It may seem cliché, but in honour of Thanksgiving I’m going to share with you what I’m most grateful for, in hopes you will take a moment in your own life to stop and think about it too, as if we were having a conversation right now. You go first.

Never mind, I’ll go first.

I am grateful for Lycra, for without this mysterious fabric almost none of my clothes would fit me on any given day. Whether I bloat or float, Lycra is my saviour. Blend that magic textile with some cotton fibres and you have the ultimate pair of stretch pants, which will be very important if you are indulging in Thanksgiving feasts.

That brings me to another expression of gratitude. I am grateful that my Thanksgiving dinner will be shared with people I am actually grateful for, and not with those I am forced to acknowledge out of genetic obligation. I’ve said it before: blood is thicker than water, but blood also clots.

Create the family you want and celebrate together. We may be a dysfunctional family in some ways, but when I break gluten-free bread this weekend, it will be with the people who have always been there for me, and for whom I will always do the same. Yep, we put the function in dysfunction.

I am also grateful for the fact that there will be food on the dinner table. I realize how lucky that makes our family. Like most working folks, the Carpenter and I require two incomes just to survive and I am not lying when I admit it is a struggle.

It is never lost on us that some weeks our meals are stretched, and it comes down to the cost of living – or barely living.

We have rolled change to buy dinner. We eat a lot of beans and soup. Trust me. But we have two incomes, by two-able bodied earners in this house, and we know we are lucky. In a split-second that could all go awry. We’ve seen it happen in our own families. That keeps us humble and real. So we will share what we can by supporting our community food bank, whenever we can. It’s not charity; it’s community. Please, if you can, do the same.

I am grateful that my family will head to the Erin Fall Fair because it is the last in the fair season. I love the sights and sounds that remind me of our agricultural history, our traditions and why that matters to our future here too.

All this good stuff reminds me to also give thanks for the challenges in life: bad days, bouts of anxiety, negative headlines and the almighty power of fear. Nothing pushes me to find courage more than the impact of fear. Nothing teaches me compassion better than the battle to fight or flight. I’ll take fight every time. My best lessons in life are the hardest to learn. I regret none.

Of course there will be chip dip this weekend, because Lycra pants need a good stretch. Right?

It’s your turn now. Think it through. It won’t hurt, I promise.

And hey, while we’re at it, thanks for this conversation. Truth be told, I’m grateful we do this together every week.

Without you there would no point. So thank you.