Thanksgiving is almost here. In the last few weeks, I’ve posted three new pie recipes, my “ideal” stuffing, and even a couple of holiday breakfast recommendations. I toiled over cranberry sauce this past weekend in a last ditch effort to give you another recipe for your turkey dinners, but realized that you had likely nailed down your menus already.
So today, I have no recipe to share or any pie-making tips. No, today I have something much more important: gratitude. That’s what this holiday is really about anyway. The big meal is nice and all, but it’s not what makes Thanksgiving…well, Thanksgiving.
I’ve mentioned before that 2016 has been a rough year for me. It started off with the amicable end to a meaningful romantic relationship and has been a wild ride ever since. I moved. I switched careers (again). I worked entirely too much. I mourned.
When things don’t go your way, it’s easy to get sullen and nasty. You think too hard about the state of your life and all the things you don’t have instead of the things you do, and suddenly you’re miserable. And people should be allowed to be miserable without explanation. But the thing about misery is that it doesn’t hurt anyone else–it only hurts the person feeling it.
I won’t say that I haven’t been a miserable wreck at all this year. That simply isn’t true. But I have made a point of looking for the good, even if the only decent thing that happened that week is that my bodega finally started carrying the 12-ounce cans of Sugar-Free Red Bull.* If, every night, I can think of one good thing that happened that day, then I must be doing alright. But I have a lot more than one thing for which to be grateful.
*This hasn’t actually happened, but a girl can dream.
1. I am grateful for my family. I have not always been the best sister or daughter. I have put my family through a lot in the last 31 years. But they have always stood up for me and sometimes done things that seemed impossible, and for that I am thankful. This year, my mom came up to New York to help me move. I called to ask in January, and before I could even finish the sentence, she said “I’ll book a ticket.” I had barely packed and it was absolutely freezing, but she never complained once. My parents gave me the best birthday gift ever–they partially funded my girls’ trip to Swans Island, Maine. I really needed that week with my friends. My sisters are my heroes. They have taken more than their fair share of crazy phone calls. Our running text chain is my favorite thing on earth. How lucky that we were all born with the same sense of humor. Bottom line: I won the lottery on families. I have no idea how I got so lucky.
2. I have the best friends in the world. When your life falls apart, it’s your friends who help you put it back together. I could elaborate, but there are too many things to say. And so, I’ll just say thank you.
3. I get to cook and bake all day everyday. When I started really getting into baking, I was working as a nanny. While every family I’ve worked for has allowed me to do some cooking for them, I haven’t really had my heart in full-time childcare in years. When I was feeling stuck professionally earlier this year, a personal chef job seemingly fell out of the sky just when I needed it most. Now, I bake at home in the mornings and cook for a family of four in the afternoons. It’s definitely exhausting, but my heart is in it.
4. I live in New York. I have literally always wanted to live here. I had an idea nine years ago that being a New Yorker would be glamorous, and it is sometimes. The rest of the time, it’s crazy. If you really want to live in New York, prepare to work all the time, pay way too much rent for a tiny apartment, and constantly be hustling. Nothing is easy here. But, nine years in, I feel like I sort of know what I’m doing.
7. I’m grateful for this little corner of the Internet. When I clicked “publish” last year, I had no idea what E2 Bakes would become. It’s a lot of work running a blog: recipe testing, writing into the wee hours, spending money on ingredients. And then there’s the agonizing over whether anyone will read the post I’ve spent 12 hours creating. Thank you to each and every one of you for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and (most importantly) making these recipes in your kitchens. Nothing makes me happier than hearing how my recipes are working for you.
I may have had a rough year, but as you can see, I have plenty of goodness in my life. I hope you do too! What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments.