Before I answer that, you know what’s annoying? Trying to get home in time for Thanksgiving celebrations but instead getting stuck on a three-hour long train ride that’s been delayed an extra half hour lugging around your monster of a suitcase, all the while hoping you don’t collapse from exhaustion in the middle of Grand Central. Trains are probably the most energy-sucking pieces of metal I’ve seen since my demanding toddler of a laptop.
And let’s not stop there: who’s to say you’re gonna catch a break when you finally do reach home from your incredibly long journey? Despite the fact that I’ve been MIA in college for over a month I do solemnly swear that my mom is gonna chase me around with a broom ordering me around like some servant that comes around to the house only on the holidays; here’s Hira, giving you an (un)willing helping hand every month, at your service!
And after it seems all is said and done and you think you can finally relax, you receive the news to get ready because we’re going over to auntie something-or-other’s house to exchange pleasantries “in the spirit of Thanksgiving.” Which entails making stilted polite conversation with that one (or more) family friend who spilled his drink on your favorite clothes not once but on two separate occasions, so now it’s awkward to even be in the same room as him, but you do anyway because the feeling of guilt and pity (and your looming mother) overpowers your discomfort.
But you know what?
Even as my mother is yelling at me to move my lazy behind into gear as I speedily type this out I am thankful for every single thing, from the smallest to the glaringly obvious: to the mediocre Pakistani food, to my annoying brother who unabashedly pokes fun at me at every opportunity, to my cats cuddling with me on the bed, I’m surrounded by genuine warmth – and I’m not just talking about the blankets.
I see stuff in a new light. Before, I didn’t know just how much I couldn’t wait to get out of this house. But now that I’ve been away…
I’m thankful for everything I’ve taken for granted.
By Hira Shahbaz