In celebration of Thanksgiving, let’s start a new tradition and share what we’re truly thankful for this year!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who starts each new year hoping for and expecting big things. You know, that starry eyed, “next year’s going to be so AMAZING” kind of feeling. Let’s get real: when the ball dropped for 2015, I was banking on great things happening this year. If I was in Vegas, I’d be betting big that 2015 was going to be a year for the record books. Cut to November 25 and as it turns out… things didn’t go all that well. No, it wasn’t a great year of epic proportions…instead, it was a very challenging year, faced with frustration, pain and heartache. All around, 2015 kinda sucked.
Well, what do you know. Life isn’t perfect. The worst part though, is how we can lose sight of the blessings in our lives that we do have, just because we didn’t have the best year ever. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s take a couple moments to shed light on the things we are grateful. I’ll start! For better or worse, here are six things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. (Seven, if you count the glass of wine in my hand!)
The biggest sadness of 2015 has been losing my 14 year-old best friend Lucky. Above is a photograph of Lucky perched before a fire on Thanksgiving last year. To those who have never experienced it, it will sound strange – but that beautiful, red, furry boy was my soulmate. He came into my life at very a dark time, and together we have weathered many storms. Together, Lucky and I shared a very special bond, and there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll never experience a love like ours again. Every Thanksgiving I shared how thankful I was for him, and I don’t want this year to be any different. For, while I did lose him in September, leading up to that I had 9 beautiful and happy months with Lucky…that I would not trade for anything in the world. Perhaps the biggest blessing of all, is how much I savored every minute. Being a senior dog, I knew how limited his time could be and took great strides to cherish each and every single second, straight down to the very end. Writing this I have tears in my eyes, but I am grateful that I had this truly special dog come along and change my life twelve years ago. Through Lucky, I learned a very important lesson – how to make every single moment count to and love with all of your heart.
My Safety and Freedom
At risk of coming off as a COMPLETE downer this holiday, I wanted to express how grateful I am to be safely sitting here writing this post. Given the tragic events happening around the world, I am truly thankful to be safe, warm and free. I won’t go into all the circumstances that make our safety and freedom so vital, but I don’t want to take for granted something that is so important. This is something we all need to appreciate more often!
While 2015 hasn’t been a great year for crossing things off my bucket list, it has been a great year for family! Sometimes I think when things are going so swell and you’re off succeeding in the universe, you lose touch with your family back home. It’s easy to get swept away with your own agenda, but while things and people come and go so easily..family is constant. That’s something that really hit me over the summer – like wow, I forgot how important and wonderful my family is. I guess it’s easy to take family for granted because they are always there, but I realize now the fact that they’re always there is WHY you should appreciate them the most.
Yesterday I did a very shocking thing – I scheduled my fifth back surgery. Yes, you read that correctly— 5 back surgeries! I feel like I’m in the running for some kind of world record. Pathetic! With that on the calendar for January, I of course think back to surgeries 1, 2, 3 and 4…and I’m left feeling pretty happy about the team of doctors I have right now. It can take a bit of trial before finding the right doctors for you, and I feel right now – like I have an all around dream team!
Okay, the internet? I feel pretty lame writing that but I AM grateful for the internet. I could take it even a step further and say that I’m grateful for wifi and 4G service. My little friend ‘the internet’ gives me the power to do many, many favorite things — from shopping to writing in this online space…to marathon binge-fests of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO and Showtime. That’s right people – the streaming world got even bigger in 2015! Our friend the internet provides so much entertainment, education, laughter and necessary information and I am absolutely adding it to the list of things I’m most grateful for! Being a ‘Millennial’, I know both what life with and without the internet is like…and by golly, I am GLAD we have it.
Meditation/the Calm App
As I mentioned, 2015 hasn’t been the whirlwind amazing year I hoped it would be – but one thing it HAS been is the year I’ve discovered the power of meditation. Now, I know…it’s a bit weird to get all zen and voodoo on you right now, but I’m not joking when I say meditation has honestly saved me this year. I think it was back in February when I first tried it, and I felt like my brain was getting the best massage in the world. Since, I’ve upgraded to using the premium Calm app, and I think it’s saved me having emotional breakdowns several times. Meditating has helped me through mountains of stress, anxiety, heartache, insomnia…you name it, I’ve meditated my way through it. The Calm app is great because it has specific guided meditations tailored to every possible scenario under the sun, from wanting to build your confidence – to breathing your way through grief, panic attacks, intense pain, whatever. It’s kind of wild to me that the biggest lesson for me in 2015 is that 10 minutes of breathing in your head space is vitally important, but it’s the truth. Best and simplest discovery, ever!
And that’s my list. It’s been an odd and difficult year, but in many ways I’m grateful for that…if only because it makes me ready to enter a new year. Do I think 2016 will be the best year ever? No. I think I’ve kind of learned my lesson for great expectations…BUT I do think 2016 marks the fresh start to the next chapter.
One thing’s for sure, it will be fun to look back on this post next Thanksgiving to see just how well 2016 treats little ole’ me. (Let’s hope for the best!)
On that note, I’m off to start watching some Gossip Girl Thanksgiving specials while munching on Hershey Kisses. Tis’ a holiday weekend after all!