When my friend Dawn from Tales from the Motherland emailed me earlier this week with the idea to flood the blogosphere with notes of gratitude, I honestly got a little nervous. Me? Find time the week of Christmas to blog?
This week, I barely have time to breathe. But then I remembered that, y’know, taking stock of all the things that I am thankful for is good for my soul. Dawn’s challenge was simple: take a timer out, set it to 10 minutes, and write down 50 things I’m thankful for.
And I realized: amidst all the chaos, I can spare 10 or 15 minutes for mindfulness. While I didn’t made it to 50 – I’m a pretty slow writer, truth be told – I did come up with 20 things I am immensely grateful for this Christmas.
- I am grateful for my daughter, who teaches me patience, love, and new things about the world every day.
- My husband. Nine years into marriage and 11 years into our relationship, he challenges me and inspires me in so many ways. His love is the definition of unconditional.
- My mother. Through my own motherhood, I’m learning to appreciate her more because of the sacrifices she made for me.
- My mother-in-law. The depths of her love and compassion inspire me daily.
- My job. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to something bigger than me.
- My friends, both new and old. This year I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with my best friend Cameron who lives in California three times (!), and each time I’ve been reminded how even though we’re not the same girls we were when we met as teenagers, our relationship is still strong.
- My home. I love that I have a place I can return to each day. I’m blessed that that is something I don’t have to question.
- Target. Yes. I am grateful for Target. Sue me.
- Twitter. It’s my place to be funny, honest, angry, and off-beat.
- Writing. I don’t do it as much as I used to, but I know that eventually when life gets a little less crazy, I will be able to return to writing the way I want to. Writing waits. It’s cool like that.
- Therapy. This has been the year that I’ve had to face the truth of my depression and anxiety. Therapy has been a huge boon to this.
- As well as meds. Meds are good, too.
- Stress. Yes, I’m thankful for stress. I learned that my life was off-kilter by the unhealthy way I responded to stress. If it weren’t for that kick in the butt, I would probably still be in the depths of depression.
- Memphis. I love my city, and I’m grateful to be back here after a 10-year absence. We’re more than barbeque and Elvis, y’all.
- Looking at the world through the eyes of a child. As C has gotten older, I’ve been given the opportunity to reexperience all the things I loved as a little girl. This weekend, she watched The Sound of Music for the first time and I cried happy tears through every song.
- Talking. Really, our ability to communicate is so underrated. Last week I had drinks after work with Alison, my work bestie, and our conversation invigorated me and made me feel so grateful that there are people all around us who can identify with our happinesses and struggles.
- The world is getting better. The world is fraught with pain, injustices, fear; all you have to do is get on Twitter to realize that. But there is so much good here, too. This world and everyone within it is worth fighting for. I’m thankful that I seem to remember that when I am most in need of that reassurance.
- The small things. Coffee at my local shop. The mural of Johnny Cash I pass when I drive to work. The handwritten Christmas card from a kindergarten we’re touring this January. When C falls asleep in my lap at church. All these give me a nudge to get through the day.
- Human touch. Family hugs are my favorite. Ever since she was a small toddler, whenever B and I have hugged, C will wedge herself between us and say, “It’s time for Clifford hot dog!” We have absolutely no idea what this means, but we love our Clifford hot dogs.
- God’s graciousness. I don’t usually get religious on my blog, but I firmly believe that all goodness, kindness, inclusiveness, and hope comes from something much larger than me. God has created a world worth loving and the safety I feel in prayer is one of the most authentic sensations I have in my life. I am thankful to be good enough for God, no matter how much I dislike myself.