Both blood and chosen, I am so grateful for my family. Jack is my rock and the kids are my world, they are the reason I get up every day, the reason I keep trying, when sometimes I just want to run away or sleep it all away. I am thankful my Mother still walks this Earth, even if we do not always get along. I am thankful that the last eight years with my Dad were so good before he passed. I am so thankful for my chosen family, my friends, my adopted brothers and sisters. The ones who give me their unwavering love and support, even when I am moody and grumpy, or weepy and hopeless, or stressed out and pulling my hair out. Without them, and their love, support, encouragement, and assistance, I would be lost.
2. My home
I do not have a very large and glamorous house, but I have a comfortable home. We are not rich, or drive a fancy vehicle, but our truck is reliable and gets us where we need to go. We do not have a lot of money, and a lot of the time we have to scrape up enough to make ends meet, but at least we have those things. So many are without homes and vehicles and enough food to eat, and while times can be tough, we have those things, and I am so thankful for that.
3. The Internet
I know it may sound frivolous or cheesy, but without my net I would probably go insane. It is how I talk to my friends, it is how I write, it is how I learn and stay informed, and it is how I stay entertained. My life would be much more lonely and boring without the internet.
4. Writing and Blogging
I am thankful I have the ability to write. To release, to inform, to make people laugh, to be a part of different communities because of my writing. I have met some of the most amazing and dear to me people due to me being able to string together cohesive sentences in my little corner of the internet. Writing is like breathing to me; vital, important, and necessary.
5. Alex's Amazing School and Teachers
Alex is in a small Charter School, and I am so in love with it. It is small and dedicated to it's students. It is a Science and Art focused school, which is perfect for the creative soul that Alex is. Her teachers are all totally amazing, and they go out of their way to make sure Alex and the other students get the attention they need to truly be successful, and I feel it is because of them that Alex loves school so much. I am so thankful for them.
I am a bookworm, and books have been my friends when there was no one around. I have read books that literally changed my life, and some that may have even saved it. Books make me happy, they fill me up, and now, in the digital age, I have more books on my computer and other devices than I can probably read in what is left of my lifetime, but I still add more daily. Books are like my children, precious and needing love. I am thankful that I love to read, and have so much material to work with.
7. Food and Cooking
This one ties into the home one in a way, as I am glad we finally have enough food to eat, but it goes beyond that. I love to cook, and I enjoy food. It engages all of my senses, and the act of cooking grounds me and I am in an almost zen state when I am in the kitchen working on a recipe. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than when I have made a recipe that everyone loves. If I were to win a Pulitzer one day, the truth is, if you told me my dinner last night was the most amazing thing you have ever eaten, it would probably make me three times as happy as winning the award lol.
Again, it may sound cheesy, but I am the woman who felt for most of my life that I was not good enough, that no one would ever really love me for who I am, instead of who they think I should be. I have been through a lot of pain because of a lack of love, and it colored my whole life, so now, that I am surrounded with love and acceptance, it is a miraculous thing to me. I have a wonderful husband, amazing kids, a few solid family members, and the most AMAZING friends that anyone could ever ask for. They are all so diverse and intelligent and talented. Luckily they seem to feel the same way about me, so the fact that I am surrounded by love, and can finally give love in return, makes me feel that my life is so much richer because of it.
9. Being able to roll with the flow
This year, ( and others in my life ) have been tough, but I think I have gotten pretty good at riding the waves in the ocean of my life. There have been times I felt I would drown in the turbulent seas, but so far I have been able to keep my head above the water, and I am proud of that fact. Being bi-polar and prone to fits of depression and apathy, it would be rather easy just to sink beneath the waves and stop fighting, and to be honest I have considered it more than once. Something in my spirit will not let me do that though. It commands me to fight, to reach the surface once more, to keep trying to reach the shore. In my past, the easiest way to deal with my problems was to run from them, pick up and start over, instead of trying to fight for what I had. I am thankful that I have the will to stand my ground now, to dig in my heels and push back when life starts trying to engage me in a shoving match. I am so much stronger and so much more whole than I used to be. Now, with the love and support I have, not only from my friends and family, but FOR MYSELF, I feel that I can get through anything.
That's right. You. The one sitting here reading this. I am so grateful for YOU. Each and every one of you, that come here and share my world with me. You have laughed with me, some of you have even cried with me. You have shared in my triumphs and have felt sympathy for my despair. I write for myself, meaning even if no one ever read a word I have written, I would STILL write...but you...knowing you ARE here, reading my words, helps me to feel connected to something so special. Some of the closest people in my life I have met right here, through this blog. I have been given so many wonderful opportunities because of you. So today...while I am thankful for you all every day....today I am especially grateful that you are all here, and are a part of my life. You make my world a richer place to live in. Thank you.