The day before yesterday was Thanksgiving, and while I initially planned on publishing this post then, I decided to spend Thanksgiving Day living fully in the moment and reflecting on everything I’m thankful for!
In line with my morning journaling (check out “My Early Morning Routine” post from earlier this month!), I believe there is so much power in taking the time to identify our many blessings. It takes the focus off of never-ending to-do lists, our daily responsibilities, and the tendency to constantly seek the “next best thing.” So, this post is my recognition of how plentiful my blessings are; it is a list of what I’m most grateful for, along with an appreciation for how far I’ve come.
I will admit that when I sat down to write this, I struggled with knowing where to begin. How can I convey my thoughts and feelings in a way that really reflects the emotion that’s been sitting inside me for the past two days? Words so often fail to adequately describe the deepest of emotions. Well, ladies and gents, put horns on my head and call me stubborn, because I’m going to try! (My horoscope is a bull… too cheesy of a Taurus reference? Anyway…)
My daughter; my mini-me; my sidekick; THE most magical part of my life – I’m so thankful for you. You came into my life quite unexpectedly at 19, and you helped me grow in ways I’ll continue to discover every day. You taught me to live life bigger than my emotions. You taught me to push through trying times. You taught me that giving up is never a choice. You taught me to model the life I want you to have, to honor what somebody deserves rather than what I feel like giving, and to wake up and see each day as the opportunity it is. Parenthood has taught me to prioritize happiness and self-care, because I simply can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s taught me to teach through actions, not just words. It’s taught me that the most magical and important thing in life is love.
I’m so thankful for my home. My daughter has her own bedroom, we have a backyard, and we have our own washer and dryer! In my adult life, I’ve lived in a home infested with fire ants, a studio home with a mini fridge and microwave as its kitchen, and a duplex with neighbors that threatened my life on a number of occasions (yikes!). This home we have now? We’re warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have wonderful neighbors and live in an awesome neighborhood. We’re safe and protected. We’re blessed.
I’m thankful for my two kitties, Otis and Josie, who bring so much joy to mine and Natalie’s lives. They are lazy but needy, they obsess over food/eating (perfect match!), and they are so protective over both of us! Otis and Josie both sleep in Natalie’s room, and when she crawls into my bed at night (unbeknownst to me), they follow right along! If I’m brushing my teeth, you better bet your bottom dollar that Otis is sprinting with all of his might to leap onto the sink and stand between me and the water. And who needs a dog when you have two cats who greet you at the door every day?! They’re goofy and unique, and they’re so adored by us!
I’m thankful that even though my sisters, niece & nephew, mom, step-dad, and little brothers live far away and in scattered states, we’ve all found happiness exactly where we are. It sometimes hurts to miss people you love so much, but to know that each person feels that they genuinely belong right where they are makes it all bearable.
I’m thankful that I have friends who are like family. These friends support me and encourage all of my crazy ideas. They see my goofiness as fun, my dreams as attainable, and my un-showered self as beautiful. Spending time with theme quite literally refreshes my soul and makes me feel like a carefree teenager again. They remind me that while “Mom” is my most treasured role, I am more than that – I’m a woman, a friend, an individual. When I lived in Hawaii, I missed these ladies to the core of my being. I just couldn’t find people I had a strong bond with. As isolating and lonely as those few years were, it has allowed me to see how crucial a tribe is for my well-being and happiness.
I’m thankful for even more:
I’m thankful that my daughter has access to free education.
I’m thankful that I have a safe and reliable vehicle.
I’m thankful that I have an income from a job that I genuinely enjoy.
I’m thankful that I had Thanksgiving Day off of work, that I got to dance in the kitchen with Natalie while we mixed the ingredients for our cornbread casserole, and that my family came together to share a delicious and bountiful meal.
I’m thankful that I get to dream – I get to strive for more, work for more, and be expectant of more, whatever I want “more” to be.
I’m thankful that I live in a time where there are unlimited resources that allow me to create my own website/blog! Having Google at your fingertips? It’s extraordinary! At what other time in history was information and knowledge so readily available? Never! I’m so blessed to live in this era.
I’m thankful that I’ve experienced genuine happiness and peace, and not just for a few minutes in a day. I’ve experienced living on Cloud 9 for months at a time. I’ve felt happiness despite my circumstances and joy beyond what I ever thought was possible. Who do I have to thank for that, you ask? God.
I’m thankful for God and all He has done and has planned for me. He loves me at my lowest, no less than when I’m at my best. He is by my side when I feel so alone and overwhelmed with life. He cares for me enough to hear my desperate pleas for what I feel I need for my life, but to not give into anything that is not in line with His wonderful plan.
This list could continue on forever, as there is no shortage of blessings in my life. That’s the beautiful thing about gratitude: once you recognize what it is and practice it enough, you realize the list of what to be grateful for reaches to infinity.
Thanksgiving is a beautiful reminder to stop and simply sit in gratitude for the way your life is. I am blessed. I am so so blessed. What are you thankful for this year? Comment below!