For better and for worse, I have always been able to find work. From the many odd jobs I had before jumping into the film business 100%, to being able to keep employed through some of the Industries leaner times.
And now that I've put myself back in the job market, as Cindy has taken on the home school responsibilities, I am again fortunate to be employed and to have many opportunities for the future. That said I looked at my paycheck stub for last week, 7 days and 91.5 hours. That comes out to roughly13 hours a day, that doesn't included time take out for meals and the transit time to getting to and from work.
It doesn't leave much time for life outside of work or much time for reflection.
Last year was quite the opposite, with Skye and I visiting the many and varied farmers markets of the Atlanta region and with me attending a very eye-opening and thought provoking Thanksgiving Turkey Butchering class at a local farm a little east of Atlanta, Nature’s Harmony Farm.
That Was Then, This Is Now
The job ends in a couple days, but it looks like I'll be going onto the next one without much of a break.
This morning I'm up early before the sun like I've been for the past few weeks, but I don't have to scramble off to the job. So I'll take this time of quiet to reflect.
I have always struggled with this holiday. It always seemed so gluttonous and excessive and this coming from someone who loves feasts and festivities.
It felt like an obligation to stuff one's self to the point of discomfort and then lounge around in a food-induced state of semi-consciousness with football games filling in for conversation.
And of course there is the convoluted history as there is with all the the holidays as well as the religious constructs and of course how it is taught in schools.
So for me it has always been a holiday that comes walking along hand in hand with trepidation.
I do like the idea of a day to really take the time to be thankful. Of course we should be grateful on a more regular basis, but it is good to have a nice reminder that we do indeed have much to be thankful for.
That Thanksgiving has become this orgy of consumption followed by Black Friday which to many has become as important as the turkey feast, well......
It makes me think of Muslim prayer practice.
"For Muslims of the Sunni and Ismaili Mustaʿlī persuasions, obligatory salah is prescribed at five periods of the day." from wikipedia.
I love the concept of stopping five times a day to pray, or for an atheist like myself, to consider life and my place in it.
I don't do this, but I appreciated and find value in the practice.
Which take me back to Thanksgiving, its history and what its become.
24/7 and SAD
The festival of giving thanks predates our mythical Injun/Pilgrim love-fest and was based on the fall harvest in parts of the world where it was going to get bitter cold, nothing would grow and you would be reliant and incredibly thankful for what you were able to harvest and store before a brutal winter set in.
A Quick History Lesson, and thank you to wikipedia....
As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".
And then Lincoln proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November in an attempt to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states. Because of the ongoing Civil War and the Confederate States of America's refusal to recognize Lincoln's authority, a nationwide Thanksgiving date was not realized until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s.
On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. Two years earlier, Roosevelt had used a presidential proclamation to try to achieve this change, reasoning that earlier celebration of the holiday would give the country an economic boost.
(A quick aside, isn't it interesting that it wasn't until 1984 that Seasonal Affective Disorder, or the winter blues was officially recognized and/or termed as such.)
Now in the days when everything is in season year round because we fly food in from thousands of miles, and we can flick a switch to turn on a light and turn a knob to make it blistery warm inside, well that Harvest Festival takes on a different meaning and being thankful becomes much more theoretical, a First-World-Problem as it were.
Which should really make the day more important, more crucial, a day to stop and consider. A day to look at how good you've got it.
A day to think of Johnny Eck.
A day to consider the words and deeds of Jose Mujica
And with that I will give thanks for my family and friends for that really does matter most and for the experiences I have had and the stories waiting to be had and told.