2016 has been one hell of a year. As Dean likes to quote from internet memes, when we look back on the insanity of this year, we will probably say, “well, it all started with a gorilla”. And while it’s easy to look at all the chaos and death and crazy politics of this year and talk about what an awful time it has been, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the good stuff from this year and my gratitude for what I have. I know it’s a silly Thanksgiving tradition, but I actually don’t think it’s so silly – we are all so busy, so consumed by our normal, day-to-day lives, it’s nice to pause for a moment and be thankful for what we have, what we experience.
There are so many things in my life that are normal, that I take for granted that are truly wonderful, special and something to be thankful for. I am grateful for my home; sure, it may be a bit small for our family and all our belongings, but we own property (through the bank) and have a safe and secure place to live. I am lucky enough to always have food to eat, even if I’m too lazy to cook and get takeaways instead. I have running water and electricity most of the time, and a car to get around in (with a safe car seat for Harley). These are all basic needs that are met and exceeded that I’m so thankful for. But there’s still loads more.
I am grateful for my health. It’s something I think I’ve always taken for granted. Call it that youthful feeling of immortality or whatever else, but coming so close to death last year made me appreciate just how important health is.
I’m also so thankful for my amazing family. I am so blessed with my tiny human. She surprises me every day, growing and learning and playing. She has already taught me so much – I’ve learned about love and patience, realizing just how strong and soft I can be. Then there is my incredible husband, a man who is an ideal mate for me. Of course we make each other crazy sometimes, and having a kid around has made everything so much more complicated, but to be able to rely on each other, make each other laugh, and always know how much we love one another is an amazing gift. Every day I am so lucky to have my little family, my closest people who I love with all my heart, who make me so happy (and sometimes frustrated) and sit at the core of everything in my life.
But it’s not just my immediate little family. I have an incredible mom who is always filled with advice and laughs and love, who I can share anything with and who is an eternal fountain of knowledge and exuberance. I also have my far-away sibling and his family. We might not talk often, but I’m so thankful for our connection even if only on social media, where I can watch the family grow and share comments and support. Closer to home, Dean’s family also plays an important role in our lives. I can never express my gratitude enough for his amazing sister driving me to and from the hospital every day while Harley was in the hospital when I couldn’t drive. It was such a pure act of kindness and generosity and love, and I am lucky to have a sister (in-law) like her.
There is also the family we created from our crazy cast of friends. From those we see on a regular basis, to those who are farther away and harder to see all the time, I am so thankful for the amazing support network. From silly Skype calls or WhatsApp messages to exhausted coffee visits or stressed out glasses of wine, it’s our friends who keep me sane, keep me laughing, inspire me and change my view of the world. I am so thankful for all the lovely people in my life who add meaning, fun and love, who play a crucial part in our lives.
I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do the work I do, to engage with weird and wonderful coworkers as well as a committed online community. I get to play with toys and tech and games, working in a dream job for which I’m so thankful.
Finally, I am so thankful to be a part of the blogging community this year. I have had a fabulous year of growing closer to so many wonderful bloggers and readers, interacting with you all, knowing your stories, your day to day ups and downs, and sharing advice and experience on everything from sleepless nights to judgemental people to foods for starting solids. I am so grateful to be a part of a warm, caring and close-knit community.
I feel like I’m forgetting so much, leaving so much out. I’m even thankful for all the crazy people who have come and gone in my life this year. Even if we aren’t friends now, I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned from everyone who has touched my life this year. It hasn’t been easy, but I think it has all been worthwhile.
What are you thankful for this year?