I’ve never really liked the holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, even most of the time my birthdays. Don’t get me wrong, I like getting presents, but I just don’t like the hustle and bustle, the way that everyone moves with purpose from one place to the next. It’s like they put their heads down, invisible blinders moving them down their list as they methodically check off the things that are keeping them from relaxing with their family. I can’t really imagine that anyone likes this aspect of the holidays, and for some reason I have a hard time getting past it.

This Thanksgiving on Facebook there has been post after post after post listing things/people/feelings that my friends are thankful for, one for each day of the week. This is the part of Thanksgiving that I do like. We live in a world, much like our ancestors did, that is riddled with chaos. People are dying, rioting, moving, killing, stealing, you name it, and the media always points those things out to us. Sometimes I think that as a culture we forget to be thankful for the little things. I’m thankful for so much, but I thought I would share some of those things with you all.

  1. Nathan- He’s the best.
  2. My family, long distance, short distance, doesn’t matter.
  3. Willow and Dakota, even though they are super hairy, I still love them.
  4. My friends who put up with my crazy.
  5. The ability to take words and put them together to make stories.
  6. A writing partner who gets me.
  7. Coffee. All the coffee.
  8. Having an office where I can go and write every morning.
  9. The ability to run and exercise.
  10. Books. I don’t know how these got to number 10. They should probably be higher up there.
  11. Quiet, unscheduled blocks of time.
  12. Fixer Upper and The Barefoot Contessa.
  13. People who respect me even when they disagree with me.
  14. Halloween- the one holiday I always look forward to.
  15. My house remodel.
  16. Having options and never feeling stuck.
  17. The coolness of fall and the promise of winter.
  18. New running shoes.
  19. The ability to learn new things.
  20. The right to change my mind whenever I want to.
  21. Love.
  22. J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Suzanne Palmieri, Sarah Addison Allen, Neil Gaiman, Cornelia Funke…
  23. A family who supports my creative endeavors.
  24. A break from school that I really, really needed.
  25. New journals filled with blank pages and just the right pen.
  26. Knowing that my decisions=me.
  27. To move from drafting a novel to revising one.
  28. A job that I love and a co-facilitator that makes my life so much easier.
  29. Learners that remind me why I teach.
  30. Rare moments of quiet.

This list is not definitive. If I had done it daily, I’m sure it would have looked very different. As you go out with your families today, remember that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, not about Black Friday shopping or eating yourself into a coma. Develop a heart of thanks this holiday season, it’s definitely something that I’m working on. Who knows, maybe I’ll get past the hustle and bustle of the holidays and learn to just enjoy the time that I’m given.

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