I am sitting here today, alone, working on homework on this Thanksgiving, and aside from being only slightly lonely, I am feeling incredibly blessed beyond measure.

No, I was not forgotten or overlooked by my family. I chose to use this day of Thankfulness to put in my last sprint towards the finish line of grad school and my sincerest hope is that I will wrap up all of my major projects by Sunday evening and be able to close this chapter. Right now I am thankful for the fluffy pups keeping me company today, and snuggle breaks when I need them.

For my final capstone project I am forced to be reflective and write five separate personal statements about my experience over the past two years in the program. While yes, I have a lot to say about the materials, classes, and coursework, I come back to being grateful that I even had this chance and was encouraged to take the risk of graduate school. I feel incredibly enriched by the whole experience.

I am also reflective on all of the support I've been given to do this. My husband has not faltered in supporting my goals and dreams to go through this program and I feel like we understand one another better than before this experience.

I am thankful to my entire family who are gracefully accepting and supporting my absence in today's gatherings, as well as everything else I have missed in the past 2+ years. Thank you for allowing me to be selfish with my time and for allowing and supporting me to grow.

 I am thankful for a job that allowed me flexibility to both work and complete an internship at the same time and for a boss who sees the benefits of higher education.

I am thankful for dear, dear friends who continue to encourage me, even today and who, like my family, have forgiven me all that I have missed in the past 2+ years to put in this work.

I am also thankful for growing up in a family that valued both education and older adults and instilled a love of both within me. In working on this capstone project, it is so clear to me that I would not be who I am without my amazing grandparents who have unwaveringly supported me and encouraged me and never let me quit.

It would be remiss to note that I am also incredibly thankful that I am at the end. I have nearly made it, can see the finish line, and am so, so grateful that I won't have to miss any more Thanksgivings for school work… at least for the next couple years, because you know, there is no harm in having more than one advanced degree…

Happy Thanksgiving All - I hope you had a blessed day.



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