I would like to introduce you, my bloggy buds, to one of my favorite websites ever... THXTHXTHX... the author, Leah, writes a thank you note every day (on a Post-It note) to whomever or whatever she's feeling most grateful that day. Most of her notes make me laugh; some of them make me think; some make me cry. They all, however, remind me that I need to be more diligent about expressing gratitude on a regular basis for the many blessings in my life, something I sometimes forget to do (you forget, too, sometimes, right? C'mon, say you do... don't make me feel like a heel here!).
Since November 1, several of my Facebook friends have been writing in their status updates each day, one thing for which they're grateful. I guess November naturally gives way to the attitude of gratitude, as it's the month which includes Thanksgiving and precedes the time/energy/wallet-suck that is Christmas. I mean, The Season of Joy and Giving. That's totally what I meant. Shut up. I know I've expressed here before how I get a little aggravated about the way the whole world changes around the holidays and everyone talks about peace and love and taking care care of everyone else, and then, come January, everyone goes back to life as normal. I'm a cynic, I know. But I'm an optimistic cynic (there is TOO such a thing. Damn it).
And? I'm a grateful cynic.
For me, this has been a year of less; of making do; of good-lord-when-are-things-going-to-turn-around? But I know it's been hard for many, many people and even though things are rough for me right now, I am one seriously lucky human being. So I'm going to list for you, my wonderful bloggy peeps, the things for which I'm most grateful (in no particular order)...
1. My Girl ~ She is beyond remarkable, that child of mine. This has been a rough year for her, too, as she's had to face some realities and devastating disappointments about her dad that no child should have to face. But she has risen above it all, with maturity, grace, and unbelievable humor. I love that girl. And I'm so thankful to be her mother.
2. My Friends ~ Oh. My. Word. I have the most wonderful friends on the planet! They are my chosen family. They listen (and they hear, even when I don't have the words); they give of themselves (beyond generously); they make me laugh like crazy (seriously, like crazy... like, soda-out-the-nose-snorty-wheezy-can't-breathe kind of crazy); they kick my butt when I need it (but never when I'm down); they tell me I'm fabulous (even when I'm not); they love me when I'm most unlovable. I simply could not go on without them.
3. My Fuzzy Boy ~ How I love that dog. Not an hour passes in any given day without him making me smile. He's my own personal comedian, therapist, and space heater.
4. My Family ~ They're nuts. But I'm grateful for them (even if it's just because against them, I look sane).
5. Work ~ It's been a bit more sporadic than I'd like of late, but it's still coming in and that's a lot better than a lot of people have right now.
6. Words ~ I love 'em. I need 'em. I use 'em (even though I haven't been using 'em here much lately!). I can't imagine a life in which I couldn't write to express myself and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to do so, whether it's through my work, my journal, my blog, my classes, emails to my friends, or my Facebook page.
7. Chocolate ~ Do I really need to explain this one? No, I didn't think so.
8. Pigsknuckle ~ It's taken a while but I've finally found a nice little niche here. Not only is it a beautiful little city (especially in the fall), it's a place full of some pretty wonderful people. It's the place where my girl is happy and settled and loving life. It's where I'm going to be for a while. And I'm grateful for that.
9. My 'Virtual' World ~ I think it's funny that 'virtual' means 'simulated' or not really real, because you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that this place - Blogland - isn't as real as the coffee shop on the corner. It's as warm and as welcoming and full of so many people with whom I'd give my right arm to have a cup of tea and a chat. I'm so grateful for you all. I have been since my first comment and I will be long after my blog has faded into oblivion.
10. Remission ~ My Aunt Jean, one of my favorite people on the planet, is in it, after a long, scary battle with an ugly cancer. I'm so grateful.
11. The Susan G. Komen 3-Day ~ It's one of the big things that takes me out of my own small world and makes me work to contribute to something far bigger than myself and far more important than my own issues. I'll walk 'til I can't walk anymore and I'll be grateful every year for every step of every one of those 60 miles.
12. My Computer ~ Because my friends live in it. Duh. And because it brings me work I wouldn't otherwise get and interesting information and news from around the world that would kill lots of trees if I had to read about them in hard copy.
13. Lots of Other Stuff ~ Like books and bookstores that are open late on a Friday night and book fairs where you can buy so many words for so few dollars... like state parks that have cheap campsites and beautiful lakes and hiking trails (even the ones that go UP and down and UP and down and UP and down)... like the $1 RedBox movie rental kiosk at the grocery story... like hot tea after a chilly walk... like homemade soup and crusty bread and avocados and fresh mozzarella cheese and bagels and cream cheese... like fresh new notebooks, just waiting to be filled up with thoughts and ideas and stories... like rainy days and quiet snowstorms and bright blue skies and warm sunshine... like swimming laps and coaching little sinkers and just floating... like a great song on the radio that lifts your spirits or makes you cry... like missing my dad like crazy because the empty place in my heart reminds me how big his influence was in my life...
So many things...
What about you? What do you 'give thanx' for every day?