In years past, I’ve seen friends do 30 days of thankfulness in November. I liked what they posted, but never did it myself, because frankly my life was pretty crummy and I didn’t think I had much to be thankful for in the first place. I didn’t want to start it and then have to say, “Um, can’t think of anything today. Nope, I got nuthin’.” But the last couple of years, things have improved quite a bit. I think I’m going to do it this year. I’ll put them all here in the same post, so at the end, they’ll all be together in one place.
1) I’m thankful to be alive. Too many times I “should have” died, but I’m still here.
2) I’m thankful that I have a husband who “gets me” like no one else on the planet ever has. We have definitely had our problems, but I can say that he’ll never leave us and he lifts my chin and says the right things when I’m down on myself for not producing enough or thinking I’m “not good enough” in any way.
3) I’m thankful that I have three living children, and that each of them is a good person. Words fail on this one, really.
4) I’m thankful for the ability to stretch a dollar until it’s big enough to sleep under.
5) I’m thankful for facebook. It has allowed me to connect with more than 650 people I never would have been able to connect with otherwise.
6) I’m thankful for Google. I can find the answer to a question in 0.4 seconds, whereas in the past, it may have taken days or weeks, wading through library card catalogs and books.
7) I have some of the best friends a person could hope to have. They know my heart (as much as humans can know another’s heart, that is). They encourage me. They inspire me. They accept me. They make it easy to want to help them any time I can, they accept my help (instead of slapping me in the face for it, as my family often did) and they hug me whenever I need it.
8) I’m thankful that doctors now know that fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome, gluten intolerance, and inflammatory bowel disease are real and not “all in your head.” For years, doctors and family members said there was nothing wrong with me medically, but now I have proof that there is plenty wrong medically. I’m also thankful that a doctor spotted my gallbladder disease years ago and fixed it. I was one sick kid, for YEARS, and only one person believed me: Nanna. Some family members even poisoned me on purpose, to “prove” that I wasn’t sick but then “didn’t notice” that I was in the bathroom over and over all night long. One of them is a nurse. I guess I could add that I’m thankful that none of those people is in my life anymore.
9) I’m thankful that I’ve had access to books most of my life, and I’ve been able to read over 16,000 now. So many good things have come out of that reading. Just one is my career. Because I have read so many books, and because some of them were style guides and grammar books, I’ve been able to spot typos and other mistakes as easily as breathing.
10) I’m thankful for Kevin Miller and the Free Agent Academy chat room and the miraculous day I ran into Rebekah Hughes’ husband Justin Hughes there. It changed my life.
11) I’m thankful that my older kids and I were able to save my youngest’s life in 2010, when he nearly died from lack of oxygen due to an accident.
12) I’m thankful to be a PACE trainer. It’s one way I’m able to serve others and make a difference, and those things are what make life worthwhile. I can’t express the joy I feel during and after a session with a client.
13) I’m thankful that I can design my life. I have two fields of pursuit (editing and PACE training). Both offer me just enough structure that it’s easy to know what needs to be done, so I’m not like an astronaut floating through outer space without a tether, and yet enough flexibility, freedom, and variety that I never get bored. Both allow me to not only make a difference, but to see it, often immediately. Instant gratification! At the same time, there is long-term investment. I have no way of knowing what wonderful things those clients or books will do after they go out into the world, and that is thrilling to me. Potential! Yes, I am a Myers-Briggs NF, for those of you who know the types.
14) I’m thankful that an agent who represents voiceover talent came through my drive-through in 1996 and asked me what on earth I was doing there. I had already recorded over 200 radio commercials, but his comment gave me a boost, and later, remembering that conversation would give me the confidence I needed to agree to do some audiobooks. Now it is a skill I can use any time an opportunity arises.
15) I’m thankful that tools such as web hosts, blogging platforms, analyitcs software and other things are accessible to more people.
16) I’m thankful for color. The following is a Captain Obvious statement, but so what. What a drab and dreary world it would be without vibrant colors. As November continues, the color has gone out of nature, but there are fabrics and paintings and bold umbrellas to help us get through until nature wakes up again.
17) I’m thankful that I can breathe on my own, without the assistance of machines.
18) I’m thankful that in 2011, my husband bought me an art kit as a present, even though we couldn’t afford it. For 20 years, I had been swallowing my desire to paint again, because it would be so expensive to buy the supplies and tools for it. He got tired of seeing me look longingly at the art section of stores, fingering the tubes of paint, and then walking away because of the sticker shock and the reality of a budget that was tighter than a nun’s chastity belt. It took me two years to open that kit, and the first few times I played with the paints, I cried, but I did it, and now, I can pick up a brush any time I want, and enjoy every moment of it. I’m not good at it, but that doesn’t matter one bit. It’s fun, and it lets my right brain have its way for a while.
19) I’m thankful for Stephen King, and this entry has to go with this number. The King and Constant Readers will understand. When I was five years old, I asked my mother for more books to read because I’d read all of the “kid books” in the house, as well as all of the magazines and anything else I could find. She threw Firestarter at me. Not a good book for a kindergartener, of course, but the only awards my mother ever earned for her parenting came from the criminal justice system. At any rate, she kept buying Stephen King books, and I kept reading them after she was finished with them.
20) I’m thankful for the ability to cook, and to come up with recipes on my own. We’re looking forward to making my Pumpkin Trio, as we do every year at Thanksgiving (and sometimes, throughout the year, too). One recipe makes a pumpkin pie, two pumpkin cheesecakes, and pumpkin cream-cheese bread. Pumpkin spice lattes, scoot your boots!
21) I’m thankful for inexpensive calendars and other paper products.
22) No bashfulness on this one: Thank God for Amazon Kindle. It allows me to read (no exaggeration here) 30 books a month for $10. Add in the books my children read, too, and we are able to read a book for pennies. Yes, the library exists, but there are a few problems with using it. It’s small (like Walmart-restroom-sized small) and the selection is so tiny, bless their hearts. We don’t always make it there every week as planned, so, fines. And the getting out to go there is a hassle (chronic illness). Kindle Unlimited and outright purchasing books on Amazon win, hands down. Sorry, library ladies! We love you, we really do! Instead of coming in all the time, we’ll just keep bringing you cake when we manage to get out the door, okay?
23) I’m thankful for music. Several songs have kept me going through hard times. I’ve used songs like therapy or even brainwashing, to give me the strength to hold on for one more day.
24) I’m thankful for HANDLE activities and the fact that they can do amazing things to the human body. It’s fascinating.
25) I’m thankful for my eyesight.
26) Okay, no way around this one: I’m thankful for food.
27) I’m thankful for sleep. Specifically, for sleep that actually does some good in my body. For decades, my sleep was not restorative. One of the jerkish things fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome does to a person is provide an alpha-delta sleep disorder. What that means is you don’t get into the deep stages of sleep. You just hover around in REM almost all night long. Imagine if you spent the night lying in bed watching movies all night long and not sleeping, then got up to go to work or school in the morning. I’m sure none of you has ever done that <avoids eye contact momentarily>, but I bet you can imagine how it feels. That was my life, since I was a little kid. I just had dreams all night, no rest. But now . . . oh, now, I sometimes do get decent sleep and it is delicious, and I am so very thankful for it!
28) I’m thankful for chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy . . . carbs of all forms.
29) I’m thankful for sleepy smiles and solid hugs and knowing that no matter what happens, even if they come for us, in the long-term, it will be okay.
30) No thankfulness list would be complete without this: I’m thankful for YOU. Site stats show that you come here on a regular basis, and I want to thank you for that.