Attitude of Gratitude


So it’s the 5th of November and the now annual “30 days of Thanks” thing is happening again on Facebook. My inner smartass is all “Why are people only thankful in November,” & the (allbeit small) compassionate side of me is all “UM, CUZ LIFE GETS BUSY & SOMETIMES IT GETS CRAPPY, SO PEOPLE NEED A REMINDER. GIVE ‘EM A BREAK.” And then Inner Little Miss Sunshine is all “AT LEAST THEY’RE POSTING ABOUT THANKFULNESS & NOT POLITICS” & all the voices in my head scream “VALID POINT. YOU WIN.”

As much as Inner Little Miss Sunshine would like to think I could play along & post some new piece of gratitude every day, Realist Suz says “yeah, right. Not gonna happen.” It isn’t because I’m not grateful, I just get distracted easily. Cuz life.

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So instead here’s a list of thirty things I’m thankful for, because I like lists & actually have time to write one & also cuz I AM THANKFUL, YOU GUYS.

I just don’t want to try to remember to write a post every.single.day.  You can read one each day if you like, or you can read them all at once. Or you can not read them at all. Whatever, it’s your choice. The list is not necessarily in order of importance, just based on what thought sprang into my head first. Also, having the list in blog form means when I’m having a crappy day & not feeling thankful I can come straight to the post & say “oh yeah” instead of digging through the wonky Facebook timeline for reminders.

The List of Thanks:

1) God. – I’m grateful that He gave me life, free will & the ability to make choices (I’ve made some awesome ones and some really really really bad ones). I’m also grateful  that I’m ultimately not the one in charge (that’s a lot of pressure) and that He still loves me even when I screw up royally.

2) My Family – We’re few but we’re mighty. We’re not without our problems, but as an adopted girl, I know I could’ve ended up in a waaaaay worse situation. I’ll take the bad with the good. There are a lot of kids (& adults) out there that have less family than I do, so I’ll gratefully take what I’ve got. Cuz my mom rocks.

3) My Home – It’s older than I am, it’s got more trees (AND LEAVES) than I know what to do with, and I’m constantly googling DIY stuff on the interwebs to fix things, but it’s mine. I mean, well, it’s the bank’s…but one day it will be mine. I’m thankful that I have a place to call my own. Not everybody has shelter, so I’m blessed to have mine, even if it’s not shiny & new.

4) My Job – I HAVE A JOB. I have a place to go to work every day, the people here are made of awesome, & I earn enough cash to pay for the home & a few luxuries as well. I also know a hell of a lot about toilet paper, so there’s that.

5) My Car – “You’re my boy, Blue. You’re my boy.” That Hyundai is a mighty little beast. It’s paid for (POW), it’s old, it’s reliable (I’m hard on cars) and it gets me from A to B quickly. And again, not everybody gets the luxury of having a car. Car = freedom. Yay.

6) My Dogs – I am an introvert (no, really) so I like not making small talk. The Wondermutts don’t require me to talk, they take me as I am, and they provide company and cuddles. They also keep the squirrel & vermin population in check. If I could teach them to clean up after themselves, life would be GOLDEN.

7) My Person – My Bestie, My BFF, My Human Sedative, My Sanity, My Person. The Watson to my Sherlock. Just the other day she & her rad family showed up at Ed McKay’s just as I was getting twitchy. They were randomly stopping by on the way to Trader Joe’s as I was waiting for my trade-in books to get counted & credited. I hadn’t been there in five years, had been waiting an hour, and was contemplating rearranging all the books by color. Then Person & Person Clan showed up. Coincidence? I think not.

8) My Person’s Clan – I’m thankful she has them to keep her sane, because keeping me sane takes a lot of work. Plus, they’re awesome.

9) The Divas – The divas are my inner circle. I’m fortunate to have five really close friends that I can call on anytime for any reason. Not many women can say that. I can. I’m beyond grateful to have had these ladies in my life for the past ten+ years.

10) My Friends – I know a lot of awesome people, all with their own unique qualities and quirks. I know who to call if I need to laugh, who to call if I want to share a good meal, and who to call if I need to bury a body. Just kidding about that last part…probably.

11) Diversity – I’m really grateful that I know such a diverse group of people. I see people ranting on the interwebs a lot in an “us vs them” way & it frustrates the hell out of me. We’re all different, why would anyone try to change that? I wish more would celebrate diversity instead ridiculing or judging it. The only kind of person I don’t like? A mean person. Mean people suck. Don’t be mean. If God wanted everyone and everything to be the same, there would be one kind of flower, one kind of tree, one kind of person (that I’m pretty sure wouldn’t look like you or me, for that matter.) Enjoy & embrace & be thankful for the differences. How boring life would be without them.

12) Books – READ ALL THE BOOKS. LEARN ALL THE THINGS. A good story is a great escape. I’m so thankful for other people’s stories.

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13) Music – I am so thankful for music. Life would suck without it. I have music playing at least 80% of the day. It’s always in the background. It helps occupy the part of my brain that would otherwise never rest, which enables me to get things done. It invokes happy memories, it helps heal the scars from bad memories. I can’t breathe without music. love.it.so.

14) Mass Transit – Mostly planes, but trains & buses are pretty sweet, too. We mere humans can fly, you guys. That’s pretty sweet, especially when it enables me to see old, far away friends faster. This year, due to mass transit, I got to visit a new city & spend time w/ old high school buddies. I also got to spend some quality time with one of my best friends when she flew home to visit.

15) Fresh Water – I live in a country where I am privy to fresh water every.single.day. I can shower whenever I want & drink as much fresh water as I want. Everyone should have fresh water, but not everyone does. Thankful for fresh water? Think everyone should have access to it? Then donate to charitywater.org. They’re making it happen, one well at a time.

16) Good Health – Fortunately, I’m a relatively healthy person. My immune system is a beast and other than some joint pain & migraines, I (at least for now) don’t have much to worry about when it comes to health. Others around me got dealt a different hand, and manage to handle their afflictions with amazing grace. I am in awe that they go to battle every day against cancer, arthritis, etc with a good, strong attitude. I am very grateful for the healthy hand I got dealt, as I make a HORRIBLE sick person.

17) Food – …and the fact that I can afford to buy it. There are a lot of people struggling out there. There was a time when my (single) mom struggled to put food on the table, so I’m grateful that (at this stage in my life) I don’t have to worry about that. Nor do I have to eat spam. I do NOT miss spam & mac ‘n’ cheese night.

18) Therapy – It’s a good thing. For reals.

19) Laughter – Laughter really can cure what ails ya, at least mentally. I love a good laugh, and I love making other people laugh. I don’t consider a day successful unless I’ve made at least one person chuckle. & if I can make someone laugh so hard they snort? BEST DAY.

20) Theatre – I am thankful that I have an outlet for all my craziness. I am thankful for the friends I’ve made there. They’re all weird and amazing and quirky and wonderful. I love the smell & feel of an empty theatre, and the rare times when I’m the first one there & can enjoy the quiet calm before the rest of the cast & crew arrives. It is my sanctuary.

21) My Muse – I have a new muse. Other than some lighting gigs, I haven’t really created anything new in a couple of years. I haven’t written anything, which should seem obvious by now, as boredthis is a ROUGH post. The worst part, I haven’t really WANTED to write. I haven’t WANTED to paint. I haven’t WANTED to create. I’ve been in a funk. Bored. Unmotivated. Grey. Only going through the motions. Then along came a creature whose lust for life is remarkable, delightful, infectious, inspiring…and suddenly I find myself writing again. The writing is crap, but I’m writing. I’m reading again, too. I haven’t read a book in two years and now have four partially read books on my side table. I haven’t painted anything either, and suddenly I find myself craving a paintbrush & fresh canvas. Will the muse be around long? Who knows. Will the desire to create last? Who knows, but I’m thankful that the muse is around right now, because blah filled boredom is exhausting and annoying.

22) My hands – I have to make…stuff. God weaved that into my being. Whether the medium is light, paint, fabric, food, wood, clay, digital…it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I make really cool stuff, sometimes I make total crap. I have more unfinished projects than I do finished ones, but that’s ok. A lot of them got abandoned during the “grey phase.” I’ll get to them eventually. I make things because I have to, so I am grateful to have (mostly) strong & nimble hands to help me bring my ideas to life. And, back to number 13, I’m thankful I have music to listen to while my hands work.

23) Wrist guards – Because I am a maker of things & always have been, my hands aren’t quite as nimble as they used to be. Too many years at  light boards,  sewing machines, and keyboards have left my hands sore & tired. So I’m thankful to have wrist guards that force me to keep my wrists straight (instead of in balled up fists) when I’m sleeping in order to minimize & slow the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Wrist guards may be a weird thing to be thankful for, but whatever. They ease pain & enable me to keep creating.

24) My Massage Therapist – I’m lucky enough to have enough friends to more than cover a “30 days of thanks” list, but this friend gets a special mention because he eases my migraines (& wrist pain & back pain & knee pain,) so he fits in the same category (sort of) as the wrist guards. He uses his skills to make me better so I can continue to do all the things I do. I’m a bad patient, so when I have a migraine I’m downright hateful. He makes me less monstrous. And he’s pretty friggin’ funny, too. The dude is worth every.single.penny.

25) Butterflies – Coolest real life example of metamorphosis.  I have butterfly images all over the house, and not in a creepy “Silence of the Lambs” kind of way. They remind me that change is a good thing, and that any humble little caterpillar can spread wings & fly.

26) Sunrises – Brand new day!

27) Sunsets – Best paintings you’ll ever see are above your head. Look up once in awhile.

28) Thunderstorms – Especially at night. Best sleepin’ weather ever. Bring on the thunder & lightning, I say. Bring it on.

29) The Ocean – Big, vast, turbulent, still, constant & ever changing.

30) Coffee – You didn’t think I’d write a list about gratitude & not mention coffee, did you? Seriously, it’s like you don’t know me at all.

There it is. Thirty days of gratitude wrapped up into one freakishly long post. That’s not all I’m grateful for, but I need to move on to other projects. Go forth & give some gratitude.

The End.

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