|The amazing spread my team cooked up for Thanksgiving in Afghanistan |
(thankful for an old, out-of-use kitchen and amateur chefs!)
When I was in Afghanistan, I made a list to remind myself of all the things I should be thankful for when I got back to the U.S. Being in a third world country and living in somewhat primitive conditions has a way of creating perspective, showing us all the little things we take for granted (or the totally bizarre things we end up missing).
Since this is the time of year to remember those things and express gratitude, here’s a dose of thankfulness, Afghanistan-style . . .
Things I’m thankful for (as of November, 2009; in no particular order):
- As a female, being born in 20th century America
- Being born in 20th century America, period
- My family and friends
- A cozy bed
- Reliable indoor plumbing (preferably that’s also attached to my residence)
- A shower I feel safe using without wearing flipflops/that I can leave stuff in without it getting stolen/that I can wash my hair in without bumping my elbows against the sides
- A kitchen full of food that I can stumble to in my PJs
- Ordering take-out
- Ordering delivery
- Wearing anything NOT camouflaged or emblazoned with an Air Force logo
- CUTE SHOES!!
- Walking around outside without body armor
- My cats
- Beer (the kind with alcohol in it)
- The option to choose from 27 different kinds of shampoo (so unnecessary, but so awesome!)
- Building insulation
- Double and triple-ply toilet paper
- Phones that work
- Internet that works
- An occasional rare, juicy steak
- Starbucks white chocolate mochas
- Being able to say/do what I want, vote for who I want, talk crap about who I want, worship how I choose, etc. without fear of reprisal
- Senses of humor
- Disney movies
- ICE CREAM!
- String cheese
- Getting mail
- Shopping for things I need (and some things I don’t need…)
- A glass of wine in the evening
- Not carrying a gun
- Trail mix (the kind with M&Ms)
And some new stuff I’m particularly thankful for this year:
- People who never stop believing in me
- New friends (and of course the old ones too!)
- The chance to chase dreams . . . and sometimes even catch them
- Leaps of faith
Always, my family.
The men and women in uniform who are spending the holidays away from home, and their families, who have empty chairs around their Thanksgiving tables.
With tremendous gratitude,