30 days of thankfulness all at once.

It isn’t cheating to do all 30 days of thankfulness at once, is it?

  1. I’m so glad I was raised in northern Maine. 18 years of living in the woods, always having someone familiar to wave at, a lake to swim in every summer and snow to play in every winter, and friendly people who told me stories of my grandparents and mom when they were young.
  2. My parents. They grounded me in love, taught me that it’s okay to question the world around me, and were proud to instill faith and family heritage. Recognizing some of their traits in me makes me feel closer to them.
  3. Brothers. I’ve never had enough time with them, but getting to be a sister to Brad, Broch and Brent has enriched my life. Love you guys and miss you lots.
  4. My daughters. They only feel like my kids when it’s my job to shuttle them places or those rare circumstances when I have to scold them and when my chest tightens up because I miss them terribly. Otherwise, they’re my little buddies who teach me about life and make me laugh at their constant witty observations. I just want to squeeze them.
  5. I’m glad I was raised evangelical. Rachel Held Evans sums this one up for me:http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/5-reasons-glad-evangelical
  6. Working at CLG. This spring will mark eight years of working with these guys. They’ve shaped my life perspectives, been with me through some brilliant and dark personal moments, and provide amazing, unique opportunities. The firm is a constantly-evolving experiment in a work – life – community service balancing act, and I’m honored to be along for the ride. Hang on to your hats!
  7. My car. I bought it used a year ago and though the payments choke me a little, it’s the most reliable, comfortable, fuel efficient beauty I’ve ever owned. It’s nice not to worry about being stranded!
  8. The boyfriend: Lucas frees me to be more “me,” challenges me to grow and learn at every turn, and is a reliable source of loving support. He’s my safe harbor when life pressures are stormy.
  9. Music. Since I was raised in the church with a love of music, I have lyrics upon lyrics stored in my mind. I can recall the comforting tunes whenever I need them, in the night or when I’m especially moved looking at the ocean. I’m sad my girls don’t have that same repertoire gained by congregations caught in the traditional/contemporary tensions, but I’m glad for what music has already done for their lives. They have great, healthy friendships and doors will continue to open for them.
  10. My ex husbands. For real: I’m grateful for these guys. One is an amazing father and we continue to struggle and mostly win at compromise, co-parenting, and mutual respect. The other honored me by marrying a single mama, fanned my environmental activism into flame, and by nature of the relationship’s end created new reservoirs of personal strength. Life is bittersweet, but there’s always something to learn. Finding people who are a mirror and inspire self-reflection and change is critical to a life well-lived.
  11. San Diego. It took me a few years to internalize the different natural beauty here and feel a comfort akin to that I find in my Maine woods, but sometimes the flowers and sky and ocean and mountains (when I’m visiting them) are so gorgeous my chest aches. Now lets keep the remaining open spaces open, shall we?
  12. Duncan McFetridge. I love this guy. Here, I wrote about him last year: https://earthysara.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/cherishing-nature/
  13. Strangers’ smiles: Sometimes I’m busy with my thoughts or worry that strangers will want something or am simply feeling shy, so I try to avoid eye contact. That’s silly, because making simple eye contact and smiling at others fills up my trust and love for the world and makes me so much happier. It’s the most basic, most human act of kindness.
  14. Comfortable, seasonally-appropriate clothing. And slippers. Fuzzy, fuzzy slippers.
  15. Enough nourishing food for me and my girls. I’m grateful for this at every meal and every trip to the grocery store, and am constantly aware the same is not assured for too many individuals and families. I never take it for granted.
  16. Kind, compassionate, fiercely loving friends. I have found many over the years. I dream of a day when I can gather them and their families all together and we can picnic and sit around a big bonfire and spend days on end laughing and sharing together…
  17. My friends’ and cousins’ kids: I just love children. And building relationships and fun interactions with the offspring of people I already love is a delight.
  18. Social media: At its best it can be a source of global awareness, learning, and new friendships – real friendships – and unique camaraderie.
  19. Memories. Time softens and heals the difficult ones, and the good ones can flood the present with fondness and joy. I’m going to have lots of good things to reflect on as a little old rocking chair lady.
  20. Photography: it can be a nice creative outlet, but usually captures far more than the subject. Some pictures take me right back to the memories and feelings that are just for me. A nice hike to Shin Brook Falls with my family, camping in the Lagunas, how the ocean felt on my toes and the sun on my skin, what I was thinking about that day…
  21. Cleaning. I’m listing this one on purpose to make myself be more thankful for it 🙂
  22. Holding my Grampie’s hand, and seeing his proud, sweet smile when he looks at my girls.
  23. My Momma. Nothing in my life would be as healthy or good or functional as it is without her. Plus I like her.
  24. The Christmas season. I love it so much and I don’t even care. Cheese it up. Embrace the cheese. The secret not-secret club of us who listen to Christmas music before December. Who get so excited at sparkly candy cane-shaped earrings and festive scarves and egg nog and the scent of balsam and reflections on peace and joy and promise and hope. Happy sigh.
  25. Grace and forgiveness. We wound each other sometimes, and there’s just no fixing it. I like that we can extend the “fix” of whole forgiveness to ourselves and each other. It’s a miracle! And so much better than carrying the pain of closed doors and painful mistakes.
  26. Chocolate and cheese and coconut and avocado and pumpkin pie and butter and ice cream and [insert your favorite treat here]. Not only do our bodies get to feel good when we eat delicious healthy food, but we get treats sometimes, too! Edible joy!
  27. Philanthropy. Doing good makes us feel good. It feels like cheating to get that intrinsic gift back every time we give, but I’m glad for it.
  28. Creating. Inventions, art, entertainment, stories: these keep life interesting and sometimes open up our souls a little more. The human mind is amazing.
  29. Humility: Nobody gets it right all the time, and we all need help sometimes. Life has a way of balancing perspectives.
  30. Love. It wins every time, even if it’s ways we can’t predict or control. We can keep choosing it, though, and it’ll keep growing.

    Happy almost-December!

About earthysara

Maine girl at heart, always, living in San Diego. You can take the girl out of the woods...
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