In honor of the approaching holiday, here are ten things I’m thankful for:
1. My family, of course. These are people who are related to me by blood, law, and love – and, in some cases, a combination of these things – and each one of them brings me to a fuller expression of my own being.
2. My brain and my willingness to use it. Attendant to that, I’m grateful for the people who continually challenge my thinking and encourage me to keep thinking.
3. I am thankful that I have a comfortable, healthy, and productive life. A lot of how we experience this existence is based on little more than luck, and I am grateful that I’ve been lucky enough to have been given love, an education, and wealth enough to be able to focus on such things. So many of us are forced to live only for the life; I get to live for much more than the day-to-day survival, and I try to never forget that.
4. I’m grateful for the little things that, when taken together, don’t seem all that small. My life is filled with smart and funny and caring people. The girls draw pictures and plaster them all over the refrigerator. My car works when I turn the key. I have hot water on demand. Sometimes, I get great parking spaces or I hit every light green. Something doesn’t have to be grand to be meaningful.
5. I’m thankful for the visceral pleasures that life affords me. Really good, melt-in-my-mouth, practically orgasmic chocolate. Orgasms. Laughter; the kind that makes my belly tight and brings tears to my eyes. The smell of my pillow or baking bread or my husband’s neck. The feel of warm kitty fur over the vibration of a contented purr. Warm chocolate chip cookies and really cold milk. The warmth of sunlight on my face. You get the idea.
6. I know I’ve said it before, and you’re probably all sick of me by now (but it’s my blog, so deal with it!), but I’m infinitely grateful for having met my husband. Life, in my experience, is so much better and rich and joyful when it’s shared with a like spirit. Having someone who “fits” makes all the difference.
7. I’m constantly grateful for my love of reading, and for the people who put out pieces that thrill, challenge, and delight me. I’m not sure that I’ll ever write any novels, but I will, until the end of my life, be a steady consumer of them.
8. I am absolutely in love with my job. I consider teaching a calling – it’s not something I do for money, but something that I do because it makes me feel vibratingly alive. My dearest wish is that I will always, in one capacity or another, be a teacher. Along with this comes my deep and abiding appreciation for my colleagues and mentors – people who support me and my continued growth in my calling, and who make me a better teacher and a better person for their presence.
9. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made as a result of keeping a blog. There are so many of you who fill up my world with kindness and support. You share your lives with me, you offer your opinions and suggestions, you make me laugh, and you call me on my shit. Thank you – no really; YOU – for being here, and for all that you give to me.
10. Finally, I’m thankful that I’m aware. I’m grateful that I can see when I’ve got it good and that I can be mindful enough to recognize that there’s probably more to the “bad” stuff than meets the eye. I am living my life actively – I’m not just reacting to what happens to me – and I realize that not everyone can say that.