Bookish Discussions / On a personal note...

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I am Thankful For

toptentuesday[2]This meme is originally hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week I am joining in.

As Thanksgiving approaches this week in the US, much talk about “thankfulness” appears on TV, in ads, and on the internet. Yes we should be thankful everyday but it is also nice to stop and take the time to reflect.

Travel

Looking beyond your front door was instilled in me at an early age. My mom moved here at 22 from Scotland so her entire family was there. Many still are. Having a parent with an accent as well as sharing all her adventures growing up (Scotland, Spain, Italy) piqued my curiosity about these “far away lands”. I looove the airport and packing for a trip always gets my heart racing, in a good way. My husband shares the same passion and we try to go somewhere new every year. Even if it is somewhere local within driving distance. I am thankful that all these places exist with different language, culture and adventures to broaden my scope.

Nature

I was a biology major before changing to education, so I love all things science related especially the environment and animals. Whenever I am outside, breathing fresh air and taking in nature all around me, my blood pressure instantly drops. And animals? I’d have a farm if I could! Don’t even get me started about my obsession with my son cat and all the animals I take in and foster.

My Heightened Emotional State

I wasn’t able to appreciate this part of my DNA until maybe after college. I wear my heart on my sleeve and have no poker face. I want to save all the animals from animal shelters and take home my troubled students. Now I think having empathy, sympathy, compassion, kindness and generosity to be strengths. A friend once told me that I am not an emotional person but a “very passionate” one. Thankful for that.

The Arts

Yep. That’s why this blog is here. Literature, Music, Theater, Movies, Dance, Art. Can’t do without any of them and thankful that schools are doing their best to keep arts and humanities alive.

Health

Physical and mental. Enough said.

Basic Needs

No question this is on most people’s thankful list but I’m gonna take it a step further. I used to want to have a bigger house, better car, trendier clothes and shoes. But a few years ago it all changed for me as I saw many of my friends lose their jobs, homes, savings and were thankful for having very basic needs. It really sank in when I began teaching again this year and work with students who are below the poverty level. It was like a blinder was removed from my eyes. My brain finally caught up with my heart. I no longer want all that “stuff” and no longer want to try to keep up with the Joneses. My home is perfect because the most important people (and pets) live there. Period. And it’s all just stuff at the end of the day. Isn’t it funny that you think you need something and then when you get it there is this sort of anti-climatic feeling?

Friends

Soooo thankful for my friends. I don’t have many but there are a couple who I can truly depend on. Call them in the middle of the night – depend on. I can tell them my secrets and darkest feelings and never be judged. If I need a good laugh or my shoulders shaken to “snap out of it” they always come through. We don’t try to impress, compete or BS one another. Love them!!

Family

Yes, obvious choice. My kids. Squeeze! So thankful to be their mom and watch them on their own journey. My immediate family near and far are wonderful and also nuts and I love that about them. There is nothing like reminiscing about old times. No one other than your family shared that journey with you.

Husband

We met in college and became friends first. Watched all the exes come and go and then somehow ended up together. There was no “first date” and all that. It just evolved. He can stand me even when I am a total pain in the neck. He even likes my crazy family. He keeps it real in a world of a lot of phony. My sounding board. He’s the only guy who made me laugh more than cry. Thank goodness for him.

Another day and another day and another day

Honestly, I am thankful everyday for waking up and getting another day to just “be”. Yes, it sounds cheesy but I have been that way since my early twenties when I tragically lost a very close friend and that experience quickly puts things in perspective. Especially when you reach milestones they didn’t, like graduating college, getting your first job, getting married, buying a home, having kids, traveling, seeing the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup (he looooved hockey and got me hooked in middle school). Yes, there have been those “woe is me” days but I quickly think of the alternative and snap out of it. Maybe even a glass of wine or mixed cocktail is involved.

But seriously, there is nothing to be more thankful for than to get another day to be thankful once again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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