40 and Thankful!
Thanksgiving isn’t until next week, but since I turned 40 yesterday, I wanted to share this list now of 40 things I’m thankful for this year. This is one of those posts that is more of a diary entry and really just for me to look back on to remember how I was feeling and what I was thinking at this time in my life. Thought I’d share though for anyone interested in learning more about me.
Family and Friends
Honestly, I could write pages about how thankful I am for my family and friends. Those things are in my heart and hopefully I’ve expressed that to those I love in various ways so I’ll keep it short here.
1. Family- Related or not, my family is far from me in location at this point, but close at heart and are the most important people in my life. They support, encourage and help me through life’s ups and downs.
2. Keith- I absolutely love the life we share together and love him more and more each day!!
3. Lexi- My sweet little dog who I appreciate even more as she gets older and her health declines.
4. Old Friends- These special people are a close second to family, they have known me for a long time, understand why I do the things I do and love me regardless.
5. New Friends- The opportunity to meet new people and all the good things that can come with new friendships.
More To Be Thankful For
6. Bright Church- My church in Indiana that I can access sermons and other information online to continue my spiritual journey
7. Giving to Others- Child sponsorship with Compassion International has been rewarding way to give to others.
8. Health in general – After watching family/friends go through health ailments and Keith go through his surgery this year, I am reminded how important health is.
9. A body that allows me to get stronger and therefore do more. I joined a gym this year and I’ve never looked forward to getting up and starting my day this way until now. I’m thankful for the immediate and long term health benefits.
10. Hobbies- Hiking, biking, skiing, photography, blogging, vlogging, cooking, etc.
11. Travel- This has always been important to me. I love experiencing new places to enrich my understanding of the world around me.
12. Motorhome travel specifically- This allows us to stay in one area and explore for unusual amounts of time. I love getting a taste of what it might be like to actually live in a particular place.
13. Travel to other countries- I am thankful for the travels I’ve had to other countries, as the world changes and some of these places have or might become less safe to visit, I’m thankful I’ve had the chance to explore them.
14. Opportunities to help others- This can be big or small, but gives me so much more than I can offer in the way of helping.
15. Finances- Financial positions that help Keith and I both accomplish our personal and professional goals.
I Get To….
I get to…. (try to start your sentences with this phrase and see how your outlook changes!)
16. I get to…. spend an incredible amount of time with Keith. Since Keith works from home and we now live a more simplistic lifestyle, we have so much time together.
17. I get to…. host family/friends in Utah. I love having people visit and share our home with us. So many lifelong memories are made during these times and it really is life-changing!
18. I get to…. choose when I work. This flexibility lends to travel and hosting family/friends and I’m so thankful I can choose my work schedule.
19. I get to…. grocery shop. This is one chore that I actually enjoy, especially since I have more time for it. I like to look at all the foods and choose the best options. I like that I can go to several different stores and pick what I like about each. I like that I can try new foods.
20. I get to…. cook delicious dinners at home. Much like grocery shopping, I now have a slower paced day to not only do this, but I’ve learned to enjoy it.
21. I get to…. clean the house I live in. Chores aren’t really fun, but the reward after can be the focus for a positive spin.
22. I get to…. blog/vlog to document our lives through video and pictures. This has been an incredible diary of our lives and I’m so happy we take the time to do this.
23. I get to…. meet new friends through the blog. It’s been fun to meet new people through social media. There is such a negative connotation with social media at times, but I feel it can add joy and learning to our life. I know it has for me.
24. I get to…. spend a lot of time in nature doing things that are good for my body and spirit.
25. I get to…. spend time alone. This allows me to relax and think in a different way.
Things We Often Take For Granted
I am humbly reminded that I take things for granted and try to recognize and be thankful for things that might be otherwise overlooked.
26. Freedoms I enjoy living in The United States of America. This is very broad, but unique and personal.
27. Food- Not everyone had a stocked refrigerator and pantry.
28. A good shower- I appreciate my own shower after not having it for weeks at a time while traveling. Motorhome showering isn’t always enjoyable.
29. King size bed- Again, I appreciate this after not having it for an extended period of time.
30. Doing laundry in my own home- I realize this luxury after being in the motorhome for weeks. I honestly think this is something that everyone should have access to in their own place and yet many don’t think about this as being a luxury. I know I didn’t.
31. Clean air- In Utah we sometimes get “inversion.” This can make the air quality low/smoggy for days or even weeks. It’s not only ugly, but unhealthy and something I never thought about before moving.
32. The view outside our house- The mountains just make me happy.
33. Good neighbors- We’ve always lucked out with such awesome neighbors who become lifelong friends.
34. Plants and animals- since moving, I’ve been more aware of the different plants and animals that live in certain areas. This is not only interesting to learn about, but to see in their natural habitat.
35. Sun and stars- I often look at the sun or the stars and appreciate that fairytale idea that someone I love is doing the same thing. The sun and the stars also make me realize how big this world is and how small I am.
Other Things I’m Thankful For
36. The luxuries that make life easier. For example, my new (to me) car that has features my other car didn’t have. These luxuries are nice to have and although they are not necessary, I try to be aware of what I have and appreciate it daily.
37. Teachers- So many groups of people fit into this category for me- my family members, best friends, etc are teachers. Two specific groups are my talented co workers from Indiana and also the teachers and staff I meet while subbing. I continue to learn so much about the teaching profession in general and about how kids learn.
38. Technology- This allows me to connect with family and friends, learn new things and generally access information that would otherwise be nearly impossible or much more of a hassle.
39. I’m especially thankful for all the birthday wishes I received through words, flowers, gifts, meals shared and other memories of this occasion!
40. Turning 40! Yup, I’m pretty excited about turning 40 and even though a little bit of that negativity about aging creeps in, I feel like it’s truly something to be thankful for. It’s a milestone and when it comes down to it, not everyone makes it to their 40th birthday.