I know, everybody does it on Facebook, Twitter and on blogs, but I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I have so much to be grateful for, and there is lots of evidence to suggest that gratitude breeds happiness. So, if you haven’t publicly proclaimed what you’re thankful for yet this year, maybe now’s the time to do so.
Without further ado, here’s an incomplete list of the things I’m thankful for:
1. My Community
So, we’ve really focused in this year on putting others before ourselves – and maybe more importantly, putting others before things. As a result, we’ve gotten to know our neighbors, been more involved in our church, and been more connected to the people around us. Even as an introvert, I can tell you that this has been one of the best things we’ve done this year. Since we have a large home now (and not much money to go out), we play host to groups of people a lot. Even when the place is messy and I’m stressed out and tired of cleaning, I still love that our friends know they can come make themselves at home in our home. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
2. My family
Who isn’t thankful for family? As a young mom, though, having my family’s support is even more important than it was earlier in my life. A and I are very, very fortunate that both sets of parents are supportive and incredibly generous. A’s parents watch Baby I four days a week – for free. My mom watches her half of one day and anytime A and I need a date night. It means the world to us to have a family who loves us and loves each other so much.
3. My privilege
Sometimes when I’m complaining about something, I stop and think about what I’m really saying. Usually, it shuts me up, because I am so incredibly blessed with so much – a good job, a nice home, a family, a car, the ability to take care of pets – that complaining about anything is really pretentious. We have several friends who have traveled to Africa – Senegal and Ethiopia – and I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to live there. But honestly, I don’t even need to travel to Africa to see how many advantages I have in life; poverty is abundant in my city. I have had a lot of legs up in life. I was born into a middle class family, grew up in a suburb with decent public schools, got a scholarship to a really good private university, and married a guy who was born into a middle class family. We really don’t know what it is to have nowhere to turn when we’re struggling. More and more, I’m realizing just how good I have it – and how important it is to give back to others.
What about you? What are you thankful for this year?