a grateful nancy is a happy nancy

With U.S. Thanksgiving landing tomorrow, I find myself consciously thinking about all the things for which I’m grateful. Being Canadian, I wrote a post on gratitude in early October, timed to the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. And a couple of weeks before that is when I started to really reflect on the beauty of simplifying my life – which led to more declarations of gratitude.

There is much gratitude to go around and so, finding myself in the U.S. for this holiday, I am putting a twist on the giving thanks theme and am instead writing about 50 little things that make me happy. Because as my friend Kathy over at SMART Living 365 points out, a grateful me is a happy me.

I am so happy for…

1. clean, crisp sheets on the bed

2. a double espresso with a nice thick crema  photo

3. getting good and sweaty every single day

4. the smell of banana bread baking in the oven

5. the taste of banana bread once it’s done 🙂

6. having embraced the arts scene in Vegas, and become an avid collector but even more than that, for the real connections I’ve made with the talented and wonderful artists whose works hang in my home

7. early autumn, when the weather is starting to get crisp, the leaves are changing and nature reminds me of her glory

8. how it feels to walk barefoot in long grass

9. the way putting on a strappy pair of heels makes me feel instantly sexy

10. waking up when my body is ready, not to an alarm clock

11. stumbling upon a pile of rocks that someone painted with loving words


12. a daughter who is becoming a strong woman; excelling in her first job; is happy and healthy and living the shit out of her life [even when she’s living the shit out of it a bit too much..]

13. kissing

14. how comfortable I am in my own skin, finally, at age 47

15. a son who is killing it in a tough, tough program at one of Canada’s best universities; has found a girl (who I very much approve of) and who remains the coolest kid I know

16. reading: blogs, fiction, non-fiction, you name it…I’ve reconnected to my love of reading and I do it every day

17. soaking in a deep and almost too-hot bath, with decadent lavender-scented bath salts, surrounded by candles

18. a heated steering wheel (it came in handy on Saturday when temps plummeted)

19. my roster of go-to holiday movies: A Christmas Story; Elf; Love Actually; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Planes, Trains & Automobiles

20. meeting an old friend for lunch after more than 2 years apart and picking up right where we left off

21. singing, at the top of my lungs, to cheesy music (Madonna, Fergie, Katy, Gaga, Miley, Ke$ha… you get the picture)

22. road trips


23. decorating a Christmas tree; as much as I bitch about it before and during the process (Note: I maintain that taking it down SUCKS though)

24. learning to [finally] appreciate good, rich, dark chocolate; it took me a while to get here, but so glad I finally did

25. fruit: the more tropical, the better

26. when it’s just cold enough to make your cheeks nice and rosy (and not any colder than that)

27. that I married my high school sweetheart, and that despite ups and downs, our connection has stood the test of time

28. how a simple bunch of fresh flowers in a vase can add so much joy and beauty to a room

29. hiking; climbing mountains; scrambling over rocks…pushing my body to new limits

30. calves that finally fit into tall boots! I nearly cried the first time I was able to zip a pair all the way up – happy tears!

31. sweater weather; I just love layering: sweaters, scarves, jackets, shawls… LOVE!

32. having the lake 50 steps from my front door at home in Toronto

33. having the mountains a 10 minute drive from my home in Las Vegas


34. being at a place physically where I sometimes just declare, “I’m going out for a run”. Who…me?? What?? Yes!

35. both parents and both in-laws still alive and well and sharing in our, and our children’s, lives

36. folding laundry; I know this makes me a freak – but I just love feeling the warmth of the just dried garments as I fold them neatly, Gap-style, in an almost hypnotic way

37. planning and hosting a nice dinner party; I don’t do this enough – so I need to fix that

38. girl time; I don’t do this enough either – so I need to plan another girls’ weekend soon

39. lying in the sun; I know this is really bad for you – so I use lots of sunscreen – but I just love the feeling of hot sun on my skin


40. dancing

41. breakfast for dinner — seriously, this makes me very happy

42. wildlife right outside my back door; from the more common: chipmunks, rabbits, blue jays, cardinals, fox to the rarer: full-sized deer; backing onto 70 acres of conservation land has its perks

Okay so this was in Oatman, AZ, not at home - but when a wild burro sticks it's head in your car, you have to capture the moment.
Okay so this was in Oatman, AZ, not at home – but when a wild burro sticks it’s head in your car, you have to capture the moment.

43. getting a pedicure

44. learning to incorporate healthier choices into my life: quinoa, chia seeds, spaghetti squash, spinach in everything… it’s the little things that add up to a whole lot of change

45. having the patience to know that change takes time; I didn’t get fat and unhealthy overnight, so I won’t get strong and healthy overnight either

46. people who buoy me up with encouragement and support; and also those who call me on my bullshit [p.s. it’s extra awesome when the same person can do both for you]

47. learning to identify and then walk away from the destructive people in my life

48. homes with garish, crazy, over-the-top Christmas lights/holiday displays [not MY home, mind you; but so fun to see on other people’s homes]

49. the joy of seeing someone’s face as they open their gift and knowing I nailed it!

50. roasted chestnuts [preferably bought from a street vendor in Manhattan; but also just in general]

What are you happy or grateful for? Don’t just think it – write it down. Say it out loud. Be deliberate in your gratitude. It’ll feel so good. I promise.

Get moving!

xoxo nancy

30 thoughts on “a grateful nancy is a happy nancy

  1. I love this list 🙂 (although folding laundry up is definitely a strange one…but hey…someone has to like it :-P)

    I am grateful that I live in a house surrounded by fields with only one neighbour and that I have enough room to keep all of my craft stuff out and use it.
    I am grateful that I have lovely supportive friends both old and new all over the world 🙂
    I am grateful that I discovered morris dancing
    I am grateful that I found enough courage to wear lots of hats

    I should probably write this list somewhere else 🙂

  2. I’m happy for my smart phone so I can be reading these posts from bed in a rare lie-in thanks to neither of my kids having school today. Normally I’m up exercising early anyway, but I’m cutting myself some slack, and it feels great! I’ll exercise after I’ve gone through my email. From bed. 🙂

  3. Welcome back to the U.S. Nancy! And thank YOU for the link love mentioned above. You know it is deeply appreciated.

    And thank you too for sharing these 50 things with all of us. It is such a sweet way of sharing what is most important to you and deeply connected to your soul.

    You didn’t mention whether you celebrate Thanksgiving here in the states but if you do, I’m wishing you and Mr. Enthusiasm a fabulous day filled with lots of love and thanksgiving! ~Kathy

    • We haven’t yet cultivated friends who actually host formal Thanksgiving dinners here in the U.S. (mostly just a group of ragamuffin bohemian artists!), so we will likely have a nice turkey dinner at one of the many restaurants having Thanksgiving dinners nearby. 🙂

      Happy happy Thanksgiving to you and Thom!

    • My only family for the next two weeks is my husband, but I’m fortunate to have made some great friends in Vegas — something for which I’m grateful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Ingrid.

  4. So many great things here! A pair that stand out to me for some reason: breakfast for dinner… LOVE that — and “A Christmas Story” — easily the best Christmas movie EVER.

  5. Wow, that is quite a list! At first I was mentally noting my responses as I went along so I could comment on them but then I just got all caught up in the flow of things 🙂 One thing does stick out though: A heated steering wheel, whaaat? That sounds like my definition of heaven.

    What am I thankful for? I have one k-cup left for when I wake in the morning and a cinnamon roll my wonderful boyfriend left for me. That’s all it takes, huzzah!

  6. Pingback: Group Therapy: November’s Top Comments « HACKER. NINJA. HOOKER. SPY.

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