A lot of people on Facebook have been doing 30 days of gratitude, posting about something they are thankful for each day in November. I know for everyone it's only a drop in the bucket full of blessings, but I like the idea anyway. So here are my 30:
- Shawn -- everything about him as a husband and partner, and I'm so grateful for our marriage
- Jane -- sweet baby, trying toddler and all around best girl
- Owen -- my first baby love, the brightest boy I know and my favorite nephew.
- Rest of my family -- without using up all 30 slots for names of everyone I love, I'll just say I'm grateful for the family that raised me and the family I married into.
- My childhood -- being raised a Christian in a loving home has been critical to me being me, and I'm so grateful to my parents for the work they put in -- and my sister for surviving it with me.
- The church -- I love the United Methodist Church and its open hearts, open minds, open doors structure. I don't understand all the rules of discipline and other hierarchy, but I feel like it's based on "God is love," which I'm so grateful to know and believe. And I am working to pass that onto Jane, with the help of many, including others in our local church.
- Our home in Baton Rouge -- I love our house, every square foot, even with its too-small kitchen and no-windows master bedroom.
- Clean running water (for drinking, hot showers, on-demand laundry, dishwashing, etc.).
- Air conditioning (and in the case of our all-too-brief Baton Rouge winter: heat!)
- Electricity in general -- the infrastructure that makes it possible to have it on demand AND the invention of it in the first place.
- The internet -- OMG I love you even in your stupidity.
- College education -- another big thanks to my mom for helping with that and for all of my family for instilling the idea that it was a given. It's invaluable to be educated, and I recognize that gift.
- Coffee, even though you don't taste good to me now I know I'll come home to you someday.
- Earl Grey tea -- you'll keep me caffeinated until that old joe flavor comes back to me.
- Diet Dr. Pepper ... I want to quit you, but somehow I just can't. I am drinking you right now.
- Food and cooking -- the blessing of abundance, especially in the face of the Thanksgiving meal. The ability to get food on demand too -- pick up, delivery, restaurants. I don't have it as good here as I did in NYC, but access to food is something I never have to worry about. What an enormous blessing!
- Crochet -- this hobby is something I pick up and put down, but I love the creative outlet it provides and the connection it makes me feel with my Gran who taught me how to do it.
- Books, books, books -- I love the library and am so grateful that such an infrastructure exists. I love falling into books and never wanting to come out.
- Magazines -- I love the pages, the glossy pictures, the aspirational recipes (some of which I'm working on today!) and even the same-every-year stories.
- NPR -- it's become my medium of choice since we're a no-TV-during-the-day family. I love Morning Edition and All Things Considered. I also love the app so I can listen to other stations -- basically so I can keep Morning Edition going later, since I'm kind of a lazy bones.
- Our bed -- it's fantastic, a Serta iComfort. Having a clean, comfortable place to sleep every night is a blessing that is so easy to take for granted.
- Television -- I'm grateful for the entertainment and crochet accompaniment. You know I could come up with a list of 30 TV shows I'm grateful exist in no time flat, but I will refrain and just give it a line. I love TV too much, even if it does make me stupid.
- My iPod -- I don't have a smart phone, but if I have wifi I have the equivalent, minus being able to make calls. It was a gift from my mom (so we could play Draw Something together!) and has been worth ten times its weight in gold. I use it every day and I love it, probably a little too much. Thank you again, Mama!
- Exercise -- and the ability to find a variety of routines to follow online. I think of all the wasted time not exercising, and therefore not feeling as good as I do now, and I cringe. And I worry about how I'm going to keep it up -- and not fall back into my patterns of laziness. In any case I'm grateful to have rediscovered moving my muscles -- and seeing some of their definition!
- Digital photography -- I am an amateur mama-razzi, and I love it. I love my camera and the lenses I have thanks to Christmas gifts from my husband and mother-in-law. I love experimenting and taking pictures of Jane for fun, for specific set up shots and for remembering our life together, including travels. I'm grateful that I can share snap shots online, make prints and create custom photo books.
- Honda Accord and Dodge Grand Caravan -- I love our car, and it's a huge blessing that we are a two-car family. Having reliable transportation is definitely something to be grateful for!
- Air travel -- it's a nightmare at the best of times, but I'm so thankful that we can travel to see far-flung family and friends, to have adventures and not have to be stuck in a car for days of our lives (although those kinds of trips are in our future, I'm sure).
- The Post Office -- another way to stay in touch with family and friends, plus online ordering? Ah, Amazon Prime. Another being-grateful-for-infrastructure item, but it really does make a difference in my life, and I love getting post!
- Work -- even though it's not fun, I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue to use my skills and education even in small ways (and in most cases on a volunteer basis). I get so wrapped up in work that it's difficult for me to keep it from invading every part of my brain, but I'm so glad to have something I love to do that is needed by others.
- Target -- I love this store so much. I know it isn't the most ethical place to shop, but I love being able to get almost everything I need in one place without that one place being Walmart. (Target does not have yarn for crocheting though, so that's a minus.) I am grateful to have access to a Target (and so many other shopping choices) as well as the resources to buy what we need -- and most of what we want. It really is just a symbol of the underlying blessing of having enough and wanting for nothing.
I hope you have wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm not sure how our turkey is going to turn out, but even if it's a bust we'll have a boat-load of sides to fill us up.
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