With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it would be timely to talk about things that I'm grateful for. I don't do the "thankful thing on Facebook" thingie - not because I'm not thankful, mind you - but just because it feels like everyone else is sorta', kinda' doing it, as well. And I've always liked to be unique. Hee hee.
So…how about a Top 10 on Tuesday - dedicated to Thanksgiving? Only, it's Wednesday - I get that - but again…this makes me unique. Right?
Anywho, here we go:
1. First and foremost, I have to say that I am especially thankful for good health this year. Seriously. This was a rough, rough year - what with the horrific sinus issues at the beginning of the year, and the ongoing gastrointestinal issues that had been ongoing for the last 7-8 years. However, due to persistence on my part, my sinus surgery in April was a resounding success, with no issues since…and by changing my diet to gluten-free in August, I have all but eliminated EVERY SINGLE gastrointestinal issue I've ever experienced. I have been PAIN FREE for months now, and have never felt better. My energy levels are up; I've been exercising like crazy; and I've lost a good twenty pounds since June. Woot woot!
2. My family has been a huge blessing…and this especially hit home just last week when a friend of ours suddenly and tragically lost her 34-year old son in a freak accident. Hubby and I have seven kids, and we're fortunate to have them all healthy and relatively close by. Our eight grandchildren (at last count - but already, our 9th is on it's way!) are also healthy, and we're blessed to be able to visit with them. My parents live relatively close, and I'm counting the time I still have with them. Same with my brother and sister and their respective families. We're very close, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
3. Speaking of Hubby…have I ever mentioned what a lucky girl I am to have him? Fate brought us together, along with the internet - and I have never regretted our decision to get married and blend our families. I WAS hesitant at first, as I enjoyed my independence…but he promised to never stand in the way of that, as well as the freedom to travel, explore and have adventures - and he's lived up to that in every way. Ours may be considered an unconventional marriage, but we've made it work, and he is truly my soul mate and my best friend.
4. I am always thankful that I have the ability and good fortune to be able to do volunteer work, especially with the Red Cross. I'm lucky enough to not have to work anymore at a job, and rather than sitting at home, watching Dr. Oz or other such nonsense, I am so fortunate to be able to get out there and give back in my own unique way. Whether it's attending meetings, or teaching a safety class, or heading off to a national disaster - I count my blessings every day.
5. After traveling extensively across not only our own country, but the world, I am always, always thankful that I live right where I do. I love living in the "land of the free" and the "home of the brave." I love everything the United States stands for. I'm proud of our history, of where we've come, and I always pinch myself and thank God that I won the "birth lottery" by being born right smack in the heartland of this beautiful country.
6. Speaking of freedoms…I am so thankful that we have them. Freedom to choose how I worship…freedom to choose how I will vote…where I will live…how I'll live…we sometimes take them for granted, until we come face-to-face with people who don't have them. I would totally FREAK OUT if I felt someone was threatening a freedom of mine, and so I know that I am very, very lucky. Not to mention - the freedom to BLOG and be able to say what I want to, without fear of censorship. LOVE THIS.
7. A shout-out has to go to the military…as I know I wouldn't have those freedoms if it hadn't been for them. I think back to the soldiers of the American Revolution - and what a daunting, scary job they had - and yet they persisted. Same with the soldiers in World War I, and World War II. Their bravery, their leadership, their strategic planning, and their willingness to sacrifice for others - it totally blows me away.
8. For everyone who works…whether it's a Monday-through-Friday job, or working late nights at the local supermarket, or the gas station, or the bank - and who helps me take care of my own business and needs - a huge thank you. I try to smile and thank you in person, as I'm running up to the store to pick up that last-minute item on my list…but if I don't always show my appreciation, I apologize. To the postal carriers who brave the cold, the trash guys who haul away my junk each week, the newspaperman who brings me my daily paper - I appreciate all of you.
9. To all of my friends…I thank you. For being there for me, through thick and thin…you'll never know what you all mean to me. For supporting me when I'm down, for laughing with me with I'm up, for talking me off the ledge sometimes…you're all amazing and I've learned so much from each of you. Some of you, I've known since grade school…some since college…and some I've just met in the last ten years or so…but each, in your own unique way, have helped mold me into the person that I am today.
10. Lastly…I'm thankful for my pets. My Shih-Tzu, Cocoa…as well as our three cats…Romeo, Juliet and Mayhem…Yes. I'm even thankful for Mayhem, because regardless of his name, he DOES make me laugh with his antics. He's one big furry ball of Trouble, but I have to love him. Our dog, Cocoa, has been with us for ten years now, and her faithfulness and love know no end. She is devoted to everyone in the family, and just a belly rub is enough to keep her contented. She's especially devoted to me, it seems, and I can't take a step without finding her underfoot - I should have named her Shadow, as she's definitely mine. Romeo and Juliet are a pair of felines that have brought us endless love and laughter, as well, and I can't imagine life without any of my fur babies.
There's gazillions of things that I'm thankful for that didn't make today's list - but this seemed right. I wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving - no matter how, where or when you celebrate.