Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful, not just to eat

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I challenge every student to truly be thankful for what they currently have.

Before this semester began, I learned the hard way that I was not thankful for what I had in my life.

I was set to have surgery in June to correct the way my teeth came together.

The operation was intimidating. It took five surgeons nearly five hours to complete the task.

But it was after the surgery when I truly learned to be thankful for what I have.

My jaw was wired shut for the two weeks following the surgery.

That means that the only food entering my body was through a straw, one that I had to somehow force in with a tube; not fun.

The entire time my face was completely swollen and hurting.

The drugs would help some, but there was still a great amount of pain.

My daily tasks became a challenge.

I would open up the fridge and see many leftovers, all that I could not touch.

Going out in public was a definite no. The swelling took about a month to go down to a somewhat reasonable size.

Even something as simple as checking the mail was out of the question.

With my body only taking in the food I was able to drink, I was weak and I tired easily.

When I was finally unwired, the struggles continued. I had to relearn how to chew food and how to speak clearly.

The food I ate had to be soft­—the consistency of mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese.

A few months later, in the middle of November, I still have numbness on the bottom half of my jaw.

Although the experience I had was rough, I learned something. There are many things in our lives that we take for granted. Most of us go through our lives eating without any real troubles. We can go out in public without worrying if we have enough energy to do so.

Of course there are problems. Everybody has them, whether they be work, school, family or even what we want to do with our lives.
But what we also have is an abundance of small things that go unnoticed.

So this Thanksgiving try to go through your day recognizing the small things that seem unimportant. Because one day you may wish you had recognized it all for what it truly is: a gift.