101 Reasons Why I am Thankful

I am a big fan of gratitude. I make lists of things I am thankful for and I drop notes of thankfulness into my gratitude jar regularly. Without gratitude I miss the opportunity to celebrate what I have – to experience the joy of a blessed life, and to see the greatness in everyday, ordinary moments.

Great everyday, ordinary moments are all around. In fact, when I put the list you are about to read together I originally did it without numbering and before I stopped I was up to 135. I could have gone on and on. There is so much to be thankful for – so much that is so easily taken for granted.

Thank YouHere are 101 reasons – of an innumerable list – why I am thankful.

  1. A gracious, merciful, and patient God
  2. Physical health
  3. A sound mind
  4. Healthy & loving parents
  5. A Mommy who is fearless and kind
  6. A Daddy who is a feminist and a real man
  7. Supportive & loving sister who says things like “it’s just money, you’ll make more.”
  8. Nieces that I know and love
  9. Secret 8:00 a.m. calls from the Benevolent Dictator to talk about her favorite TV show
  10. Traveling with the Princess
  11. A brother-in-law that isn’t just the guy my sister married, he’s a good dad, a great guy, and the brother I never had
  12. Chosen family – lifelong neighbors, church folks, and friends
  13. The Cosmic Sisters who persevere
  14. My law school friends who have all changed but are delightfully still the same
  15. My oldest friends who are always there and are doing amazing things with their lives despite opposition
  16. New friends who are just as special as the old ones
  17. The great ladies of prayer and faith – you, sweet ladies, hold the rest of us together
  18. Guy friends
  19. Scout – I was once told she was the canine version of me, but I think I’m probably the human version of her
  20. Cousins
  21. Aunts and Uncles
  22. Food on my table – even if it never again includes pizza or beer
  23. A reliable car
  24. A job that regularly exceeds my expectations
  25. Colleagues who care about my life and my future
  26. An employer with values and ethics who isn’t afraid to show it
  27. An education that I probably take for granted – I learned so much more than what the diplomas reflect
  28. Books – they change my life a little bit everyday
  29. Ex-boyfriends
  30. Dancing, anywhere and everywhere you want – why I have a big kitchen
  31. Music, it makes everything a little better
  32. Mountains
  33. Ocean
  34. Grundy, Virginia, for without it I would not be me
  35. Opaque tights
  36. Dresses
  37. Sparkly socks
  38. Buying the perfect gift for someone
  39. Sunsets, anywhere
  40. Getting a surprise card in the mail – I hope the postal service exists forever
  41. My backyard
  42. A fire – in the fireplace, fire pit, or at foot of Mom and Dad’s driveway
  43. Hot tea
  44. Vitamix
  45. The words thank you
  46. Prayers
  47. Waking up without an alarm
  48. Art of all kinds – it is even better when it is hanging on my walls
  49. Photography
  50. Freedom – from tyranny and from having to clear my schedule through anyone else
  51. The separation of church and state
  52. My house
  53. My parents’ house, which will always be home
  54. The words I love you
  55. Hugs, which I cannot live without
  56. A couch good for napping
  57. Ability to help people
  58. Personal and professional mentors
  59. Traveling
  60. A screened in porch in the summer
  61. Apple – my MacBook, my iPhone, my iPad
  62. People who wave when you let them into traffic
  63. Airplanes
  64. The sound of a baby laughing
  65. Crying – happy or sad – it means your alive and you can feel things
  66. Grace, given and received
  67. Unselfish people
  68. Lists
  69. Sharpie markers
  70. Laughing until you can’t breathe
  71. Garage
  72. Physicians who listen
  73. Parents who are still willing and happy to parent 36 years later
  74. Hot water
  75. The Bible
  76. Turtleneck sweaters
  77. Holding hands
  78. Warm breeze
  79. Sunrises
  80. Dog walks
  81. Naps
  82. Making someone you like smile
  83. Netflix
  84. Four seasons – I appreciate this more since it seems that Fort Wayne only has 2.5
  85. Silence
  86. Bravery – including soldiers, sailors, police officers, firemen, and refugees
  87. Text messages
  88. Old people and babies
  89. Faithfulness
  90. The truth – in all situations
  91. Indoor plumbing
  92. Tires
  93. Tradesmen (some of the smartest people I know; electricians can do anything)
  94. Love – all the different kinds of it
  95. Choices – you always have one
  96. Writing
  97. The Internet
  98. Women who know that it’s wrong to hurt other women, personally and professionally
  99. Silliness
  100. Confidence
  101. Mix tapes – yes, I know they are CDs and playlists now, but I refuse to stop saying mix tapes

I hope your holiday weekend is full of loveliness and gratitude.

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Home Ownership Lesson #4

You will need to accept and/or ask for help.

I have been doing things myself for a long time. Even though I am the same baby that refused to walk because I had people for that – why walk when everyone carries me? I somehow went from happily depending on the arms of others for transportation to insisting on moving myself from my college apartment to downtown Richmond, Virginia when it was close to being the murder capital of the world. Mommy later complained that “I could have asked for help.” Honestly, it never occurred to me. I could do it myself.

Boyfriend #2 used to say that I am “independent to fault” because I wasn’t jealous and regularly told him that I needed a couple of days to myself. I thought he was over-reacting. Sometimes I prefer my own company, what’s the problem with that? I enjoy eating, going to the movies, shopping, and traveling alone from time to time. I have been told by people that those preferences are “weird,” “pathetic,” and “brave.” I just thought I was being normal? Sometimes a book, a movie, or NPR is all I need.

Not much has changed. I have rented apartments, traveled abroad, driven through the desert, chilled in Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago, and bought two cars myself. Most recently I bought a house by myself with some interest rate advice from a mentor and a chat with a few folks about realtors. Why not think that I can move into the new digs by myself? I thought I will hire movers to transport the furniture – even though the Family of Six offered to move me. Great plan? Two nights of pain, one doctor’s visit, two prescriptions, a sick day, and heating pad later – I realized this was not a great plan.

It started when I decided that I would move two night stands from Virginia to FW myself. Solid wood night stands with full drawers – no need to unpack them . . . waste of time. I unloaded these myself. The next day I woke up with a sore back. No big deal, right? I did some stretches and all was well. Next morning I had to keep my arbitrary schedule of moving things from my apartment to the new place (can you say OCD?) and was carrying a giant plastic container filled with clothes down the stairs. When I turned the corner into the garage I felt a sharp shooting pain in my lower back. That pain stayed without fading for the next three days. I spent a lot of time lying on the floor. Not good.

It turns out I need help.

Luckily I am extremely blessed with some homeownership angels who actually offer and expect friends to ask them for help. Shocking!  So, I have learned my lesson. I am letting the Family of Six help move some things, the Father of Six did all the prep for my painting and is cleaning the carpets, Sweet Chelle painted three rooms beautifully, Bob the Builder has recommended tree cutting services, and various others have provided muscle and advice. All I had to do was ask. What was so hard about that . . .

“How do I feel by the end of the day, Are you sad because you’re on your own, No I get by with a little help from my friends.”

John Lennon & Paul McCartney