The weird thing about getting older is experiencing the changes in holidays. As a kid, if your childhood was anything like mine, the holidays were a constant: you had the same rituals, the same meals, the same people around the table. But eventually you grow up and out out baking cookies for Santa. People move away, people die, new babies and jobs and stories fill the empty spaces. Before you know it, the holidays look nothing like they used to. It’s sad, but also encouraging: our lives are changing and we are growing and we are (hopefully) getting better as the years pass.
As I tend to do on Thanksgiving, I take stock of all the year’s changes & the things, new & old, that I am thankful for. Here’s my list for 2013:
- I am so, so thankful for my marriage. I love being married. I love coming home to Cory. He drives me crazy sometimes, and we have a lot to work on, but we are happy. I am thankful for such a kind & sweet man to do life with. We got married young, and it was a leap of faith. But one I’m so glad I took.
- I am thankful (we both are) for the decision we made to move away from home. All we can say is, if you are a newlywed: do it. It’s scary, it’s brave, and it’s the best thing you’ll ever do for each other.
- I am thankful for the cozy little apartment we share.
- I am thankful for our jobs. We are financially blessed, and blessed with kind co-workers and thoughtful bosses. I pray, often, that we continue to be wise with our finances by saving and giving.
- I am thankful for God’s gift to me – my writing. I think God gives us all something, and I am so thankful this is my thing. I am equally thankful for the mentors he has sent my way, including my boss at the Noble Foundation. To have someone support, teach, edit, believe in me and push me to be better at my craft is priceless.
- I am thankful for my health, and the health of my family.
- I am thankful for my readers. Your encouragement, comments, tweets & conversation about these posts keeps me writing and keeps me authentic, honest and real. Thank you for sharing this space with me.
- I am thankful for my friends, especially of the female variety. I’ve done some breaking up this year, but I’ve done some incredible bonding as well. Shout out to the kickass ladies in my life…JCC, Tish ladies, my book club girls, Devon, Morgan, Brentney, Stacy, Mom, Abbey, Sherry, Char Baby, Haley, Lindsey (seriously, like the big sis I never had), Britt, Alesha…All of you, near and far, mean so much to me. I love, respect and enjoy each of you.
- I am thankful for the babies in my life…My nieces. I am thankful they are safe & happy & beautiful and know that Aunt Jessica & Uncle Cory love them. When Hialeah hugs me, I melt in her skinny little arms.
- I am thankful for my faith. It’s not something I write about often in this space, because I get it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But for me, my faith in Christ and my daily spiritual practices, like praying and reading his word, keeps me grounded. I am hopeful, whole and joyful because I know my life is in His hands. I am scared of nothing. He gives me that, and because of Him I can do anything.
I hope you, dear readers, have the warmest & happiest of Thanksgivings.