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
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..]
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
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
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.