Thirty Days of Thankful

Thirty Days of Thankful

As Thanksgiving comes around once again, many people have been posting one thing to be thankful for each day in November. I’ve decided to condense mine to a list of 30 things I’m thankful for. I wrote one each day, and they’re not necessarily in order of importance or thankfulness; rather, they correspond to what I was thinking about each day in November:

  1. Electricity: This came to light after thinking about things that have happened around this time of year in the past—the terrible devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the pre-Halloween snowstorm a few years back that downed tree branches and power lines… Although I didn’t lose power this year, I’ve been without it for a week two or three times in my life, and it’s not fun. Food storage, light, and heat—thank goodness for those!
  2. Shelter: As the weather tries to decide what season it is, I’m thankful for the creature comfort of shelter. Thankfully, I have a warm, safe place to live.
  3. Car: I’m thankful for the freedom and convenience offered by my car. Groceries, job, shopping… I sure couldn’t walk!
  4. Sun: Every winter, I remember how much I love the sun. I’m so happy in the summertime, and part of that is because the sun. It’s hard to explain how I feel during the months of low sunlight. A mix of despair and sadness, like something has been lost and will never return. But that’s okay—it makes golden, sunny days all the more valuable. After all, “nothing gold can stay”…
  5. Mother: Aside from countless acts of caring during my childhood, I am thankful for my mom for being someone to talk to, someone who spent 2 days of her summer helping me paint our huge living room and hallways, and someone who will always be there for me and will always hold me in her heart.
  6. Friends: November 6th is a good friend’s birthday. In fact, so is November 3rd. Growing up, both of these friends always nurtured ideas and embraced creativity. Although I’m a solitary creature by nature, I do appreciate having caring friends and coworkers to help me through life’s ups-and-downs.
  7. Freedom: Above all, I’m thankful for freedom—for the ability to speak my mind without fear of repercussions (and I hope I may always be thankful for this).
  8. Father: My father is full of wisdom and advice despite his penchant for teasing. He’s been called a “writer’s gold mine” and is a constant inspiration for ideas, many of them planted by him while I was a child. He is largely responsible for my creativity.
  9. Sister: “Friends and sisters; not just sisters, but also friends.” My mother used to sing this song to me and my sister when we were kids. It’s true we had our fights, but they were never vicious. Now, we’re even better friends than before, and I’m thankful we can call each other up for support whenever it’s needed. Also, I’m pretty sure if the apocalypse ever happens, we’ll have each other’s back.
  10. Food: I don’t always enjoy eating, but the fact that it sometimes feels like a chore to me make me thankful—it means I have enough of it to be healthy and content. I’ve felt true hunger only a few times in my life, and it was never a serious situation—just a product of inconvenience.
  11. Veterans: I’m thankful for my husband, and all Veterans, for dedicating themselves to making this country a safer place.
  12. Dogs: Not only did my dogs inspire me to write the first novel that was accepted for publication, but having dogs is a constant joy. No matter what kind of horrible day I’ve had, and regardless of whether I’ve been gone for five minutes or five days, the dogs always greet me like my presence is the best thing that could have happened to them. Thank goodness for unconditional love.
  13. Books: Books don’t require electricity, and there are no commercial breaks. I read a quote somewhere that nothing furnishes a home so much as books, and it’s true. When books are around, I am comforted by the fact that I can travel anywhere in my mind with their help. I can stretch my brain and fly around the world without leaving my seat.
  14. Job: As much as we complain about our jobs, we shouldn’t take them for granted. All it takes is being jobless to realize how much a job—even a job we would otherwise complain about—means. As I hear about growing unemployment numbers, I am thankful to have a stable job in which I feel like I am making a difference.
  15. My publishers: I’m thankful to Dancing With Bear Publishing for taking a chance on Corgi Capers and giving me the first opportunity to succeed as a novelist, and also for Crowded Quarantine, World Castle, and Barking Rain Press for current and upcoming releases.
  16. Music: It never ceases to amaze me how music—and all art—can reach across decades and centuries, even after the composer has died, to inspire and entertain us. I write this as I’m listening to Vivaldi’s “Winter” from The Four Seasons. It truly represents the resilience of the human spirit to transcend all limitations, including death.
  17. Mind: I am thankful for my mind. I’ve been blessed with an unnaturally creative and imaginative mind. I am never bored because even when I have nothing to do, I can escape to the recesses of my mind.
  18. Husband: It can’t be overstated that I love living each day with my best friend, a constant support.  
  19. Heat: There’s just nothing like cuddling under a blanket and feeling the warmth of the heat coming out of the vents when the rest of the air is chilly.
  20. Health: I waited for my birthday to write about this one, but it tops my list. To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald, there is nothing more stark than the contrast between the healthy and the sick. All the things we complain about might seem irrelevant to someone fighting for his or her life. It’s easy, being healthy, to lose perspective. And it’s easy to forget that, as my parents used to remind me, we’re all here “but for the Grace of God,” meaning we can never take tomorrow for granted. Although I hate the idea of birthdays, my parents like to say, “would you prefer the alternative?”
  21. Capitalism: I truly believe that there is no better system in the world for bringing equality of opportunity and a better quality of life to the entire population than free market capitalism. Though we don’t live in a world free from cronyism or harmful overregulation, I am thankful that we come close, and I wouldn’t trade the benefits of our system for any other.
  22. Sleep: I didn’t always sleep well. I’m sometimes either excited about a writing idea, kept awake by a book, or kept disturbed by stress or worries, so when I do get to sleep—that really deep, restful sleep, I really appreciate it.
  23. Thinkers: I am thankful for the people who think—who actually use their brains to have engaging, meaningful discussions with me. You know who you are—those I feel free to talk to on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Thank you for not drinking the Kool-aid.
  24. Snow Days: While I don’t think we’ll be having a November snow day this year, there’s nothing like the unexpected gift of time. It’s the only thing in life humans truly have no control over—it passes regardless of our efforts, and we can only control how we spend it. A snow day, to me, represents the invaluable gift of time, and mine are never squandered.
  25. Then Again, Days That Aren’t Snow Days: Even before I got stuck for 12 hours in a car during a (not even that bad) snow storm (people cannot drive in snow and had abandoned their cars in the middle of roads), I’ve hated snow. It’s dangerous. Not having to shovel feet of snow, or figure out what to do until a snow-related power outage ends makes me thankful to be at work!
  26. Human Achievement: I am not a big government supporter, and I believe what we have accomplished as human being comes despite the government, not because of it. I am glad that, despite stupid (even if well-meaning) decisions, corruption, lobbyists, dictators, tyrants, serfdom, and other forms of oppression man has historically allowed, humankind has always held onto that spark that makes us great, that makes us fight for freedom for ourselves and each other, and I hope that this world will never meet something so oppressive as to extinguish that spark.
  27. Memories: Memories can bring me comfort even in the worst of times, and I am thankful that my life has been blessed with mostly happy memories to cherish.
  28. Family: I am grateful each year to be able to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones, and remember those who are no longer with us.
  29. Contact Lenses: A conversation during Thanksgiving reminded me how much better I am able to see thanks to the contact lenses I have been wearing since late high school.
  30. My grandfather: Though I never met him in this life, my grandfather has been a comfort and an inspiration in my dreams, and I truly credit him for my newfound peace with my job and for my budding success as a writer. I don’t purport to understand the mysteries that are out there, but I am thankful to him for showing me that whatever it is, it’s a comfort, not a fear.

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