I am not really into posting all of the daily ’30 Days of Gratitude’ things, as I’ve never been much of a joiner, and I tend to post gratitude posts almost every day of the year. It’s my thing- I’m the Susie Sunshine of Facebook. However, I do want to acknowledge this month of Thanksgiving, so I’m putting it all out there in one big lump. Fasten your seat belts!
1). I am grateful for Dan, the absolute perfect man for me. How did I get so lucky? He is the kindest human being I have ever known.
2). I am grateful for my friends. I have some of the most amazing friends on the planet, and they have always been there, lifting me up when I’m down, celebrating with me during good times…and laughing at me when I do stupid stuff (which is way too often).
3). I am grateful for my wacky mom and my really cool sister. Much of my family is a hot mess, but these two are keepers.
4). I am thankful for the gift of music in my life, made so much sweeter by my uber awesome Backun clarinet (thanks, Morrie!)
5). I am thankful for a career that I love, wonderful colleagues, and students that are a joy to teach (you guys better be practicing and not reading this!).
6). I am thankful for Chez Gainey, my home. I never imagined I would live in the funky historic house of my dreams…and with my own prince. How cool is that?
7). I am thankful for Cooper, Sophie, and Kasey, my critters. Two of them were gifts from the alley behind our house (obviously some magic portal), one from the Humane Society. They rescued me, and they bring love and laughter into our lives every day. Oh, and lots of vacuuming, too.
8). I’m thankful for Jiff All-Natural Peanut Butter. Seriously- I have it for breakfast every day, and that stuff is wicked good on Wasa Bread.
9). . I am thankful for kickboxing. Not only does it help me maintain my weight loss, but it brings out my inner warrior princess and burns off stress. It also gives me good street cred, since most people think I’m Mary Poppins.
10). I am thankful for yoga. It has brought calm to my spinning mind, patience with myself and others, and helped me learn to really breathe. Sort of important for a musician.
11). I am thankful for the view from our top deck (or really any view from our house). It is a gift that changes each day, each season, and I will never take it for granted.
12). I am thankful for my teachers, especially my clarinet teachers and band directors. You made such a difference in my life, I can’t even begin to express what you mean to me. Thank you for believing in a chubby, geeky, shy little clarinet player.
13). Swiss Miss Diet Hot Cocoa. I kid you not, that stuff will be the key to me surviving the holidays without the dreaded weight gain. Dan keeps insisting that I add miniature marshmallows, but so far I have resisted.
14). My Maytag washer and dryer. Our running joke is Dan thanking me for beating our clothes against a rock…long story, but it still makes me smile every time.
15). Did I mention I love Dan Gainey?
16). I am thankful for the mistakes I have made over the years. Seriously- if I hadn’t made them, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I learned one hell of lot from them, too- an added bonus, and a really good thing, because some of my mistakes have been pretty spectacular.
17). I am thankful for my writing/creativity group, the Open Group for Bedlam Farm. Daily inspiration, laughter, tears, beauty, encouragement…it covers all of the bases and makes me a better writer, musician, and person.
18). I am thankful for my VW Bug convertible. It is so much more awesome than my first VW Bug when I was a teenager. That one was ancient, took three times through before it passed inspection (and then only when I learned to anticipate the horn sounding test…with its six-volt system, it took several seconds for the horn to finally make its pitiful little “meeeeep” sound.) It’s also fun to take the dogs out for a ride with the top down- they love it even more than I do.
19). I am thankful I lost fifty pounds this year. I feel so much better in every way, and it is so good to love clothes again. Another plus- shop at home! I already have tons of fun clothes that have just been hanging there waiting for me to make a change. That makes my husband happy, too.
20). I’m thankful my husband loves to cook, because I don’t…and I’m really talented at setting things on fire in the kitchen. It’s just much safer for everyone if he cooks and I clean.
21). I am thankful for laughter. A sense of humor is what has gotten me through some pretty challenging times. Our home is filled with silliness and laughter every day, and that can get me through most anything that life dishes out.
22). I am thankful for herbal tea in chilly weather. So wonderful, so relaxing, and good for you. Try the mint green tea, my personal favorite.
23). I am thankful for the beautiful Knottyhead Falls on the Upper Nantahala River in Western North Carolina where Dan proposed to me, and where we returned a year later to marry on the Summer Solstice. So romantic and special…except for the part where we were dumped into the ice cold water while whitewater rafting before the ceremony. Hey- it added to the excitement of the day and makes for a great story.
24). I am thankful for my live and let live, artsy, eclectic, wacky Southside neighborhood. The people are great (well, most of them…some are just plain crazy), the views are amazing, and the beautiful old historic houses are just my cup of tea.
25). I am thankful for Facebook, the time-sucking leviathan that it is. I am able to stay connected with friends and family, use it in my teaching, record life events, and do my best to spread positivity each day.
26). I am thankful for fireplaces. Nothing calms me more at the end of a long, stressful day, than sitting in front of the fire and staring at the flames. To quote SNL’s Frankenstein, “Fire GOOD!”
27). I am thankful for our Tempurpedic mattress. If you have ever slept on one, you will absolutely know what I’m talking about. For someone with lots of back problems, it’s a blessing.
28). I am thankful for good reeds…and I’m doing dances and praying to the Reed God that I have some for my recital tomorrow night. As a clarinet player, those little suckers can make or break you.
29). I am thankful to have an open mind, to be open to new ideas and change. Life is about change, and you either go with it or whither on the vine. I will work to always be open.
30). I am thankful for the gift of gratitude. Learning to be grateful for everything that comes into my life- both the good and the not so good- has improved the quality of my life immensely.
And I’m also grateful for you if you made it all the way through my gratitude list…or even if you didn’t.