Giving Thanks 2016

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a Giving Thanks blog this year or not.  What with emotional landmines I’ve been uncovering, the charged political environment, and the fact that 2016 has been taking so many good entertainers from us, I didn’t know if I’d be able to come up with much.

But I saw a post recently that helped put things back into perspective.  It doesn’t matter which one it was–especially since I’ve seen several different ones over the last few weeks–but here are some to put you in the same state of mind:

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So as I sit down to write this blog, I’m looking at the things in my life that I have every reason to be thankful for:

  1.  My family – My husband, Craig, is SUCH a wonderful, supportive man.  I couldn’t ask for a better life companion, and I’m SO grateful that he’s in my life.  My step-daughter, Athena, is also an amazing young woman.  I love watching her grow into herself, and enjoy hearing her insight into a variety of topics.  And I simply adore our two cats, Jasmyn and Bot (short for Purrbot).  These wonderful bundles of fur make my heart swell with love nearly every day, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.
  2. My job – Yes, I’m back at a day job, but once I got over my bruised ego at not being as successful as quickly as I’d hoped to be, I can see that this new role is much better suited to me.  Plus, it pays well and they’re willing to let me work part-time, so I can have more hours in the day to pursue my preferred interests.  It’s also close to home, so I’m thankful for the short commute.
  3. College – I’m thoroughly enjoying the classes I’ve been taking this Fall semester, and am looking forward to the new ones in the Spring.  Obtaining new skills and meeting new people in these classes will help prepare me better for my chosen careers.
  4. Entertainment – I’ve seen some amazing movies and TV shows this year (I’ve also seen some crap, but the good outweighs the bad in this case).  I’m thrilled to see new voices coming out with snappier writing and better interpersonal relationships.  It helps me to know we’re moving in a good direction.
  5. Sleep – For the few months that I stepped away from a day job, I napped nearly every day and it was AWESOME!  I’m sure I was one of those kids who didn’t like naps after a certain age, but I’ve definitely gotten over that.  Even at my day job now, I try to find a little nook somewhere at least once a week to nap during my lunch hour.  That kind of reset does wonders for my mood, as well as my mental clarity.

There are quite a few more things I could list here, but I’m guessing you, dear reader, will be thankful if I keep this post relatively short.  ;o)

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  May your holiday be filled with love, laughter, great memories and a wonderful nap.

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Thanksgiving 2015

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote up a blog outlining what I’m thankful for, but I think it’s high time I do it again.

I’m thankful for all the successes I’ve had this year:

Exhibiting at AOC again
Selling some of my photography pieces through an art fair
Booking my first audio book gig as a narrator

This year has seen me make strides in my chosen careers, and I plan to have those trends continue into 2016 and beyond.

I’m also thankful for all the struggles that happened this year:

Craig’s broken collar-bone
Me learning I have Hashimoto’s Disease
Work-related stress-induced health issues
Craig’s second motorcycle accident
Various other stressors

True, it would’ve been nice if they hadn’t ALL  happened in one year, but I made it through each and every one of them, and have come out the other side a stronger person.  Plus, I can’t help but feel like all of these have been gearing me up for some exciting stuff to come.

I’m grateful that I have a very good-paying job, located just 5 miles from home, so I have an easy commute and can afford to have a very nice lifestyle, including travel to new and exciting places.

Purrbot - 022I’m grateful for our newest kitty, Bot (short for Purrbot).  We got her in February, and she’s adorable and very sweet.

I’m incredibly grateful for my husband, Craig, who has helped me grow over the years, and allows me the space to continue to grow.  His support, love, and companionship are wonderful assets that I cherish every single day.

I’m thankful for this year’s birthday trip to Alaska.  The gorgeous scenery will stay with me for quite a while . . . and with you, if we ever get around to editing all the photos we took.

I’m grateful for my step-daughter, Athena.  It’s wonderful to see her growing into a fine, young woman, and I’m glad we get to enjoy her as much as we do.

I’m thankful for my friends and family.  It’s nice to know there are people who will always be there for you, even if you don’t talk with them all the time.

I’m sure there are other things that I’m missing right now, but believe me, I do show my appreciation for them when they pop up in my life.  That’s one thing I truly believe about The Secret: the more gratitude you show for the good things in your life, the more good things you’ll see in your life.  You draw it to you like a magnet, because that’s what you’re thinking about.

I’d like to wish all of you out there (and your families) a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope your celebrations produce wonderful memories, and warm fuzzies.

Giving Thanks – 2014

With all the turmoil in the world today–the unfortunate events down in Ferguson, world poverty and homelessness, and senseless wars being fought by brave men and women who feel it’s their duty to protect the rest of America–it’s easy to forget how to be thankful for all the good things in life.  It can also feel hypocritical to some to celebrate a day that children are taught was a friendly meeting of Pilgrims and American Indians, especially when you learn later in life exactly what transpired shortly after that first feast.

But in the face of all those things listed above (and countless others), I think this holiday is the perfect time to sit down and reflect on everything that’s going well for you, yours and the world.  So here are just a few thing I’m thankful for this year . . .

Family

I’m thankful both for the family I was born into and the family I’ve now chosen for myself.  As a kid, I used to love going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving.  We’d get a great meal, I’d see my cousins and we’d go outside to play (or make ice cream, if the weather was warm enough).  When I got older and grew in a different direction than my cousins, I hated feeling like I had to go visit with family members that I didn’t really get along with just because it was a tradition, but we did, and I still usually enjoyed myself.  But now it’s so wonderful to have my own family and holiday traditions.  We actually like each other and have a lot of fun when we’re together.

Traditions

I’m grateful for traditions, both old and new.  Craig and I have certain movies that we watch every year at this time (we also do this for Christmas and Halloween).  We go out every year on Black Friday with the sole intent on buying our Christmas tree.  Then we come right back home so we don’t have to deal with everyone else on the road.  And from the day after Thanksgiving up through the weekend after New Year’s, we get to look at that gorgeous tree lit up and adorned with ornaments that hold special places in our hearts.  Athena has also started a tradition with us that–whenever she’s with us on Thanksgiving–our holiday meal is a fondue.  We only do the meat and veggie fondue, and we use vegetable broth, so it’s healthy and tasty.  And since I’ve never been a fan of turkey, I have absolutely no problem granting that request of hers.

People

I’m grateful that I have a good relationship with my mom.  I know of many people who can’t stand their parents, and I’m glad that I’m not one of them.  We’re not as close as we were when I was younger (having a family of your own can do that), but I still think she’s a great person and I still consider her a good friend.

I’m also thankful for my therapist who has helped me clearly see areas in my life that need work and improvement.  She’s a great confidant that has helped me grow a lot over the last year plus.

I’m grateful for the many wonderful people that I call my circle of friends, my heart family.  They’ve helped me get through some rough spots, and shared LOTS of laughter with me and I couldn’t love them more if we were related by blood.  Top of that list is my best friend, Nikki.  For two people who are incredibly different in many ways, we have such a great time and we really travel well together.  I hope she will always be my best friend.

I’m thankful for my stepdaughter, Athena.  After I reached a certain age, I felt that I didn’t want kids, but I’m so thankful that I have her.  She’s a bright, mature young woman who’s funny and fun to be around, and I’m truly enjoying watching her grow into her own person (even with whatever challenges come our way).

And last, but not least, I’m incredibly grateful for the love of my husband, Craig.  His unconditional acceptance of me and his unwavering support have helped heal many of my past hurts (as true love is supposed to do).  He’s encouraged me to go after my dreams, even when I didn’t always believe I could achieve them.  I truly feel home when we’re together, and I look forward to spending many more Thanksgivings with him.

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I hope you found some time yesterday to remember at least one thing that you’re grateful for and hopefully that memory will prompt you to recall others.  Because once you start seeing the great things in your life, you’ll be amazed at how many others show up.

Happy-Thanksgiving-from-The-Twinery

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