I don’t really remember how long this tradition goes back in my blog. I know I’ve been posting my thankfuls wayyyy back on Momsie (the blog that started it all). Here’s one that I wrote the PROVES BRIAN AND I ARE STILL MARRIED , which was an exciting read. Also, there’s lots of badly lit pictures of Steve on that post, so there you go. Biggie Meows ALWAYS was on my thankful list, and yes I still miss him.
And as one who really understands the concept of gratitude (being in recovery is an automatic pass into Land Of The Super Grateful because we can’t help ourselves. We’ve made it out alive, after all. Not everybody gets to be so lucky) I LOVE to post my Top Ten Thankfuls. It just makes me happy.
So away we go:
10. New opportunities. I am currently working on getting certified to become a book coach with these folks. The program is a LOT. Like, I think it will take me about six months if not longer to get there. There’s homework. My sons and I work together now, muttering and typing (why do muttering and typing always seem to go together?) But the program is exciting as it is rigorous, and as a writing instructor AND a writer, I think it will be a perfect fit.
9. Running. I’ve been running at least three times a week now. I started out walking every other block, and now I am able to run it all. 🙂 I’m proud of myself for this. Last year, I had pretty much decided running was no longer possible, but I really missed it. I missed the feeling of my feet on the pavement, and that glorious and painful sprint at the end. I missed the cold mornings. So, look at me, running again. It’s a flipping miracle. Also, on the days that my run feels like I’m jogging through peanut butter I’m going to go back and read this post to, uh, adjust my attitude. I think that should be a new hashtag, btw. #peanutbutterrun
8. Um… my health? I don’t know how to sum this up, but this past year health-wise has been, to say the least, challenging. Hearing issues have been a big problem. I have tinnitus, and so my ears are always doing this weird shrieky thing (Have you seen Dumb and Dumber? The most annoying sound in the world? Yea, that. (By the way, I have actually never seen Dumb and Dumber in its entirety. My husband, however, has seen it multiple times. This pretty much sums up our marriage.) And then there’s menopause, where your hormones attack you and make you feel crazy about it. At one point, about 8 months ago, I wondered if this was just it. If I was going to feel like crud forever. Guess what? I am indeed not going to feel like crud forever! I am crud-free about 75% of the time! It’s fabulous!
7. Steve. There, I said it again. I’m grateful for him, and how much I loved him, and that my eyes still tear up pretty much anytime I think about him. I am grateful I loved my big boi so much. He was my furry muse.
6. And so… Rey.
Rey has been a great comfort to me while I grieve for Sir Meows a Lot. She comes over and presses herself up against me, and then tries to crawl in my lap which is awkward because the girl can take up SPACE. I admire her confidence. I always imagine she’s just sort of softly muttering as she attempts the lap-sneak, all “Pardon me… say… I might sit… don’t mind me I’m just gonna.., yes, HERE we go… oopsie, ok, just gonna squeeze through while I… ” and voila! Really uncomfortable cuddles! Watch this vid to get a glimpse of it in action. It is a thing of beauty.
5. My husband.
His name is Brian and he is often mentioned here. I wrote pages and pages about him in both my books. He’s a never-ending fountain of somewhat annoying but well-loved material. When I did stand-up last summer, 99.8 % of my material was under the heading: WHY. HE KEEPS DOING THIS and it was a hit. The best part is he sat there during the set and laughed too. That’s because he is generous and loving and has a lot of patience, which come to find out is shockingly necessary when you’re married to me.
4. It seems rather like I should put my sons in here too. Right? Right.
My fourteen-year old is now as tall as I am, and he is learning to drive. While this is occuring (the driving not the height), and I have the misfortune of actually being in the car with him at the same time, I have learned to practice deep-breathing and what I like to call “Shrieky-whisper-prayer-driving.” Charlie is smart and focused and will probably run a large corporation one day because his absolute passion in life is telling other people what to do. So, go forth and boss people around, my son. I adore you.
My twelve-year old, Henry, smiles and winks at me about 67% of the time as he gets out of the car to go to school. He is also smart and driven and won’t ever run a large corporation because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. He dreams of making it into the Air Force and flying planes. Without hurting anyone’s feelings. He has the attention span of a a very nice squirrel toddler on crack, but I forgive him because also he really loves my cooking. I adore you.
3. Sayings like: It’s always darkest before the dawn.
What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.
We’re gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on dancing all through the night.
We’re gonna keep on, keep on, keep on doing it right (Ok, I stole that from the Brady Bunch).
If this year had been a motivational poster, I’m the kitten.
I mean… I guess there are worse things.
Here’s the thing. It is actually pretty dark before the dawn. But then, WHAMMMO. Dawn happens. Like every day.
And, I am strong. I was doing a plank earlier and Rey came and laid ON me (Again with the “lemme just… pardon me… I’m just going to sit right on here… “) so I’m basically ready for an Ironman.
And there has been some grooving in my life lately. A lot in fact. I can’t help it. I just can’t help it.
2. Yellow Converse.
Through the magic of Tiktok (something I thought I would never hear myself say, tbh) I have found funky, colorful, creative women who thrift weird art and like to play around with clothes. Sometimes they even pair (*gasp) plaids with stripes. The whole #wearwhatyoulove thing is a hashtag I can get behind. It started when I had to get more headshots for speaking things, and I decided to bring two pairs of shoes: pointy serious ones or my yellow converse. My photographer asked me, “Which ones make you feel more like you?” Yellow converse it is. It seemed, at the time, an audacious move. But then I asked myself, “What Would Brene Do?” and I wore them. And from there, it’s been a joyride into color and texture and just loving the creativity of it all.
1. Faith. Both in God and in humanity. Perhaps this won’t make sense to some of you. Some might feel like faith is a cliche. Or a speck of something, insignificant or annoying. Some might thing also that humanity has been circling the Great Toilet Bowl of Life for a while now (social media really has a handle on that and I really do hope you saw what I did there). I completely agree. As one who has found my faith shooketh all over the place in the past year, which also, not so very coincidentally, cracked open my Pollyanna-ish views of people in high places… it’s been a lot. It’s been hard. I have been frustrated and overwhelmed and at one point, I just told God I was mad at him and I wanted to break up. I’d been duped. I didn’t sign up for this. I wanted my flannel-graph Jesus back.
But, Jesus persisted. In his most human and godlike form (no flannel unless hipster Jesus?), he sat with me through it all. And then he walked with me, read with me, prayed with me. He didn’t give up on me. I’m not going to give up on him.
Besides. He helped me get sober and for that I owe him my life. Just my life. Nothing more.
So, there you go! My Top Ten Thankfuls. I would like to add one more as a bonus. It’s my blog and I can do what I want:
You. I am grateful for you, my dear reader. You are such a blessing to me.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and remember: