Mesa & Thanksgiving.
Our first evening in Mesa was a treat. Our friends made us cocktails, fresh pesto from basil in their garden, homemade bread, and let us take real showers. We were pampered and well taken care of. I felt spoiled every morning waking up to coffee on the porch and good conversation with a childhood friend. We enjoyed things together like In N Out and drinks at The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe. Tempe is one of my favorite places in all of Arizona. Mesa is wonderful, too. We walked to parks, the new Mormon Temple, and through downtown Mesa. The heat of Arizona brought us perfect days and comfortable sleep.
We walked through bustling Phoenix to get some Lux coffee and scavenge book shops. Sunday morning we went to mass at Queen of Peace for comforting prayers and peaceful hymns. On our last night we decided to go to Focus Climbing Center to rock climb. Staford and I had never been before but our local friends are avid climbers. I have never had so much fun trying something new in my life. Being afraid of heights, I was really nervous. I quickly gained confidence and just started trying different climbs. The environment was really supportive with everyone giving pointers and cheering you on. Needless to say- Staford and I want to be climbers now.
For Thanksgiving Staford and I went to Tucson to see Staford’s family. They are extremely generous people rich in cultural heritage and blessed with the ability to cook amazing food. For our first dinner I was served fresh tamales that had been tended after all day. The Spanish rice, fried beens, and warm tortillas went together perfectly. The evening was filled with drinks, hugs, and loud family stories being passed around. I went to bed hydrated with white wine and a belly full of homemade food.
Thanksgiving can often be a difficult time for people and I think that’s one of the reasons it gets passed over so quickly every year. We are so eager as a society to think of what we need rather than what we have. Our wants and desires are valid, but how many of them are necessary? What do you have, materialistic or not, that other people don’t have? If you think this way it can be easier for you to appreciate anything from the luxury of watching your favorite movie to the ability to move your fingers and toes.
Mental health, family, and finances can all be causes of stress around Thanksgiving. When someone is depressed, it doesn’t mean they aren’t thankful. When a family is broken, we are only called to love and not judge. When you are struggling financially, it’s okay to be open about it with the people around you. Thanksgiving should be more about showing up rather than what you bring or what you have. This year we need to show more grace to those that choose to be in our lives and grow a giving heart.
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