Wednesday, November 21, 2012
10 things I'm thankful for
I've been participating in a "Gratitude in November" event created by my friend on Facebook, in which members post something they are grateful for every day of November (even after Thanksgiving). It's been a good exercise in looking beyond the immediate & typical things I'm thankful for (which are no less valid) and really examining what I value in my life. This post is by no means a "top 10" list, but just ten major things in my life that I feel incredibly fortunate to have. Beware, it's a little sappy... :)
1. My parents. I have two wonderful parents who were incredibly supportive when I decided to move to LA. The same way they were supportive when I declared as a theatre major, decided to pursue a creative career, and every other decision I've made in my adult life. They put my happiness first, and I'll never be able to thank them enough for making me feel so good about myself.
2. Dane. My partner in crime (not literally, mom). I love him, and I make sure I tell him every day just how much. We had a big adventure together this year on our road trip and are still getting adjusted to living in LA, but I couldn't imagine any of it without him. Not many people would listen to my sometimes out-there ideas ("wouldn't it be cool to do a movement piece with long red balloons as human muscles?!") and encourages me to pursue my dreams. He seems to know me almost too well... and still puts up with me.
3. Dane's family. They too were so supportive during our move, and they have always welcomed me with open arms. I love visiting them and hearing stories about their families and growing up in western Pennsylvania. They are interested in my life and my goals and truly care about me. I am so lucky to have them in my life!
4. My siblings. I have the coolest big sis and little bro that a girl could ask for. I love visiting them and having them visit me, and even though we live thousands of miles away from each other, we remain close. They get excited about my successes and encourage me through my failures. I really look up to both of them.
5. Inspiration. This might seem strange, but I am so thankful that I am passionate about my career. I can still look around me and see fascinating and complex people, beauty, ugliness, music, movement, color--all things that spark ideas and fuel my creativity. If anything, life experience has softened me rather than made me callous. I feel fortunate to still see the world this way.
6. Mobility. I am able to travel, move, and venture around town fairly easily. I have access to planes, trains, busses, and a car. I have two working legs and able feet. I often overlook this, but the ability to move around is a luxury for many people around the world.
7. My healthy body. There are endless articles, news stories, and ramblings around the internet about women's bodies. I am thankful that I am able to keep myself healthy. I am thankful that I can run long distances and exercise and eat good food. I respect my body and choose not to harm it, and I am thankful that I have the resources to support that.
8. Security. I am not financially secure by any means (hello, student loan debt), but I try to manage my money as wisely as possible. Beyond that, I have a home that keeps me out of the elements and a job that earns my income. I do not feel threatened by war or my government or my community--which places me among the most fortunate people in the world.
9. Animal Welfare Workers. If you haven't noticed, I am a huge animal lover. I am so thankful for those who work in any level of animal welfare-- protecting endangered species, working towards humane farming conditions, or volunteering at a local animal shelter.
10. Goals. Forward motion and intention. Taking the small steps that lead me towards the big picture. Never resting on my laurels, and surrounding myself with people who think the same way.
I love this time of year precisely because I remind myself to count my blessings. Too often we--myself included-- only see what we don't have: that designer bag everyone seems to be carrying, the perfect body, a six figure income, celebrity status. But, during the holidays, I can check in with myself and be honest about what truly matters to me.
Have a very happy & thankful Thanksgiving!