Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Celebrated a birthday this week.  Thirty-four.

They become less and less exciting.  But more and more reflective.

At the suggestion of a dear friend (thanks Mother!), and as a birthday gift to myself, I am making a list of thirty-four things for which to give thanks on my thirty-fourth birthday.  It has been a crazy year and I have much to be reflectively thankful for.  Here goes.

1.  I am so grateful for a community of women who have loved me well and often, challenged me continually, and encouraged me intrinsically.  They span the globe and they span the life-spectrum, but I would not be the same without each one of them.  You know who you are.  I love you.  And today I stop to say thanks for you.

2.  I am thankful for three fabulous monkeys who, yes, make my life more hectic and complicated, but also add so much richness and meaning.  Motherhood did not come to me by choice or decision, but come it did and, six years down the road, I know and see the wisdom and blessing in it.  I am thankful for the ways it has molded and shaped my perspective of life and the world, even myself.  I know myself more fully because of them.  I laugh more readily, appreciate more completely, and love more deeply.  All thanks to three little people I like to call my monkeys.

3.  I am thankful for chocolate.  Dark, please.  Really dark.  And sometimes with almonds or cherries.

4.  I am thankful for running.  My sanity.  And Moving Comfort sports bras and Nike running shoes.  Running wouldn't be the same without them.  And I wouldn't be the same without running.  Sometimes far, sometimes not.  Never fast.  But always moving forward.

5.  I am thankful for coffee.  Good coffee.  What the Hubs calls my sanity.  He says my whole demeanor relaxes when I get my hands on a good cup of coffee.  Just one is all it takes.  I learned to drink it black this year.  But I still prefer a touch of cream and a drizzle of honey.  Yes, honey.  The earlier the better.  I'm not sure that this is good.  But it is something I feel grateful for.

6.  I am thankful for quiet.  Little snippets of quiet.  The elusive moments of my week when I can be still.  I am oh, so grateful for those.  Especially when they include coffee.  Or chocolate.  Or both.

7.  I am thankful for Target.  A steady job, with hope of a future, and a steady income.  With benefits.  And that doesn't require regular out-of-town travel.  That is something to be very grateful for this year.  I am well aware of how rare and special this is.

8.  I am thankful for one house payment.  This time last year we had two.  In a housing market that is all too unpredictable and down right despicable, I am very grateful for just the one.  It might be small (the house, not the house payment).  It might be humble, but it is ours and it is our one and only.  Thank you, thank you.

9.  I am thankful for craft nights with the girls in AL.  We sometimes had 3-4 sewing machines going at the same time!  Usually coffee.  Sometimes wine.  Always good times.  I miss those nights now.  But I am so grateful I had them then.

10.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my first monkey last year for kindergarten.  It was hard.  It was frustrating.  But it gave me the opportunity to really bond with her and learn her in ways deeper than parenting to that point ever had.  We pushed through the hard.  We pushed through the frustrating.  And I got to see first hand the growth.  I got to witness the light bulbs going off.  That is a gift to a Mom.  And I honestly can say I miss her now when she is away.  And I so look forward to holidays and weekends when she is home.

So there are the first 10.  More to follow.  Don't want to overwhelm.  And I want to invest the time to really reflect.


lauren said...

these are awesome joy! i am thankful for a lot of those same they were a great reminder. :)

Allison said...

Mother! So glad you are taking time to do this. There was a blog that was highlighted on Ann Voscamps site that gave us the idea. Mitch just turned 38 and we are working towards spending Friday as a family doing 38 random acts of kindness (what the blog was about). I'll let you know how it turns out. As we are looking at another possible season without a job, we are clinging to what we know and all that He has given. Thanksgiving is abundance.