During this holiday season, we begin to see the same commercials playing, our favorite holiday foods on display and family members we haven’t seen in a while. For myself, nothing beats good old-fashioned holiday festivities like relaxation. I know what you may be thinking, how can you combine relaxation and the holiday season in one sentence? It’s true, there’s nothing more fulfilling than looking around you and being grateful.
When I went home for the holidays, I was ready to do more work than I actually do during school. My mother suffered a stroke in May of this year and my brother and his wife have been concentrating on getting my niece proper medical attention since she is so young. If anything, I was prepared to cook, clean, run errands and any other task necessary. What caught me off guard was the overwhelming sense of pride I felt for my family once I did go home.
Although my family still had those jobs for me to do, there was something else attached to the labor. They were grateful that I was even around and what was even more surprising, I was grateful, too. For 10 weeks, I’ve been constantly doing homework and doing school projects and being in student organizations and somehow, I had forgotten how much support I had within my family. It was then that I realized that my family never made me choose between my school work and them, but that they allowed each to coexist and in that way, supported everything I did.
It made me grateful. A synonym for thankful. I don’t think it was an accident that Thanksgiving was a holiday to celebrate with family and friends because they are the entities that allow me to remember why I push myself so hard to be successful. Some of the dinner conversations we had during Thanksgiving involved graduation and how proud they will be and just knowing that they believed in me through my many majors, and student organizations and even grades, brings a smile on my face.
For four years, they have watched me go through many phases of who and what I wanted to be. To have that kind of support system is not only rare and unique, but it is also necessary and critical. Yes, it is true that it takes a village to raise a child but I would offer to say that it also takes a village to graduate that child. So, during this holiday season, I hope that you get the chance to show how grateful you are for not only your current phase in life, but that you are also grateful for the people who helped you get there.