Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankfulness


Well that was an interesting exercise!  One month ago, on a whim, I decided to post a “I’m grateful for…” thought on my facebook page as a little pre-Thanksgiving exercise in gratitude.  I was hoping it would help me catch the spirit of Thanksgiving, which has kind of been lost on me since I haven’t actually had Thanksgiving at home for…oh…SIX YEARS!  
 
 The one year during that span of time that I was actually at home on Thanksgiving, I realized to my unpleasant surprised that the family had observed the traditional dinner meal before I arrived. :(   I know, unbelievable.  I’m still a little bitter about that.  And the year before that I was in Australia (where they obviously don’t celebrate this holiday) and I had been camping for days and at our hap-hazard Thanksgiving-ish meal I had a serious case of the runs…TMI…sorry.  Then I went through a phase where I tried to pretend like I didn’t care I was missing out on Thanksgiving because it is just a demonstration of American gluttony!  Pretend is the key word in that sentence.  And in my graduate school years, it has just become a nice time to prepare for my final exams without having any classes scheduled to throw off my study mojo—not exactly the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
 
So what happened as I was posting all of these grateful posts (some serious, some not) I actually found myself waking up to thoughts of “what am I grateful for today/right now/all the time” instead of “what snarky think can I tell the cyber world today?”  And honestly, it made a HUGE difference in how I approached my day.  And corny as it sounds, I’m actually really grateful I chose to incorporate more gratitude in my life.  I have so much to give thanks for and it was really great to be reminded of that, especially at this time of year where my school work really gets crazy, it’s nice to be able to draw my focus a little broader and remember the multitude of blessings in my life.
 
Here is what I came up with:
 
1.    November is a month for thankfulness! My thankful thought as I was getting into bed yesterday was: I'm thankful for memory foam :)
2.    Today, I'm thankful to have parents who pray for me
3.    Today I am grateful to FINALLY know what I wanna be when I grow up :)
4.     SO thankful for Ikea
5.    So thankful for a beautiful, sunny day :)
6.    Thankful for my church family who stands in for my real family that is so far away
7.    I'm grateful for courthouse victories! :D (and I'm not talking about Michael Jackson...) As a side note, I'm also EXTREMELY grateful that women aren't expected to wear ties in court
8.    I'm thankful to live in a time and place where my inter-racial relationship doesn't put me in jail or worse. We've come a long way as a society.
9.    I don't want to offend, but I am very grateful that I never found smoking to be appealing in ANY way
10.So grateful for the hospitality of the Willis family over the last few years- I have been looking forward to homemade spaghetti and meatballs ALL week!!
11.I’m thankful for friends in high places :) ie, the head coach of the local college who gave me a pass to use their athletic facilities- FOR FREE!
12.Yesterday I was grateful that Sarah Stoner only dropped me from about 3 feet above the ground- hahaha! Yay for a great rock climbing buddy!
13.I'm also grateful for the first non-insane weekend in a LONG time! I got to enjoy not only rock climbing, but got in a great work out, made homemade granola bars, roasted squash from the farmer's market, Wegmans(!), and more!
14.I saw a commercial with green bean casserole and it made me feel VERY grateful that my mom doesn't believe in canned vegetables
15.I'm thankful I'm smart enough to not need a smart phone!
16.Although I was not necessarily thinking this at the time, I am grateful I attended (and graduated from!) seminary
17.I cannot emphasize enough just how thankful I am to live in an era abundant in space heaters, electric blankets, and hot running water. SO glad not to be born as an ancient Eskimo, I would have never made it. Those people have a talent that I certainly lack!
18.Oh so thankful for a farmer's market that is STILL going every week! :D
19.Thankful that Kendrick came up to PA early :)
20.Thankful for Mildred at the farmer's market! Seriously guys, making friends with older people has done nothing but GREAT things for me! They are awesome!
21.I'm thankful for Skype :) I got to see my grandparents today in Washington state!! (and my parents + Colin + Fritz the junior wonder dog. Evan was conspicuously M.I.A...)
22.Thank goodness for umbrellas! (and that its Thanksgiving and its still RAINING instead of snowing! YAY!)
23.Thankful for forgiveness
24.Thankful for a day to truly RELAX and enjoy the company of great friends + the virtual company of a super cool family.
25. Grateful to have the chance to obtain higher education and very happy to be nearly finished!
26.Grateful for Globalization. How else would I have enjoyed Egyptian Belly Dancing, yoga, meringue pies, hummus, and my bamboo plant this week??
27.Grateful that even though there may not be peace throughout the world, everyone in the world can make peace in their own hearts.
28.So thankful for all 4 of my awesome grandparents and for all that they have provided for me- emotionally, financially, and spiritually- I owe a lot to them
29.BAM! Thankful for going from 14 credits to 6, just like that! Holla! Hooray for a wrapping-up semester!
30.Thankful to be healthy and happy. It's so fortunate that I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge, even though I haven't had any real income since...like...ever
And by the way, I had a great Thanksgiving and I affirmatively chose to not to ANY homework.  With my fresh perspective, this may actually be my new favorite holiday :)