Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giving Thanks

I am extremely thankful for so many things in my life. If I were to die today, I would know that I've been very lucky and blessed. I haven't lived up to my potential but I have worked very hard within my abilities. I haven't handled tragedy and grief very well, but I have gotten through the bleak times and am eternally trying to improve. My love is fierce and loyal, and I have tried to be a decent and honest human being. I would give my life for my child. My work as a manager was focused on helping others see that they could surpass their own expectations. Some appreciated that and others hated me for it. In many ways, I could have been a better wife, sister and best friend. I was the very best daughter that I knew how to be. I regret the many bridges that I have burned and opportunities that I shunned. I'm proud of being "responsible" and learning how to foresee and prepare for potential pitfalls. I've been vain for most of my life even throughout my humbling weight gain. But I have always admired others' beauty and skills and have tried very hard to be generous in spirit and gifts. I believe in God and Jesus. And more than anything else, I want to be an honorable, loving, supportive and wise mother to my child.

My list of things that am I am thankful for is mundane to most others but significant to me. It's only a partial list and not in any order of importance:

1. My new front yard (pictured above) with all water problems solved.
2. Shampoo and hot showers.
3. Kid's books, a Glow Worm and random baby socks strewn across my bed.
4. Radiant heat in my bathroom.
5. A musical concertina that captivates my son.
6. Down comforters.
7. A kind husband who does the dishes and folds the laundry.
8. My aunt who taught me to work hard for a nice lifestyle.
9. Digital cameras and photoshop.
10. My son's preschool.
11. All of my pets and especially 10 years with my Siamese.
12. Each of my former mentors.
13. My college degree.
14. To be a stay at home mom.
15. My home and having the space to dedicate to a Rumpus Room for my son.
16. Feeling safe during the rugged Colorado thunderstorms and snow storms.
17. A pantry filled with food.
18. Our outside deck.
19. A clean garage.
20. My church.
21. The Rocky Mountains and their ever-changing colors.
22. Hot tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.
23. My trips to Switzerland, Amsterdam, Europe and Hawaii.
24. Anything retro that induces a strange sense of familiarity.
25. Vinyl records.
26. Disney movies.
27. The salty smell and and sound of crashing waves.
28. Trader Joes. (sob!)
29. Receiving handwritten notes from my elderly friends.
30. Thai, Indian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and Vietnamese food.
31. Luggage with wheels.
32. My neighbor's spectacular theater room with big screen and cozy blankets.
33. Soy milk.
34. Growing up with 2 grandmothers (grandfathers died before I was born).
35. Quaking Aspens.
36. Disposable diapers and ready to feed formula.
37. Costco.
38. Being forced to get braces when I was 13.
39. Piano music.
40. Stephane Grappelli.

I could keep going but think that 40 items for today is enough. I occasionally realize how much I take for granted in my life. When I was a kid, I used to have to put a huge plastic bag over my head that was attached to a blower just to dry my hair. We only had dial phones and never wore seat belts or bike helmets: Had to fiddle with expensive camera film and disposable bulbs: Used a lot of white-out on our typed college reports, Had only one tv and one ac wall unit in the entire house: Played on a wooden skateboard with steel wheels: Always hung the laundry out to dry. Had to buy paper maps at the gas station to figure out where we were going: Had milk delivered to our door and went to the drive-in to see a movie. Never ever ate out at restaurants: Used fly swatters all of the time. Got mail on Sundays. Ate funky dinners like creamed tuna over toast and Swiss Steak: Scoured the Sears Catalog every year for new outfits and toys. Saved Green Stamps: Collected drinking glasses from the gas station: Enjoyed full service including nicely cleaned windows at the gas station: Didn't know a soul who used a gardener or paid a company to clean their house windows; Considered travel overseas to be too exotic and reserved for the very wealthy.

It just amazes me to realize how much we have now compared to when I was a kid. In so many ways, life's chores are easier and more convenient. I'm glad to be living in the Here and Now.

It's been fun to reminisce, but now I need to go take a hot shower, shampoo my hair and wrap myself up in my old, favorite terry robe.

Yup, it's noon.

And I'm loving every minute of this day!