Thanksgiving grateful list

Most years, during Thanksgiving dinner, the members of my family go around the dinner table and express what we are grateful for that year.  It’s kind of corny, for sure, but it’s also nice to be reminded of our blessings when so often, we are more concerned with the bad things in our life and what we don’t have.

In the past, I have also written a blog post outlining the things I am grateful for. See my earlier blog posts here:

Although it looks like I skipped 2012 for some reason, I have written a new list for 2013. Some of the items are the same as in years past because I will always be grateful for my family, friends, etc.

Without further ado, here are some of the things for which I am most grateful this Thanksgiving. This list is not at all exhaustive.

Computer savvy friends who help me set up my new electronics!

Close connections in law to help review and draft contracts.

My family for unconditional love and support.

Advancements in finding cures for cancers like Leukemia, the scientists/medical professionals who devote their lives to these cures, and the people who donate money towards them.

My strong legs and love of running to help clear my head and keep me in shape.

Writing—for so many reasons—because it is an escape from “real life” issues, because it allows me to create and live vicariously through fictional worlds, because some people say I’m pretty good at it and compliments make me smile, because the more books I write, the more money I am making and the closer I am getting to my goal of writing full time!

My friends – to have fun with, to make me laugh, to cheer me up when I’m sad, to laugh at me when I do or say something stupid, to laugh at when they do or say something stupid, to buy my books, to turn to for advice and to feel needed when asked for advice and guidance in return and to remind me that I’m not alone.

My writer/blogger friends – It is so nice to have friends who completely understand the way I feel about books— writing them and reading them.  I am happy to know other people who spend half of their day checking sales rankings and stalking their own reviews!

Men – Even I need to stop talking about books every so often and when I do, I’m thinking about men. The cute ones, the smart ones, the famous ones I will never meet, the clingy ones, the ones who have made me feel wonderful, the ones who made me cry, the douchy ones, the ones who got away, the ones I haven’t met yet.  MEN. Can’t live with ‘em; can’t live without ‘em!

Good health – I am truly thankful for another year of being in good health and for the continued good health of my family members. I think good health is  something we often take for granted when we’re caught up worrying about finances, relationship issues, bad reviews etc, but I have learned this year that things can change pretty quickly and one thing that should always be cherished is good health. (Side note: I am currently losing a battle against a stubborn head cold and I really, really want to feel healthy right now so I can eat a huge Thanksgiving dinner later 😦 )

Finally, I am grateful for being a true optimist and always managing to be hopeful, to find good in the bad and to learn from my mistakes. Although I do engage in pity parties from time to time, I have so far always managed to shake off the negativity and keep on keeping on. I hope to always be able to find the light in my darker days.

Thanksgiving “grateful” list

This time last year, I dedicated my blog to Thanksgiving blessings.  I called it my “grateful” list and I shared some of the aspects of my life for which I felt extremely blessed.  I thought about re-posting that blog as “new” since, really, what is the likelihood that any of you actually read my blog last year?  But then I decided that would be cheating.

I actually drafted this yesterday but, as a result of my experience last night, I had to add another item to the list.  I’ll put it first since it’s fresh on my mind. I am thankful that hangovers don’t last forever and that eventually, no matter how many margaritas you drink, you sober up.  Ouch.

Moving on.

I’m still thankful for many of the same things as last year, like my family.  I’m not always great with change; in fact, changes makes me a bit uncomfortable, even though I eventually embrace it.  One thing that rarely changes is my family, specifically my sister Marjorie. Through the years, we’ve both gotten older, but I can still make her laugh with little effort and usually over the dumbest shit.  For example, I will sometimes text her lines from movies we saw in 1985, commercials we made fun of twenty years ago or just a random memory.  I’ll just write, “He likes to butt things with his head” and she’ll respond immediately cracking up.  It needs no explanation.  And she makes me laugh too.  If she gets to my parent’s house before I do for a Sunday dinner or a holiday and is hungry, she will always text me to see how far away I am in annoyance that we can’t start eating yet.  We try to plan these things perfectly so we arrive at the same time. I usually shrug it off if I’m the one waiting.  When she’s annoyed, I get the “Where the hell are you???” texts.  Her predictable impatience makes me laugh.  It’s just so “Margie.”  Or, if the Yankees are playing a really shitty game, you can bet that I will received text messages IN ALL CAPS with lots of curse words, i.e. “I FUCKING HATE JOBA CHAMBERLIN.”  I hate him too and I’m usually just as disgusted by the game, but the ALL CAPS angry emails never fail to illicit a chuckle.  I love her and she tops the list of people I am grateful to have in my life.

Another example, my mother.  I find much comfort in her predictability.  I have a new man in my life and even though he lives across the country, my mother will inevitably ask me during every phone conversation, “Anything new with Jason?”  I’m never really sure what she expects to hear, perhaps, “Yes, mom, he proposed last night via Skype.”  But when I *calmly* tell her there is no “news” to report, she usually laughs because even she is aware of how predictable she is when it comes to my love life.  I can roll my eyes, tell her to let things play out naturally, scream and yell, demand she mind her fucking business (I’d never say it that way…) but all it would accomplish is tiring me out because she will not change.  And for that I am grateful because I love my mom exactly the way she is.

Just like last year, I am incredibly blessed to have such great friends.  There are ebbs and flows in all friendships and I notice that the amount of time I spend with some friends fluctuates depending on what else is going on in our lives.  Life is constantly evolving and it takes effort to keep up, but it is a job I gladly work hard at because the awards are worth it.  Not only are my friends fun, but they are accepting and loving.  Sometimes they are brutally honest, but they are never fake.  Sometimes they are long-winded and sometimes they don’t call you back.  Sometimes they act like complete morons and I want to shake them silly and sometimes they make me laugh so hard I think I might pee in my pants.  Sometimes they inflict peer pressure to do shots on Sunday nights (or margarita Mondays) and sometimes they support “dry” activities.  My friends never expect me to be anything more than I am, although they encourage me to be better.  I never feel the need to impress them, one-up them, compete with them etc.  I love all of my friends but honorable mentions this year go to Ronni, my forever-friend, who recently got engaged and asked me to be her Maid of Honor; Abbe who, when told my family Thanksgiving was not being until Saturday, immediately invited me to spend Thursday with her family who has *threatened* to get me trashed (bring it on Mrs. Kalnick, BRING IT ON!!); Jenny, my brilliant and hilarious soul sista in Kentucky who constantly reassures me that I’m not as screwed up as I sometimes feel, usually by generously offering an example of how she is more screwed up than I; Shanna, who I wish I saw more often than I did, but we’re working on it; Dee, who lives too far away to see with any real regularity but with whom I have enough memories to last a lifetime; Megan, my fun, creative, incredibly intelligent, ex-mid-week drinking buddy who moved away but who I still love like the younger sister I never had; and Alan, who has a dual role as boss AND friend.  Not only is he an amazing boss, but he is the funniest man I know and he likes working with me so much, he takes me with him wherever he goes.  After 15 years, he still hasn’t had enough.  Boggles my mind, but I am eternally grateful.

Finally, I am extremely thankful to Jason who made such a great first impression, I was inspired to take a risk well outside of my comfort zone. I’m so glad I did.

Besides the aforementioned people, I am grateful to writing,  When I am stressed, afraid, confused or in any other state of “upset”, within five minutes of sitting down to write whatever novel I am working on, I am transported to a fictional world and completely lose touch with who I am and my own issues.  It never fails and I pray to God it never does.

Finally, (for real this time), I am thankful that with every year, I am becoming a better and happier person, I might have the same fears, but I gain more courage to overcome them.  I might have the same insecurities, but I grow more confident that most of them are in my head.  And I absolutely make mistakes, but not the same ones as the year before.  It’s not easy to be so self aware and it’s sometimes painful, but I much prefer it over living in a bubble, never learning, never growing and just remaining stagnant.

Ok, that’s it for me.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Watch the tequila!

My ‘grateful’ list

Besides an annual guilt-free excuse to eat until we pop a button, Thanksgiving is a time when we’re supposed to express gratitude and appreciation for our blessings. My thanksgiving dinner is typically held at my sister’s house and, at the urging of her children, we go around the table and list our biggest blessings. My mother always gives thanks for her health and her children; my sister usually expresses appreciation for the people who love her unconditionally like her children, her boyfriend and her ever-loyal sister (me). My nephew is especially cute; he is usually most grateful for his dog, Gypsy. Gypsy is, in fact, the most beautiful and lovable Golden Retriever in the entire world and so we all nod our heads in agreement and hold out our hands to give Gypsy some food off our plates. (Gypsy is often right under my seat because she knows I’m the most likely to drop food on the floor…)

I have a lot to be thankful for this year and since you won’t be at my dinner table, I figured I would write it down and post it on my blog.

At the top of my list is my family. They’re far from perfect and even further from functional but they’re mine and I love them. I am incredibly blessed to have a place to go on this and every other holiday or even on a random Sunday afternoon. And I’m grateful that I don’t have to put on any pretenses or act like someone I’m not. My family knows who I am deep in my core and they love me – the good, the bad, the well-behaved and the bratty, the thoughtful and the selfish, the talented and the clumsy, the extremely intelligent and the insanely ditzy and gullible. They love me. And I love them right back.

I’m thankful for my friends. I’m happy to have friends who want to spend time with me, whether grabbing a beer, seeing a movie, watching football or going on a cruise. I’m happy to have friends to call when I need advice, cheering up or am just bored and want to say “hi” and I am happy that I have friends who call on me for those same things. I’m grateful to have friends I trust and flattered to have friends who trust me. I’m happy I have friends who don’t think I’m weird and other friends who think I’m incredibly weird and love me for it. And, finally, I’d be so bored if I had no friends!!

I’m really grateful for the huge chunk of Muenster cheese my sister always buys to serve with appetizers. And, I love sweet potato pie with marshmallows.

I’m thankful for my health and my strength. I’m blessed to be able to get up every morning and exercise. I thank God that despite getting hit by a car over ten years ago, I can still run upwards of nine miles and challenge myself to do new exercises as well. I’m appreciative that my energy belies my age and my lack of wrinkles do too. I’m thankful that people are constantly surprised when I tell them how old I am. I guess that means I’m thankful for good genes too.

I’m incredibly proud that my book was published this year and beyond excited that so many people have told me how much they enjoyed it. But more than that, I’m grateful for the support that came from unexpected sources. Like the friends who posted the link to my book on their own Facebook pages; the people who took the time to write reviews on Amazon (some without being asked), the people who bought not one, but two or three copies (and they are not even relatives) and the people who I haven’t seen or spoken to for ages who called me/emailed me out of the blue just to tell me how much they liked the book.

Finally, I’m thankful that with every year, I learn more about myself, what makes me happy, what I need, what I deserve and what I’m willing to put up with. I’m blessed with the ability to take responsibility for my own actions, learn from my mistakes and keep trying to be a better person.

Happy Turkey Day (or in my case “Prime Rib day”)

Until next time,