Fantastic Friday: 30 Days of Thankful: 2015 Edition

I have tried to be more positive this year, posting my Fantastic Friday posts to highlight something positive that has happened each week. As November draws to a close, I’d like to post my “Thirty Days of Thankful” post for the month.

If you haven’t heard, November is a month that challenges people (mostly via the Internet) to recognize one thing to be thankful for each day. Each day this month—or any, or every month—we are asked to look at a particular element of our life and recognize what we are thankful for. It’s so easy to take things for granted, after all.

So here are my 30 things to be thankful for, in no particular order:

  1. A kind and loving husband.

Eric cleaning2. A warm, safe house to live in.

3. My corgis, who can turn around even the worst days.

4. Family and friend remaining safe during/after car accidents!

5. The pellet stove we just had installed late this summer. Though it’s not quite a wood-burning stove—and does require electricity—it has brought much warmth to our home, both literally and metaphorically. Oh, and the dogs love it!

Yoda sleeping near stove

6. Books! And the education I received that enables me to appreciate them

7. The tiny alien swimming around in my belly.

8. The medical care—even when annoying—to look after said alien.

9. The outdoors. Sometimes just a few minutes outdoors provides just the recharge I need after a busy, stressful, people-filled day.

10. Speaking of people, people! Though I prefer alone time, I appreciate the friends and family in my life who are able to support me on rough days.

11. Family. I was blessed this month with two Thanksgiving dinners and double the time with family.

12. Electricity. As the afternoons grow darker earlier and earlier, I can’t imagine how people kept their spirits up simply by candle light.

13. The stubbornness I inherited from my dad. It has driven me to figure out how to fix things on my own and given me the perseverance I need to succeed in many tasks.

14. The patience I inherited from my mother. Though it doesn’t always manifest, it serves me well when I most need it.

15. Cheese. No, seriously. As an acceptable food for my current diet, it has saved me numerous times while providing needed protein and calcium.

16. The free market. It’s amazing to me that the free market is able to deliver goods right to my door in a matter of days, for a relatively affordable price.

17. The mountains. Every day, driving to work, I drive past a view of the mountains in the distance. When the sun is out, the whole sky lights up in that morning glow, making the day seem magical and full of potential. It’s times like that I realize how truly lucky I am to be alive.

18. Sunrises. Some mornings, I time it just right so that I’m letting the dogs out just as the sun is coming up from behind the bare trees. Though I love the leaves in the summertime, it is only the bare branches that afford me a view of the sunrise from my yard.

Nature's painting. The perfect way to start the day.

Nature’s painting. The perfect way to start the day.

19. The TARDIS cake a good friend made me for my birthday.

TARDIS cake

20. With all the holiday get-togethers, I’m realizing that the thing uniting us is the stories we tell. Fiction or nonfiction, stories hold more truth than much else in this world.

21. Dreams.

22. My car. Yes, I badmouth my Chevy sometimes, but it gets me from place to place (on most days without any problems), and I am grateful for that.

23. A hot shower. Sometimes, after a hot shower, I feel so clean and refreshed that I wonder what in the world it was like to go without plumbing or indoor heating back in the day.

24. Blood memory. I truly believe some memories are inherent in our blood. I find comfort in making Grandma’s meatballs without a recipe, as if I am channeling her talents. It’s a comfort knowing how connected we are.

25. My job. Like my car, my job can sometimes be easy to complain about, but I am grateful to be able to talk about writing and reading all day—and still bring home a paycheck—all while inspiring future generations.

26. Nine Lives. Okay, let me explain this one. You know the saying that cats have nine lives? I think people have many lives, too, and they come in stages. I think of all the memories from grade school and high school and then college and various jobs following. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that all those lives, all those hobbies, all those priorities (that have changed so much since then) were all me. But those lives all make up part of me and add to the wisdom of who I have become. I am grateful for the ability to change and not grow stale.

27. The refrigerator. Sometimes, standing at the refrigerator door and wondering what the heck I feel like eating makes me feel a little ashamed. But I appreciate all the choices I have afforded to me by technology and modern conveniences so that it’s never a question of whether to eat—only what.

28. Living somewhere sane on Black Friday. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those people who camps out for hours before a big sale. I go out after the crazies. But even an 8 a.m. shopping trip can get nutty on Black Friday. I’m glad I live somewhere now that allows me to get away from all the neurotic, crazy people so that a shopping trip even on the busiest day of the year isn’t so bad after all.

29. Like books, I appreciate the ability of a movie to take me out of my life for a while. We look at characters and situations from film and literature as inspiration.

30. Ideas. As long as people are saying “I have an idea,” there is always hope.