I am in an online writing group right now run by the ever amazing Jena Schwartz. She says when you get stuck, to just write a list of eleven thoughts. I overthink blog posts on holidays. On holidays, it seems like the writing should be more. More everything. More important, more meaningful, more funny. More whatever. So instead, I am going with Jena’s strategy. Here are eleven things that I am grateful for right now.
I am grateful for my family of origin. When Rob and I were married, my church required a few sessions with a marriage counselor before the ceremony. The therapist constantly talked about our families of origin and it is still a phrase that can make us both laugh. But in all seriousness, I am grateful for my family. My family of origin is very small and has only become more so over time. We do not see each other as often as I would like but they are why I am who I am and I am forever grateful for that.
I am grateful for Rob’s family. I know how lucky I am to have the in-laws I do. I was immediately welcomed in all those years ago and as I grow older and hear more and more stories from friends about struggles with their in-laws, I am only reminded of how differently this whole thing could have gone.
I am grateful for my friends. We came to Ridgewood when the girls were four and one. We left behind college friends and friends we made when the girls were babies. There was a time when I thought that finding friends again was going to be near impossible- we had left some really great people behind. But over time, we have formed great relationships with people here and I am awfully grateful for them.
I am grateful for our pets. Sometimes I giggle at people who lavish too much praise on the animal members of their families but really, I love ours a lot. There is nothing like sitting down on the coach and being suddenly surrounded by these snuggly guys.
I am grateful for my group of writing friends. I have attended in person groups in the past and have loved everything about them but for now, my writing friends exist online. It’s a funny thing to feel connected to these people I have never met but it can happen and I am grateful that it has.
I am grateful for yoga. I have tried again and again to develop a yoga practice and I never have before this fall. Jim Stroker, a sort of legend in our town, announced earlier this fall that he would be offering a donation only class for a local family. I went thinking I would just give it a try and it clicked. The class is just the right amount of challenging, relaxing and inspiring and the tribe of people are amazing. There are lots of people in the group that I have lived close to for years but our paths have never crossed. I am grateful that this group has brought us all together.
I am grateful for books. Another obvious one but I can’t leave it out. Reading defines a lot of who I am. Truthfully, it is hard to imagine where I would be without books. And I am thankful to The Bookshelf in Thomasville for being an awesome independent bookstore and for providing the inspiration for this photo.
I am grateful that the holiday season is here. As I type, Katherine is upstairs listening to Christmas music as she has for the past few weeks. She have always loved this time of year but I think all of our excitement is just a bit higher this year. For me, I think it is because there is so much to be sad about in the world and the holidays make us all focus just a bit more on the happy things out there.
I am grateful for getting back to blogging in a semi-regular way. There are a lot of people who will tell you that blogging is dead and I will agree that it is very different than it once was but I, for one, am glad that there is still a place to share my writing with people who want to read it.
And I am grateful for this exercise. It is rare that I go into Thanksgiving having taken the time to think about what makes me feel grateful 🙂