Last week I was talking to one of my very best friends about what is going on with our lives and our families and life in general. The past two weeks had kind of sucked for me and both of our families. No major tragedies; just a couple stabs. As each of us made a complaint, the other one would say “at least you had/could/are/etc.” reminding each other that it could be much worse. In reality, it’s been a really good year for me (and her too, I think) and I have a lot that I am thankful for – some good and some making the bad good. Here’s what I am thankful for so far this year in no particular order:
- My job: I am so thankful for my job for many reasons. First, because I have one when so many people do not. It’s tough out there and I managed to find a new job in a bad economy with tons of other people competing for the spot. I’m crazy luck just for that. Second, because it allowed me to leave a job that made me beyond miserable and to join a team of genuinely nice, friendly and non-dramatic people. Third, because it pays me a significant amount more than my last job. Not to say that money is everything or that I’m rolling in dough now (because I’m definitely not) but, for other reasons that I’ll get to next. And finally because it’s providing me with a great opportunity to learn and grow as I work.
- I can donate to charities: Okay, I understand that this one may sound ridiculous but, hear me out. Remember what I said about my new job paying me more. This is one of the biggest benefits of that salary (beyond being able to live with a little bit of comfort). When people ask you to donate to their walk fund for whatever charity or when everyone puts in money to sponsor a family around the holidays, they always say that even $1 helps. That’s very true but, it’s nice to be able to give more. Since I started my new job I’ve been able to donate to my mom’s walk fund for the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York and to my friend’s walk fund for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. I was able to buy a little extra for the two families the hotel sponsored for Thanksgiving. And I’ll be able to make some contributions to my favorite charities this holiday season and buy some extra toys for Toys for Tots. I am thankful that I can help make a little more of a difference this year.
- My parents: I am always thankful for my parents. They’re amazing people who made my life pretty damn easy and put up with my shit when I was making their life pretty damn hard. That’s a whole ‘nother type of thankful right there (Thanks for letting me live, Mom & Dad. I can think of more than one time I would have killed me.) But, the reason that I’m especially thankful for them this year is because of who they are. 2012 has not been their year at all. And this is after the past couple years haven’t been so great either. I won’t go into their personal details but, I am thankful for the strength that they have shown and continue to show through it all. I’m hoping 2013 is the year that they get to finally see the light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.
- My fiance: Yeah…I have one of those and in April, I’ll have a husband. And, I’m ridiculously thankful for him. Not only can he put up with me and my crazies and love me in spite of them but, he’s also helped me become a better person.
- My dog: Emma has been my companion for almost seven years. She is a crazy bundle of joy. No matter what has happened in my life or where I’ve gone, she’s been there. She may not be the brightest bulb but, she is the most loving.
- My family, My friends and Everyone who doesn’t like me so much: Because they are the people that help shape your personality and your life. Without all of them, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today.
And, while that’s the end of my list, there is so much more to be thankful for every day.