Thanksgiving has come and gone once again. I can’t believe the end of the year is already upon us – honestly, where does the time go?
This is my most favorite time of the year and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the entire year, though the last seven years it’s always been bittersweet.
Seven years ago, on Thanksgiving day, I was notified that a former boyfriend had died as the result of a car accident. It was a slap in the face and I didn’t know what else to do other than collapse into a puddle of tears, heartbreak, and sadness. With the exception of my grandparents’ deaths it was the saddest I had ever been in my life, so every Thanksgiving I pause and reflect on the things that I am most thankful for, since I failed to take the opportunity at previous times in my life.
This Thanksgiving, I have been flooding my friends’ Facebook timelines with ’30 days of thankfulness’ so I wanted to take a moment to list 30 things I’m thankful for:
Day One: At a time when many are out of work, I am thankful for a job that I enjoy.
Day Two: I’m thankful to have a home of my own during a time when many people have lost theirs.
Day Three: I am thankful for the unfaltering generosity of the people in my life
Day Four: I am thankful for friendliness and laughter.
Day Five: I am thankful for the great company of awesome women who genuinely like being together.
Day Six: I am thankful for suffragettes. I am thankful for civil rights fighters. And I am thankful for our military.
Day Seven: I am thankful for comfortable beds, warm houses, and the arms of a loved one.
Day Eight: I am thankful for my sisters and brother. The biological ones and the ones that married them. They all drive me crazy sometimes, but I love them.
Day Nine: I am thankful beautiful fall days filled with sunshine and the rustling of leaves.
Day Ten: I am thankful for kind neighbors who know what being neighborly is.
Day 11: I am thankful that today I can light candles in honor of my brother instead of in memory of him. I am thankful for all of our veterans, but specifically Poland Ron, Desira Poland, and Ron Poland. Thank you for your sacrifices in honor our nation.
Day 12: I am thankful for seasons and living in a state where I get to enjoy all four of them.
Day 13: I am thankful for unlimited text message, data usage and Pintrest’s humor board. I’m also thankful for family and friends who don’t yell at me for clogging up their inbox with hilariousness.
Day 14: I am thankful for kind coworkers who host delicious food competitions. Especially when said competition’s theme is pumpkin!
Day 15: I am thankful to work for a company that appreciates its employees so much that they throw us a pizza party for doing our jobs well.
Day 16: I am thankful for good food, fantastic fellowship, and funny nieces.
Day 17: I am thankful to have not one family but two families who love me. I am also thankful that those two families blend well and can enjoy each other’s company.
Day 18: I am thankful for my dad. Everyone thinks their dad is the best, but mine really is. We don’t see each other as often as I’d like, and we don’t talk on the phone as often as we used to, but I am truly the luckiest girl to have a dad that loves me so much. He supports me in all of my decisions even if he disagrees with my decisions. He is strong enough to let me fail but gentle enough to pick me up when I do. He doesn’t say ‘I told you so,’ instead he asks ‘what did you learn?’ He makes me laugh and makes me think. He is always my dad first, but I am proud to say he is also my friend. Thanks Dad, for putting up with tiny little baby clothes, toddler tantrums, teenaged moodiness, and twenty-something know-it-all-ness. Looking forward to taking a walk down the aisle with you by my side!
Day 19: I am thankful laughter and humor.
Day 21: I am thankful for my brother. I am thankful that he serves his country with honor and that he treats his wife and daughters with respect. I am thankful that he and his family drove to Kansas to celebrate my favorite holiday with me.
Day 22: I am thankful for family. I am thankful for the ability to host our first holiday dinner in our new home. And I am thankful that we were all together.
Day 23: I am thankful for a successful dinner hosting and that everyone who came to dinner arrived safely and returned to their homes safely.
Day 24: I am thankful for the years spent in past relationships. They helped me figure out what I do and do not want in a partner. Every past relationship was a blessing and I have held them all close my heart. On this day seven years ago my perception of my previous relationships changed and I took a hard look at myself and what I brought to a relationship. It wasn’t all awesome. I did some soul searching and found what I was looking for in a partner. More importantly, I found the partner I wanted to be and hope that I do a good job on a daily basis.
Day 25: I am thankful for sunshine and laughter
Day 26: I am thankful for my sisters. I am thankful that I have three, when some people don’t have any. I am thankful that even though we fight, and argue, and make each other cry, it doesn’t divide us. At the end of the day it brings us together. My sisters drive me nuts sometimes, but my world would be a sad place without them.
Day 27: I am thankful for the world’s greatest (future) in-laws. They have been such a part of my life for so many years. They welcomed me into their lives during times of extreme turmoil for them all. I remember thinking to myself ‘how brave these people are to wear their grief so outwardly but be so welcoming at the same time.’ I very much look forward to officially joining the family in August 2013.
Day 28: I am thankful for great friends.
Day 29: I am thankful for my Mom. I am thankful for her craziness, her humor, her smiles. She drives me crazy sometimes, and we definitely don’t always see eye to eye, but she’s my Mom and I love her. I don’t have to agree with her, but I will always love her.
Day 30: I am thankful for an amazing partner. For six years I called him my boyfriend. As of August 17th (our six year ‘anniversary’) I get to call him my fiancee. And on August 17th, 2013 I will get to call him my husband. I am truly one lucky lady. He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He makes me think and pushes me to do better at everything. He encourages me to live my best life. He lifts me up when I am down and celebrates my successes. Spending the rest of my life with this amazing man will be nothing short of incredible; and that is truly something to be thankful for!
I notice a theme in the things I am thankful for. Namely that they aren’t “things.” I am thankful for people. For feelings. For opportunities. And I truly am. I have an incredible family. Wonderful future in-laws. Amazing friends. A rewarding career at a great company. I have been through tough times and survived them. I am stronger than I ever thought possible.
These are things I am thankful for every single day, but Thanksgiving definitely gives me a reason to really stop and reflect on how fortunate and blessed I really am. I try not to take that for granted and hope that I am doing a good job.
So, what are you thankful for? How did you spend your Thanksgiving? With family? Friends? Alone? Feel free to leave comments and be sure to check back throughout the next few days for the updates on days 26-30.