know you are loved — so very much! XXOO, Nana

  14. Happy Thanksgiving Hannah! We have a lot to be thankful this year, especially in my family, because our pet rat rat (sister of a rat who passed away a few weeks ago) had to go through surgery for removing a tumor and spay the other day. She is recovering beautifully and we are thankful she will be with us this Thanksgiving.

    I’m also Thankful for you, My Sweet Vegan, and this blog. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them!


  15. “I sulk at the foot of the table, complaining about how there’s butter on practically everything”

    Hahaha! I’ve been bugging my family for WEEKS, complaining about how I gave money to farm sanctuary so they can SAVE the turkeys! I still love Thanksgiving, though. I just avoid the turkey area and cook my squashes and sweet potatoes the night before.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Hannah! I hope you have a good one, filled with yummy veggies and tofu!

  16. Hi Hannah,
    Just to let you know how much I enjoyed your post on Thanksgiving. As a West Indian this celebration is foreign to me but your feelings remind me about my dissatisfaction with Christmas and the false merry and cheer. Glad you found something to be thankful about. Now I am off to look for some ‘Merry’.

  17. Hello people, it is Thanksgiving Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to make something fun that will probably involve a moto trip and seeing something new in Farmingville I haven’t seen yet.
    You write new post at Thanksgiving?

  18. Hannah, you are beautiful, smart and talented. I am sorry to hear that the year has been so difficult for you. Hang in there, it gets better as you get older!

  19. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving this year. I’ve struggled with being thankful in years past, but I was determined to stay positive this time around. I spent a quiet holiday with my husband and I think it was exactly what I needed!

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