Happy Thanksgiving!

happy-thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada! It always signals the end of summer and even fall for me and is the start of the winter. It always seems like Christmas is right around the corner after Thanksgiving, although I never ever do anything Christmas related until after November 11, which is Canadian Remembrance Day. I do not give a rat’s ass about Halloween, so other than handing out some candy to the little ghosts, goblins, firemen and princesses, I pretty much skip right over that ‘holiday’.

While I have been trying to keep a grateful journal daily, it is always nice to take a day to really focus on what we are truly grateful for. And for those who do not keep a grateful journal…. you should really give it a try. Everyday write down at least 3 things that you are grateful for. I won’t lie, somedays it gets really hard, especially if you want to move beyond health and family. Somedays….. on my grumpy days I really have to think hard, especially when everything seems to be going wrong. But when I sit there with a pen and a paper and start looking around, and quit being such a selfish, whiney little bitch, I do feel such gratitude for the amazing life I have. It is always such a good thing to do and miracles DO happen when you are grateful for everything that you already have. It does help to have a really pretty notebook and a really pretty pen… but those are not necessary. But if you have them, they are certainly something to be grateful for.

In honour of Thanksgiving here are 20 things that I am grateful for. I could be ambitious and go for a list of 1oo, because I know there is even more than that, but I will restrain myself to 20.

  1. As cliché as it is…my family. My immediate family.

*This consists of my husband Dean. Most of the time I am pretty sure he thinks I am certifiably insane. But for the most part he tolerates me and after 29 years is still here.

*My daughter Shoshanna. She has grown into such an amazing and talented person and is such a wonderful mother herself . I am happy to say one of my best friends.

*My son Josh. We agree and see eye to eye on exactly 2 things. I make the best cookies, and we will probably always disagree. But despite our differences he always makes time to spend every holiday with his family. He is a good, solid and very honest man. Although in my mind he will never be a man and he is my baby boy who needs his momma.

I am grateful these 2 kids of mine also have significant others who I adore. They have chosen good people, who treat them well and this momma does not need to worry about them.

2. My grandkids- I am truly blessed to have 2 very amazing grandbabies, who are healthy and happy and of course brilliant. They get it from their gramma.

3. I am grateful for the fact that we live close to them all. So many people live far away from the people they love and only see them on holidays. I am feeling sad if I go a week without seeing them all.

4. We were very blessed to make some good house purchases over the years allowing us to now have a mortgage free house. While it is not fancy, or even really pretty yet, I am grateful that we outright own our house. Somedays I complain about it, the ugly floors, the ugly bathroom, the quirks that is has. But it has tons of potential for a couple of handy people like us, and we will give this 70 year old house the TLC that it needs.

5. Every single day I am blown away by the view of our house… we can look out the window or sit on the deck and watch the scenery change, and often watch coyotes, moose, or deer wander along the river.

6. I am grateful that because of our location, we can take off camping at a moments notice, and within half an hour find camping spots along the river in the trees to just sit back and enjoy a campfire and moonlight. This is something we really enjoy.

7. Health…. ok another cliché thing. But it is true. I do have Hashimoto which is an auto immune condition that affects the thyroid gland. Oddly enough, I am thankful that because of this, I keep my diet very healthy and look after myself, which makes me healthier than most people. So far we have not had to deal with any health related illnesses that so many others have to deal with.

8. Being self employed… I am so grateful for this. Even though this means we often go way to long without paychecks, and  that we are responsible for our own destiny and our own success, this gives us so much freedom. We never have to miss events because of work, We never complain about Monday mornings, and weekdays are just as much fun for us as weekends. We have had real jobs, we tried to like them, but both of us have just always felt like we are suffocating and trapped. But….. there was the bonus of a regular paycheck every 2 weeks. But our freedom means more to us.

9. Sunshine…. I have 2 huge south windows in my house. And a big east patio door. I rarely shut curtains and instead just soak up as much sunshine as I can all winter. In the summer, I am outside soaking it up. I do know we need rain too, and rainy days are nice. But the reality is that I really love sunshine.

10. Canada…. our country is so beautiful. Even though I am not happy with our leadership, we are resilient and always seem to survive no matter what they throw at us. We have prairies and mountains, and trees that give us the most amazing colour changes in the fall. We also have Canadian bacon, Canadian beer and maple syrup.

11. Cheesecake… I am pretty sure the world is a better place because of cheesecake.

12. Technology… As much as I fantasize about living so far in the woods without anything besides a cabin and an axe, I have to admit I am pretty in love with technology. I can order all the fabric I need, and anything else for that matter, without leaving my house.  A few quick clicks on my amazing Galaxy 7 smartphone, and I get packages delivered right to my door within 7 days. Pretty amazing technology for someone who almost lives in the sticks and is a bit of a hermit. So if I want to live way back in a cabin in the woods…. the reality is that I must have cell service and internet.

13. Because of the internet I have some pretty amazing internet friends. I have met people who are just like me,((hermits who prefer not to leave their house, but still want social interaction) but they live miles away from me. I am really grateful for some of these people. Cindy, Lori, Amy…….

14. Heat, electricity, indoor toilets and running water…. things that a good part of the world does not have. Yup, I can live without them, but on cold winter mornings they certainly make life in Canada much more tolerable.

15. My sewing room. I know its a weird thing to be grateful for….but I have a whole room all to myself. I have lots of storage, and a tv and a computer in here. Currently I also have a dog and 2 cats as well. It is on the second floor of the house, with a big east window that Dean replaced. I get lots of light, lots of sunshine and a beautiful view. I spend most of my day in this one room, and it is a great place to be creative.  I remember when I used to have to sew at my kitchen table, with 2 toddlers climbing all over…. a sewing room of my own was only a dream.

16. That first sip of coffee in the morning…. to hold the warm cup in my hand, take that initial sniff and then that first sip. So, so good!

17. Cats.. need I say more? I have 2. The world would be a strange place without cats. Ellen wouldn’t have cat week.  Although…. I may get more sleep without cats.

18. I mentioned some internet friends that I never see, but I am pretty grateful for some real friends too.  Even though I don’t see them a lot, I have some friends that are the kind of people that you can walk in and put your pj pants on and no one bats an eye. We actually call ourselves “pj pant friends”. Their spare room is always ready,  we walk in, get comfy, grab a drink and pour them one too, while we are up, then curl up on the couch and catch up.

19. Warm socks. My feet are always cold….while we are at it, I am also grateful for warm clothes, hoodies, sweats, jackets, and housecoats. I know there are people who do not have these little luxuries. And I am blessed with drawers full of warm clothing to keep me warm all winter, because I love being warm.

20. A big yard. I love to garden and grow things, I like to plant, dig, and get my hands and feet in the warm dirt. I love to grow things for the prettiness and I love to grow my own healthy veggies. My yard is south facing and while it has a lot of challenges, it also has so much potential, and it is big enough to allow me to plant and dig and weed until my heart is content.

21. I get bonus points for going past 20. But I have to add vacations. I am grateful we have been able to take a few vacations here and there. We just got home from Las Vegas, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon. This is one of the most amazing places to see, and I am lucky enough to say that I have seen it twice.

There are so many things to be grateful for….but this list covers most things for me I think. A grateful list, and a daily grateful journal really does focus your attention away from all that you think you are missing in life to all that you already have.

I challenge everyone to make their own lists. Share in the comments if you wish.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving holiday and I hope you are all surrounded with love.

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