Yes, I know this time of year there are billions of posts about thankfulness – I didn’t want to be left out! Seriously, I’ve been cultivating a habit of gratitude over the years so it’s on my mind more than just in November. Here’s my current top-of-the-mind list!
My husband. Not to be trite, but he really is the best thing that could have happened to me. My weaknesses are his strengths, and vice-versa. We balance each other out perfectly and he has helped me see life in a completely new way. Due to his encouragement and support, I am an artist today. He has had the courage and ingenuity over the years to design a lifestyle for us in which we aren’t a slave to debt or to traditional 9-5 jobs. This frees us to pursue our passions and enjoy life more fully. We have grown up together, and I must admit he has had to put up with some pretty rotten growing pains from me. He’s the most handsome, loyal, and fun man on the planet, and I get to call him mine!
The diversity of humans. I’m thankful that no two people alive are exactly the same. Really, have you ever thought about that? Even within similar physical characteristics, there is an endless combination of personalities, talents, ideas, strengths and weaknesses. I’ve always enjoyed learning about other cultures. It helps me realize that not only should I not waste time trying to “fit in” with others, but it encourages me to be the very best ME I can – I’m one of a kind! We are all unique works of art and that’s a very precious thing, indeed.
Citizenship in a free country. Sure, our country has problems. Sure, it’s going to “hell in a hand basket” as you hear people moan. But what if I had been born in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia? Or was a member of a Jewish family in Europe during WWII? In this imperfect country I still have the freedom to craft my own life, make my own decisions, live where I please, do the work I desire. I can decide to have 20 children or none. I can be religious or a person with no religion if I choose. If we want to live in the city or the country, have electricity or live off grid – we get to decide those things!
Age. Of course my body doesn’t work quite as well as when I was younger. But overall, I’m happier, healthier, wiser and more comfortable being just me. I would hate to have been “stuck” in my 25 year old self the rest of my life! Aging has a way of molding, teaching, and in my case, softening a person.
Tomorrow. Assuming I am still here tomorrow (if I’m not, then none of this will matter!), it eases the pressures of today. I don’t HAVE to get everything on my list done today. I can start making improvements to things now & continue getting better tomorrow. I can keep practicing, keep improving, keep learning. Everything does not have to happen TODAY – what a relief! Which leads me to another thing I love…
Dreams. Without tomorrows, there would be no point in dreaming, would there? I love the imagining, planning, and reaching for dreams. The kind that bust you with excitement about what you’re doing today, and can keep you awake at night. The dreams of our sleep can be pretty amazing, too! Because of them, I feel like I know how it feels to just lift my arms and fly like a bird. Sharing our goofed-out dreams has provided our family many laughs over the years. Yeah, I love dreams!
And last but not least are toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, flush-able toilets (in a warm bathroom to boot!) electricity and running water. Sure, if they didn’t exist we wouldn’t know any different. But isn’t it really, really nice we have those things??? AND that I was born into a country that uses them! There is beauty in the most mundane, ordinary things.
OK, that’s enough for now. I do have a running list of things I call my Joys Page that is a wonderful tool to help me get out of the doldrums when I’m feeling down. Different seasons bring certain things to mind more often about which I’m grateful. I’d love to read about things you are thankful for as well!