All things I am thankful for.
Corny title, I know. Hope it had you rolling. Okay, I butter stop.
That was terrible, I’m sorry. Please (pretty please, with sugar on top) keep reading…
I read somewhere that a way to turn our attitudes around and find happiness is to focus on having a heart full of gratitude- thinking about all the things that we have, instead of what we don’t.
I know (in light of this holiday) you’ve probably seen enough of this on your social media outlets today, but it’s important for me to write this list, and it serves as a reminder for me to look at when I’m feeling crappy.
So, in no particular order, here are 30 things I am thankful for:
1. To be alive. In light of recent events in the world, I’ve seen how quick life can be taken away, and it is unfortunately what many of us take for granted the most. Remember, life only sucks some of the time.
2. My parents. I was blessed with two hardworking, supporting parents who have always put me first and sacrificed so much just so I could have the things they didn’t. They have always believed in me. I will always be indebted to them, and will always love them more than anything.
3. Friendships, whether past or present. The past couple years I have focused so much on the friendships that have dissolved or people that have shown their true selves, but it caused me to 1. Forget that those people came into my life and left for a reason, and 2. neglect the friends that had been there all along. To have one true friend is better than ten fake ones. Whether they are cities, states, or countries away, they have helped shape me into who I am today. (Thank you all, and I know I need to call more often!)
4. The incredible man that I am lucky to call mine. JJ embodies unconditional love in every sense of the word. He takes care of me, protects me, sees and loves every flaw yet only announces it as perfection. He keeps me sane, and keeps me smiling.
5. My health. This past year I’ve had two surgeries that made me rethink how fortunate I am to have the ability to do simple things like eating or walking without pain or discomfort. Your health is really everything.
6. Running. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are. But it has been the driving force behind becoming the stronger version of myself this past year. I have pushed past the limits I set on myself, and came to understand I have none.
7. This blog. It has forced me to be vulnerable and transparent with my life, my feelings, and my words, and held me accountable for actively writing and relaying experiences of my life. I know it has been a big step in the right direction for me.
8. Discovering a community of writers in the Madwomen in the Attic classes.
9. My niece. Because she is so sweet and chubby and the only baby I’ve ever really liked. Because she is a new family member to love. And of course, my brother and sister-in-law are in this category as well 🙂
10. My job. I work at a wonderful university where I am surrounded by brilliant individuals, and it also gives me a paycheck and benefits. Really can’t complain.
11. My apartment. Sure, it blows coughing up that much $$$ every month, but I have a roof over my head (though it sometimes leaks) and a little corner of the universe to decorate and be as pantsless as I like.
12. Traveling. This is no secret. ‘Nuff said.
13. My education. I will admit that 75% of the stuff I studied for I have already forgotten, but at least I had the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn.
14. My hometown. Everyone has some sort of love/hate relationship with where they grew up, but for me, it gave me the comfort of community and the peace from driving down back roads.
15. Public transportation (weird, I know) for letting me not demonstrate to the world what a terrible driver I am- especially when it is winter, and when it is not. I don’t worry about getting myself to & from work safely, or parking, or, paying for parking, etc.
16. Wearing my heart on my sleeve. Because it means I am like my mother, and she is warm but can rage with fire, and I love that- regardless if I am labeled emotional or too sensitive because of it.
17. Chocolate, because without it I would be a miserable bitch.
18. Technology, so I can Skype or call my friends/relatives whenever I am not near them.
19. JJ’s entire family, for taking me in as their own, and always making sure I am well fed…(as if I’d pass up on any food, ever.)
20. My grandparents, because they’re so cute and have shown me what true love is. (Or just that it is possible to put up with someone 60+ years of your life.)
21. Music, for getting me through my teenage years. Literally.
22. Books, for letting me lose myself in their pages and revealing my love for reading and writing.
23. CHAPSTICK. I own over 300 tubes of lip gloss, probably. No, really, someone should count them all.
24. My teachers, other adults (friends, coaches, employers, coworkers, etc.) in my life who have significantly shaped and guided me through whatever rough waters I was facing. Often, we don’t realize it until we’ve moved on.
25. My setbacks. I’ve felt heartbreak, but it lead me to someone better. I faced rejection letters from literary magazines, but it fueled my desire to try harder. Everything- friendships that fell apart, prayers that weren’t answered, “WHY ME??” moments in my life- were all preparing me for something greater.
26. Carbohydrates. Do I really need to elaborate?
27. Humor, without it life would be so dull.
28. Blankets, fuzzy socks, oversize sweaters- things that are cozy and soft.
29. Warm weather, because then I can be barefoot and sun kissed and in a better mood.
30. Sheetz, because it was love at first bite and it’s always welcoming me no matter what the hour.
P.S. I really tried to refrain from listing all foods. It was much harder than I thought.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!