This is the time of year when people stop and acknowledge all that they’re thankful for. I think that’s a great idea. You know what I’m thankful for…?
- Me! Yes, that’s right. Dare I say it? I put myself at the top of the list! I’m my own best friend and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to develop a strong personal relationship with myself. I know, I know; that’s the most barfy self help thing to say–but it’s true! Love thyself! <<Cue vomit sound>>
- Ray. I am the mostest luckiest man in the world to share my life with such a great guy. You really know what makes him great other than the fact that he’s one of the nicest most respectful people in the world? He puts up with me. I’m not exactly a walk in the park. I have, as they say, a rather dynamic personality (or personalities if you ask Ray). I love Ray and he loves me right back and for that, I am truly thankful.
- Lifestyle. Ray and I made a scary decision to leave the big sexy career jobs back in Chicago for the sunny skies of Arizona. We took a huge gamble and you know what? We both found employment related to our work experience, built a fantastic house on some land, live well within our means and have hardly any debt (Thanks to Ray and his experience with banking and the fact that we are quite frugal). I think the only thing we really spend money on is food which leads me to number four.
- Diet. A few years back I became really ill. I went to three different specialists who insisted nothing was wrong. At the suggestion of a friend, I saw an herbalist/acupuncturist. Around the same time, I started reading about chemical sensitivities and food allergies. After a few acupuncture treatments and a crash course in self education, I discovered the crap they put in our laundry detergent to make it smell spring fresh was making me ill. This had a profound effect on the two of us and we started asking; just what is in the products we use today? We found out and were shocked. It’s no wonder there are so many health problems in the world. Nowadays, we go to the market and buy fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grain everything. Ray prepares fruit and nonfat plain yogurt for both of us every morning. He also makes great meatless comfort food meals for dinner. He cooks almost every night and it is always good–always.
- Families. Even though our mothers have had a few health issues and our elderly relatives are getting way up there in age, both of our families are doing alright. There is no major drama. The brothers and sisters are fine and the nieces and nephews seem to be holding it together. Ray’s sister Mary is going to retire after forty plus years of teaching and my oldest sister Betty is about to graduate from law school. She has three kids and a full time job! I have no idea how she does it. I am very proud of her.
- Everything. For the most part, I’m happy, healthy and I’m not in need of anything. The air here is fresh and the sky blue and at night, I can see all the stars. We leave work every day at 5:30 and get every other Friday off. There is occasional fun travel and our faraway friends actually make the trek out to Stolen Horseshoe to visit. Oh I could go on–and will! I love: How the whole house fills up with the smell of yummy food at dinnertime. Arizona sunsets. Summertime in the pool with my man. A good belly laugh. Pillow talk. Singing. Seeing the mountains again. A long hot shower. Monsoon thundershowers. Meteor showers and being able to see them. My morning walks with coworker Jean. The two little plants on my desk. Karen Carpenter’s voice. Choral music. Playing my guitar. All the wildlife around our home–even the rattlesnakes. Riding my motorcycle. Chatting with cool people online from all over the world. Sex (I love sex, what can I say?). Being creative. Getting a haircut from my man–that, by far, is one of my most favorites. We have so many little things making it all worth while. That makes me thankful.
- You. Yes, you! I am so thankful for the people who read my blog. I am also thankful for the few that take time to write a comment or email me just to say they enjoyed the read. Blogging was my experiment—my exercise to force myself to write frequently in hopes of honing my skills. Your readership, kind words and participation make it all worthwhile. I am totally blown away by your feedback on something that scared me so much, I waited forty one years to try. For that, I am very, very, very thankful.
Over the years, I have found that–for me–an important part of life is acknowledging the things I am thankful for. I try to do it every day. Yes, I’m sounding like Oprah but I swear that it all really turned around in a good way when I stopped focusing on what I didn’t have and started steering my attention on what I did. After taking the time to determine the difference between want and need, superficial things became less important. Yes, I want an iPhone. No, I don’t need one.
It’s weird. I am so ambivalent about this post. I’m trying to express a true revelation that I had but it just sounds kind of, “Neener neener neeeener! I’m happy and you’re not!!” By all means, that’s not what I’m trying to say. I just feel that having an Arizona sunset right in my own backyard is just as valuable as having an iPhone–if not more so.
I’m going to post it anyway though. Rule number one about writing–be honest.
Happy Thanksgiving world. Thanks for everything. I wish the best for everyone–honest!