Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

I know I've mentioned this before, but sometimes I like to look through old things I've written to stir up some new ideas for blog posts (or, more accurately, recycle some old ideas and try to make them seem fresh and new).  While I was reading through some LiveJournal entries, I stumbled upon something that seemed appropriate for a blog post the day before Thanksgiving: a list of things I'm grateful for.

Thanksgiving, as the name would suggest, is a time of giving thanks.  A time to spend with family and/or friends and reflect on the things you have, the things you're grateful for.  I think the majority of us often forget just how lucky we are.  (I know I do!)  I mean, how many times do you find yourself complaining about something completely trivial?  Or dealing with completely ridiculous first world problems?

I'm not going to pretend that my life is so perfect that my only "problems" are struggling to get out of a perfectly soft and warm bed each weekday morning to go to a job I actually enjoy, working with people I genuinely like or coming up with a moderately acceptable list of things Eric and I want for Christmas when we actually don't want or need anything.  (These are both real "problems" I have, but note the use of quotation marks ... They're obviously not real problems.)  I will say, though, that the majority of my "problems" are just that ... Stupid first world issues that many people would kill to have.

So today I'm taking a moment to share some things I'm grateful for.  Most of the time it's not too difficult to come up with a list like this, but, unfortunately, sometimes it is.  Sometimes it's hard to look at the positive things in life, especially if you've ever dealt with depression (and, judging from the statistics, I know there are a lot of us out there!).  However, I realized something when I found that LiveJournal entry ... I wrote it when I was a senior in college.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but that was a really bad year for me.  But, as depressed as I was, I still managed to come up with a list of 10 things I was grateful for.  My list may have changed a bit over the years, but the idea is the same: we should all try to take a minute to consider the good things in our lives.  No matter what else may be happening, whatever awful things we might be dealing with, there's probably still something we can be thankful for.

I had written this quote in the LiveJournal entry I referenced in today's post, and I thought it still seemed perfect.

1.  I am grateful that I have a full time job.  More than that, I'm grateful that I have a full time job I enjoy that allows me to use my degree.

2.  I am grateful that I don't have to worry about keeping a roof over my head or where my next meal is coming from.  We're not rich by any means, but Eric and I both have steady jobs that allow us at least some financial stability ... And that's definitely something to be grateful for (especially in today's economy)!

3.  I am grateful for the people in my life who have stood by me through everything ... The good times and the bad.

4.  I am grateful for the fact that my mom always believes in me (even when I don't believe in myself).

5.  I am grateful that Eric is such a loving, understanding husband.  I know I'm not always the easiest person to live with (or deal with in general), and somehow he still loves me despite all of my many flaws.

6.  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to really know my grandparents.  While it made it much more difficult when they passed away, I'm thankful to have all of the great memories of times spent with them.

7.  I am grateful for my ability to express myself through writing.

8.  I am grateful for the opportunities I've had to travel.  I've seen and done a lot of things I only dreamed of when I was younger, and that's pretty awesome.  There are still a lot of places to check off my "must see" list, but, since Eric and I both love to travel, I'm confident we'll eventually see all (or at least most) of them.

9.  I am grateful that I have the luxury of free time.  I have time to work on this blog, watch TV shows and movies, read, go to yoga classes, go out with Eric or with friends ... The list could go on and on.  I think everyone deserves time to do things they enjoy, but I also know everyone doesn't have that time.  Just knowing that makes me feel incredibly lucky.

10.  I am grateful for the experiences I have learned from in my life.  Sure, I have some regrets (doesn't everyone?), but everything I've been through has led me to where I am now.  And I have a lot to be grateful for these days.

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