Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gratuitous "What I'm Thankful For" Day Before Thanksgiving Post

This post is exactly what the title says it is, but before I launch into it, I would like to clarify the motivation behind it.
What this post is not:
1) A mindless jump on the "All my friends are posting Thanksgiving related stuff" bandwagon.
2) The result of a guilt trip. From anyone. Including my friends who are posting Thanksgiving related stuff.
3) What I have channeled my procrastination into, instead of creating Ebay listings and sewing Christmas gifts like I'm supposed to be doing.
4) A feeble attempt at distracting myself from the box of dark chocolate cordial cherries sitting next to me, all but audibly pleading to be devoured in one go.

No, wait. It probably IS that last one.

Despite all of my protests above, I really DO have so very much to be Thankful (yes, with a capital T. It really is that important.) for. This list is by no means inclusive, exclusive, or even conclusive (unless it brings us all to the conclusion that I absolutely do need to keep going to therapy to control my impulses to write/babble complete nonsense from a random stream of ADD consciousness. Then I can live with it being labeled "conclusive". What was I saying? Oh, yeah...) Enjoy my list of things I am Thankful for!

  • My Savior
  • My Family (Yes, all of them.)
  • My Friends (Yes, all of them, too.)
  • Though it is constantly under fire, my freedom of worship. Some people seem to be unaware that in many countries, having/being caught with a Bible or saying the name Jesus is legally punishable by death. I'm not only allowed to worship God anywhere I want in my town, I pass more than 2 dozen churches on the way to the church of my choice! I challenge other Christians to not take that for granted the next time you are trying to get to your church on time.
  • A nice place to live. Believe me, after losing a home to foreclosure, NOT being homeless is a big deal.
  • Jobs and income to buy food and gasoline. However meager our pay, we have plenty to eat. Plenty of GOOD food to eat, too, not just Ramen noodles and rice and beans. Although there is nothing wrong with those foods either. You know what I meant.
  • My sense of humor. I absolutely DO NOT understand how people with no sense of humor and the ability to laugh things off manage to cope with all of the crap that life often throws at us. I mean it. How do they function at all??! I can at least feel like at the end of a truly awful day that at some point later I'll have an amusing tale about the situation to entertain people with. And some people even get PAID to be funny and tell other people those stories!! (Maybe I should look into that...)
  • A running vehicle. When the Honda died, we had the Villager. When the Villager died, we had (have) the Buick. While I hope and pray that the Buick does not die at least until we can get another car, even if it did, my grandmother would let us borrow her Toyota to run to the store or be taken to work, until we could get something else. I definitely do NOT take for granted having my own transportation!
  • Understanding and patient creditors. I'm not joking. Earlier this year, in our darkest hours and when all seemed lost, there were people we owed who patiently waited and kept in touch with us (without harassing us) until we could finally pay them. When we could and did pay them, they treated us politely and with respect. Our creditors definitely weren't ALL like that. But the ones who were, were absolutely amazing. I don't think that excellent customer service and good treatment will go unrewarded.
  • My computer, Internet access, and Facebook. Ok, that's three things, but they are all related and I am thankful that I am able to stay in touch with all of my friends, no matter how far away they live, or what time it is. I am a very personable person and connecting with people is extremely important to me. Which is why, if you've ever noticed, the quickest way to piss me off is to talk AT me, rather than TO me, or to act as though I don't matter as a person. Rudest. Thing. Ever! Also through the computer, I've been able to sell some of the things I no longer need, or things I have made, and that extra has helped keep us clothed and fed.
  • My sewing machine. Having a tool to create things to wear, sell and use and knowing how to use it is completely awesome!
  • The fact that I'm not yet a divorce statistic.
  • The fact that I (or my children) have not been hospitalized in the last 12 months, for any reason. I do not take this for granted. So many people get seriously injured or ill every day, and I'm thankful that it has not been us.
  • My counselor/therapist. She is worth every penny I pay her, and I would absolutely, 100% without doubt have had a serious mental/emotional breakdown by now and not been able to function had I not had her support and advice. I mean the kind of nervous breakdowns that put people in the hospital (see above) and have their children taken away from them because they are so unstable. Earlier this year I needed professional help, and sought it. I am SO unbelievably thankful for it and the stability/functionality it has encouraged.
  • My level of education, and my desire to never stop learning. I could have been bitter about the rotten deal I got 8 years ago when I wasn't able to finish college and get my bachelor's. But I chose not to be. I am thankful that my education, however far it got before I had to put it on hold, has enabled me to be an asset to my children and my community. I have edited newsletters, checked my children's homework, written letters of encouragement to friends, and earned the respect of many as a direct result of my conscious abilities in spelling, proof reading, grammar, and writing style. I am thankful that I care enough to want the things I present to other people to read, to be correct. I know the difference between (and correct use of) "your" and "you're", and also "their", "there" and "they're". I know how to correctly use a semicolon. I do not use double negatives, even though here in the south it is exceedingly common to do so in one's regular conversation. I can spell baccalaureate correctly the first time, every time. Without using the computer's spell check.
  • The ability to learn from my past mistakes and not repeat them. This applies to so much in my life, but particularly the areas of finances, family and other major life altering decisions.
There is loads more, but I think I'll stop there. At least for now. There are still some 20 hours until we're all sitting down tucking in to all the Thanksgiving Day food, food and more food, so I might write some more later. This has been a hard year, but I am Thankful for everything that I have. Compared to many, I have so much. In case I don't get a chance to write again before tomorrow night, everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! Stay well and safe and happy. Thanks for reading.

P.S. I failed at distracting myself from the cordial cherries. But I didn't eat them all in one sitting. There is still one left in the box. ;)

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