2016 has been a rough year. So much so that it’s now become trendy to make memes about just how awful 2016 has been. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we’re all thankful for, especially in these challenging times. So today we are going to talk about what we, at Hipsters of the Coast, are thankful for.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that means many things to many different people. In reality, the treatment of indigenous peoples not only by the European colonists of North America but throughout the world has marred any such celebration that attempts to remember the relationship between colonist and colonized in a positive light.

However, some may choose to think of Thanksgiving as a celebration of the empathy shown by a group of people with the means and ability to survive towards those inherently lacking as such. That empathy drove the native people of the Americas to share what they had with the European colonists allowing the colonists to survive the harsh winters of a new world they were woefully unprepared for.

Empathy, love, kindness, friendship, and more positive connections are what bring us together at times like this. If you are planning to sit around the table with your loved ones today and enjoy the trappings of an American Thanksgiving dinner, you will likely reflect back on what you are thankful for this year. We can only hope that the empathy and kindness of others is something you will be thankful for and emulate back in your life.

Below is a short collection of what various writers here at Hipsters of the Coast are thankful for. I hope it will help you all through the coming winter and beyond.

The holidays can also be the worst time of year for many people. Those who do not have the means to get through the harsh winter ahead whether due to financial, emotional, psychological, or any other challenge, will rely on the love and empathy and nurturing of those of us in a position to help. We implore you, if you are able, to help in any way you can. Donate your time and/or money to help those in need.

Remember, you are loved no matter what your background is. No matter your gender, orientation, race, or religion, you are above all else a human being deserving of empathy, love, and kindness. The holidays can be the most difficult time to remember that, and they can often be the loneliest time. If you or someone you know struggles with depression and/or thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone. Help is available.

Without further ado, here is what we are thankful for.

What Matt is Thankful For

Sobriety—Trying to escape suffering via drugs and alcohol abuse, lead to more suffering; it’s good to be present.

Curiosity—Being open and vulnerable and interested, I wasn’t always like this and I’m grateful that I found my way here.

Creativity—Being able to channel my experience strength and hope into contemplative and magical objects with the intention of having a positive impact on both individual and cultural levels.

Impermanence—Knowing that “all of conditioned existence, without exception, is transient, evanescent, inconstant,” is incredibly helpful. “All temporal things, whether material or mental, are compounded objects in a continuous change of condition, subject to decline and destruction.” (Wikipedia)

Community—Where would we be without friends and family?

Meditation—I have a tough time resting; Transcendental Meditation is the only way I’ve been able to experience deep rest other than having the flu, taking a couple NyQuil, and sleeping for 24 hours.

My Partner—She’s endlessly inspiring, challenging, open, and creates a safe place for me to be vulnerable. I honestly don’t know what else to ask for. Oh and she’s incredibly good at giving and receiving love.

What Jess is Thankful For

I am thankful for the time I have with my partner, because the future threatens to rip us apart. I am thankful to be living the life I wanted, even if it is ultimately ephemeral. I am thankful for the distracting powers of flow-based games, like Overwatch. I am thankful for having a platform to speak out against injustice, though my social justice class is more bard than warrior. I am thankful for the friends I have made over the years, the family members who remained true to me, and the fellow travelers I have met on the way to enlightenment. I am thankful for the light that is in all of us. I am thankful for you.

What Rich is Thankful For

I am thankful for my incredible wife who inspires me every day to be the best possible version of myself every day whether she knows it or not. I am thankful for the community here at Hipsters of the Coast who are the most amazing co-conspirators I could ever ask for. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for the ability to find laughter. I am thankful for my friends, without whom I would be nothing.

What Brendan is Thankful For

I am thankful for literature, music, and art to speak truth when other voices falter. I am thankful for those I love and my friends around the globe. And I am thankful for Magic, which remains both difficult and fun even after years of play.

What Anthony is Thankful For

I’m thankful for many different things pretty routinely, but I surely wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the amazing people I’ve met during my time as a gamer in my adult life. I’ve had dream jobs, traveled the country, and lived a dream for over five years, and am now in a position to live out even more dreams that I wouldn’t have even thought of some time ago. All of this is thanks to the encouragement and confidence the amazing people, not only here at Hipsters of the Coast and all affiliated, but every great person in every community I’ve ever been a part of.

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