Every year, right on schedule, tons of people start the month of November with their daily "Thankful" post. Each day during the month they post what they're thankful for. Some days you'll see the "big" things, like being thankful for their spouse, kids, family, health, etc., while other days it's more "trivial" things like hot coffee or heated seats in their car.
I've never really gotten on the "Thankful post" bandwagon, but reading these daily has made me reflective. During different moments of the day I find my mind wandering to different things that I'm thankful for. Instead of posting on Facebook I've decided to blog about some of the things, both big and trivial, that I'm thankful for.
These are in no particular order, so the 5th thing I list is not more important to me than the 10th...I'm just typing them!
1. My husband, Jeff. I can't even begin to start to list the reasons and ways that I'm thankful for him. We have been married over 17 years. Yes, there have been bad times in our marriage, but the good times outweigh the bad, easily. Marriage isn't easy. You have to work at it, and even after 17 years you need to remind yourself that it is work, and it's such worthy work. I take him for granted, but lately I've been reminded that all relationships require some effort, so even if it's a simple kind gesture or word, you need to remind that person how deeply important they are to you.
2. My kids, Drake and Avery. From the time I was a young girl I knew I wanted to be a Mom someday, and I'm so glad that I have Drake and Avery in my life. They amaze me and help me look at the world differently. When things seem complicated or difficult, those kids and their actions remind me that sometimes you need to slow down, simplify, and focus on the things that are in front of you. Watching them grow and helping them learn has honestly been a privilege. I know the troublesome teenage years are coming, and I know we'll have conflict, but I hope they both know that even when we disagree, I love them with everything that I am.
3. My life. Yesterday I was reminded that I had been "self-employed" for the last 8 years. I can't even believe it's been more than 8 years since I left my career at the university. As I reflected on that time and what's changed in my life I had to take a moment to let it sink in how thankful I am for having that time. I have been lucky to have a flexible work schedule that allowed me to devote a lot of time to my children, my husband, and myself. I have been able to do volunteer work at the school, participate in field trips, and not worry if someone is sick and needs Mom to stay home with them. As I type, a feverish Drake is laying on the couch, and I'm not concerned about having to turn in a sick day or worry about what plans will have to be made for tomorrow. I can spend summers with my kids and work at the same time. I have taken this for granted, but as I reflect on those 8 years, I am immensely grateful for the freedom that I have with my work schedule.
4. My family. The entire year of 2009 was so difficult, with losing Schuyler in Afghanistan in February and then my Mom passing away a few months later in July. BUT...as difficult and upsetting as that entire year was, we were there for each other as a family. And, I would say, we've come through those experiences even tighter-knit than before. My Dad, brothers, niece, and cousins are all people that I feel incredibly close to and know I could turn to them in hard times, and I hope they all know that it works both ways.
5. My friends. First of all, I have a wonderful neighborhood. If it truly "takes a village" then I'm so happy to live in the best village around! We rely on one another and help each other out. We look out for each others kids and even husbands when need be! The thought of NOT living in this 'hood makes me very sad. If the house burned down tonight, I think we'd be happier staying here in a tent than moving somewhere else. Luckily, I am not only blessed with these wonderful "Wisteria Lane" gals, but I also have an amazing network of INCREDIBLE friends. There's the gals I worked with at SIU...we may not see each other often, but when we do it is like no time at all has passed. They are TRUE everlasting friends and I'm so thankful for them. There's the Bunco Belles...what an amazing group of women these ladies are. We get together monthly and laugh, eat, drink, and have a great time, which is a much-needed respite in the midst of all of our crazy lives. There are the people I've met through True Adventures who have now become great friends...There are people I've met through my involvement with the school and school board...There are parents of my children's friends that I now count as a friend...There are "old friends" from my high school and college days. Talk about TRUE everlasting friends! Some of those ladies have seen me through some really rough days, and yet (most) don't hesitate to pick up the phone when they see my number on caller ID! A sage bit of advice I will be sure to not only model but also voice to my own children is to surround yourself with GOOD, TRUE, EVERLASTING friends. You will never be sorry at having too many TRUE friends.
6. My iPhone. Yeah, that's right...I said it. I love that thing. And Siri....ahhhh....we could be stranded on a desert island together and I think we'd be just fine. You know, as long as the desert island had power so I could charge it up! Seriously though, I do want to point out I am honestly thankful for that device. I'm not just thankful for the BIG things in my life. Sometimes it's the little things that help keep me organized, focused, and let me have a little fun that matter too!
That's not all I'm thankful for, but all I have time for right now. Stay tuned for other items that I'm thankful for during the month of November.