Today is Thanksgiving – a time to spend with family and reflect on the good and wonderful things in our lives. So, in that vein, here’s a list of things I’m thankful for this year.
1. My Family As always, this is number one. My husband, my children, my extended family. All of these people are central to my life and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without them. I love them all so very much.
2. Employment I am so grateful that Scot has a job but I am even more grateful that it is one he enjoys. Shifting from technical writing to systems administration has been so, so good for him. His work environment is so much better for him, too. He’s found a great boss, a good group of people to work with, and his job satisfaction has taken a big upswing.
3. Zoloft Because, DUH. If there is one single thing I did for myself this year that made my life better, it was admitting I needed help, seeing a doctor, and going on Zoloft. I feel WORLDS better than I did beforehand. It’s sort of hard to describe just how profoundly it has changed my life. Better living through chemistry, man. All hail modern medicine.
4. Social Media I love living in the future. The ability to connect with my far flung family of friends is something I truly cherish. It means I get to keep up with some of my oldest and dearest friends (Hi Dan and Trista!) but also easily connect with new ones. It is a stay-at-home-parent’s life line to a world not dominated by children.
5. Friends And of course, following straight behind social media, I am thankful for my friends. Old and new, local and distant – every one of you have made me laugh, supported me through rough waters, and enriched my life is ways immeasurable. I can only hope that I’ve returned the favor.
6. My Treadmill Yes, I am thankful for an inanimate object. Why? Because it allows me to exercise regularly while still being able to provide a parental presence. I can show my kids by example the importance of exercise as part of a healthy life. Also? Running makes me feel great, lessens the severity of my depression, and did I mention it makes me feel great?
7. School I’m really glad to be back in school, working toward a goal, and preparing to re-enter the world of employment. I didn’t realize I’d missed it until I got back into it. The early years of motherhood sort of shut down that part of my brain. Now it’s waking back up and it’s rather fantastic.
8. Older Kids Yes, I am thankful my kids aren’t babies/toddlers anymore. The fact that they don’t need me for every tiny thing anymore means I am able to do other things – go back to school, exercise regularly, have a life outside of them. I am really glad I’ve been able to be home with them for so long doing a job I consider to be the most important one I’ll ever do but their independence means I’m doing my job right.
9. Pittsburgh I love this city. I have since the first time I visited while dating Scot. There is so much about living here that is good. The people, the access to all kinds of big city things, the low cost of living. I love living here and I love raising my family here.
10. My Dogs Man, those buggers are cute! They’re fluffy and cuddly and snuggle up to keep me warm in cold weather. After we lost Maggie, I didn’t think I’d want another dog so soon. We only went ahead with getting Ellie because the boys missed having a dog so much. I am so glad we did it. Then we brought Molly home and now it’s like she’s always been here. Those furballs are so worth the aggravation they sometimes inspire.
11. Teachers Liam’s teacher this year is just amazing. I love her so much and I can only wish that every teacher he has is so fantastic. Jamie’s teachers just love him and they have really nurtured his desire to learn. I have no doubt he’ll be ready for Kindergarten in the fall thanks to their hard work.
12. My Grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe I love pumpkin pie in all its glorious forms. I’ve never met a pumpkin pie I didn’t like. But there is nothing like Mormor’s pie, dark with brown sugar and lots of spice. Mormor died 13 years ago but thanks to my mother bequeathing the family pie lore, Mormor is with me whenever I make that pie.
13. Simple Pleasures A glass of wine after a long day. The delicious smell of a dinner I worked hard to make. A quiet and happy day with family. My morning coffee. Date night with Scot. My kids’ artwork. Nail polish to fancy up my nails. Books. Music. The satisfaction of a job (whatever job!) well done.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your day is as wonderful as I know mine will be.