Thankful Thoughts

I can’t believe it’s already time for Thanksgiving again. This year has flown by. In December, it will be one year since I’ve moved into my tiny apartment. I swear the older I get, the faster time passes me by.

This time of year, people start thinking about what they’re thankful for. But why don’t we think about it during the rest of the year? Life keeps us busy and it’s so easy to let days pass without giving them any thought. “Going through the motions” is what I like to call it. We’re so caught up in what we have to do, where we have to go, who needs to be taken care of, when our bills need to be paid, and what’s next on our list of life tasks, to stop and recognize the little things in our lives that enable us to be truly blessed.

Myself included. Right now, my mind is swimming with chores I need to do around the apartment, errands I need to run, and when I need to pay my bills. On a larger spectrum, I’m overwhelmed with all of my classes and final projects, working 6 days a week, finding time to go to the gym, making time to spend with the people I care about, how will I afford life next semester when my rent goes up, will I ever be able to keep up with this blog, what happens after graduation, the list goes on and on. It’s so easy to make a list of things that I’m worried about or problems that I feel like I’m facing.

I decided to challenge myself to make a list of things that I’m thankful for. I will say that this list (unfortunately) took a little bit more thought than my list of “problems” – that flew off the keyboard onto my screen quite quickly.

What am I thankful for?

  • My family. Yes I know that this is everyone’s answer, but I really mean it. I’ve been blessed with such an awesome family, sometimes thinking about it makes me want to cry. My parents love me more than anything (my brother included – just kidding) and I’ve never felt alone, unwanted, left out in the cold, or like I don’t matter. I know that not everyone is blessed with a family like mine. And although families tend to face differences from time to time, I’ve never felt like any of those differences would cause us to love each other any less. Life changes when you become an adult, and you really do realize just how thankful you are for your family.
  • My new friends. Over the past year or so, I’ve made a handful of new friends. For awhile, I didn’t have a strong support group of “best friends” who really cared about our friendship through thick and thin. I now realize that the length of time you know someone doesn’t matter, that doesn’t make them any less qualified as a great friend. When you can trust someone with an embarrassing secret or call them crying about something you KNOW is stupid, and they justify it for you even though THEY know it’s stupid too, that’s friendship. Friendship isn’t something you can put into a box. Whether it’s giving advice, talking on the phone for an hour venting about your crappy group project, or eating cheap pizza and drinking beer at your favorite spot, friendship can come in all different forms. You don’t need a BFF necklace to prove that – but maybe it’s encouraged?
  • My job. Yeah, I can’t believe I said that either. Sometimes it drives me crazy, sometimes I want to throw bank lollipops out of anger and sometimes I’m like, “might as well bring a blow-up mattress and live here.” But to be honest… I’m so thankful for my bank family. I’ve been at my job for about 19 months and it’s a huge part of my life. My work family, is truly my little (dysfunctional but functional) family. I spend more time with these people and some of my clients than I do anyone else. They know when I’m having a bad day, they know my favorite restaurants and snacks, they ask me how school is going, they care about me. Of course work can be frustrating and co-workers can be frustrating, but I don’t hate going to work. I’m lucky enough to have a stable job that just happened to come with a mini support group.
  • Pierce – and his family. I won’t go into a million details, even though I could. It’s just so incredible to have someone who knows you so well (the good and the bad…) and loves you through it all. Having a partner who encourages you when you’re down and supports you when you need it is so important. It’s also incredible to have an extended family that loves you like one of their own. I definitely lucked out with Pierce’s family.
  • My education. School is time consuming, stressful and costly. But I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to explore my passions in school. Finishing a project, writing a stellar paper, getting all A’s, these are all so rewarding. It’s exciting to be excited about your future. For so long, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I felt like I just had to go to school and do something. Discovering what I’m good at and what I like to do has been a revelation. No, I don’t know exactly what job I will get after graduation or where I will end up in 10 years, but the knowledge I’ve gained as well as the discipline I’ve learned in balancing a full time school schedule with a (pretty much) full time job, makes me feel like I can do anything.

I’m also thankful for being able to pay the bills on time, a reliable car, warm clothes, a healthy body, and a home to sleep in. The more I think about it, the less of a reason I have to be in a bad mood. Thinking about your blessings instead of your worries is uplifting in so many ways. We should find more time aside from Thanksgiving to recognize these things. I think I’ll add that to my 2016 New Year resolutions.

What are you thankful for?

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