With the attacks in Paris sitting at the top of my newsfeed, with Facebook lit up in Red, White and Blue, with Syrian refugees streaming over the border and universities being bombed and people sleeping in the cold, it seems small to sit here tonight and think about the many things still to do.
Because tonight we are warm. We are safe. Tonight I am able to touch my children and know that they have never gone hungry a day in their lives.
I’ve never been a great believer in the concept of spending November remembering to be grateful, because gratitude is something that should be celebrated daily, year round. But tonight, I am tired. I am stressed. I am two steps away from curling up in a fetal position in the corner, tucking my knees to my chest and not coming out until January.
Tonight, sitting here at my computer hearing from those in Paris who are reaching out, I am ashamed. And desperately in need of the reminder of how truly blessed we are.
So tonight, I want to celebrate thirty days of gratitude with thirty reminders of how lucky I am to be who I am, where I am, when I am. And as November passes, and the year passes with it, and days come when I am tired and stressed and ready to give up, I will remember. I will remember:
- · That I have a home that keeps us warm and safe and dry,
- · I can go to sleep at night without fear,
- · I have a family that loves me and stretches around the world,
- · My children are healthy,
- · All of my children live together under my roof,
- · My husband works hard to make sure our bills are paid and we never go hungry,
- · I have the opportunity to go to nursing school and receive the education I need to do something I love,
- · I will have the opportunity to do that something in a manner that benefits my community and, someday, those less fortunate than I,
- · In two weeks, I get to start working at a job that not only pays reasonably well, but that I’m absolutely certain I’ll enjoy,
- · We have two working vehicles that take us where we need to go,
- · There is money in the bank if something breaks,
- · Our refrigerator and pantry are full,
- · We have good health insurance,
- · Because we have good health insurance, I’ll never have to choose between paying the bills and getting my children the care and medications they need,
- · We have the opportunity to offer four cats a better life,
- · We are able to sponsor and get to know a lovely young woman that lives half a world away,
- · We live near enough to a large urban area that we’re never lacking for healthcare or dental providers,
- · We live far enough away from a large urban area that I’m not afraid to let my kids play outside,
- · We have electricity and indoor plumbing,
- · Because my husband’s job pays for our internet, we always have a connection to the world,
- · I have shelves upon shelves of books to read,
- · And I have plenty of time to read them,
- · I am able to read, and write, and learn,
- · Our circle of friends is large and diverse and always there for us,
- · Should anything happen to me, I know my kids would be in good hands,
- · We live close enough to family that we can visit whenever we want,
- · There is music in our lives,
- · Outside, my flowers and trees and raspberries grow every year,
- · There is yoga, and people to do it with,
- · And most importantly, I know without a doubt that I am loved.
This November, this day, this year, what are you thankful for?