I’m sure many of us are focused on being grateful this week.  Thanksgiving has the word thanks in it, after all, so my Wednesday gratitude post will come as no surprise.

My 2016 Thanksgiving List:

  • My family’s gathering on Thanksgiving day.  A time to catch up, share joys, and shoulder burdens together.  Each year we’ve celebrated my mom’s and my niece’s birthdays; this year we’ll be together for our first birthday without mom.  I can’t think of a better place to be.
  • The Thanksgiving gathering at BrightSide’s aunt’s house on Saturday.  Three generations getting together, kids playing football in the yard, grownups visiting over coffee.  Enjoying time with family over delicious food and catching up on each other’s lives.
  • Last week’s gorgeous 60 and 70 degree weather burst.  Sunny, warm, beautiful days in November.  The kids soaked up the sun after school, enjoying what was most likely our last respite before cold weather settles in.
  • Friends.  Funny, loyal, brilliant, steadfast friends.  The kind that stand by you, no matter what comes your way.
  • Love.  All kinds of love.  BrightSide, the kids, my dogs, my friends.  Their love feeds my soul.
  • The changes I discover in myself day by day.  Having the courage to face the hard questions, and the fortitude to make the changes I’m pulled toward.

And my 2016 “Yeah, that rocks” list:

  • Mashed potatoes.  Made from real potatoes, with an entire stick of butter, and perhaps some half and half mixed in.  Zero health factor, 100% deliciousness.
  • Grandma’s stuffing.  My kids won’t touch it because it has pimentos and herbs, two things that freak a kid out when they’re looking at squishy bready concoctions.  But I say great, all the more for me, because that stuff is yuuuuuummmmmy.
  • Amazon Prime music and my speaker.  Each morning I can queue up exactly what fits my mood – upbeat, singable, danceable, laid back, chill, smooth, or boppy.  Sometimes the morning calls for quiet, but when I crave music?  This is what does it.
  • Kind breakfast bars.  I happen to love the peanut butter ones; I eat them practically every day.  A peanut butter bar with power grains and a big cup of coffee?  Add the dog that usually stretches out next to me and we’re talking an awesome breakfast.
  • Tortilla chips with melted cheese, salsa, and sour cream.  Plus a beer.  Just…yes.
  • Propel packets for my water bottle.  Yes, I know just drinking the water would be better for me, but the fact is that I won’t drink as much water if it’s not flavored.  If that makes me sound like I’m ten, so be it.
  • Not giving two hoots what people think about me.  I’ve found it remarkably liberating when it comes to speaking my mind.
  • Taking the dogs for a ride just because.  They love the movement, the change of scenery, and seeing the kids in the drop off line.  It’s a good time.

For all my American readers, a very happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  For my international friends, happy Wednesday.  Take a moment to think about something that makes you happy, too.

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.