My 35th birthday came and went with minimal fanfare. I got to enjoy the day and reflect on things that make me happy and wanted to share some things that I'm thankful for after 3 1/2 decades of life.
So in no particular order... I'm thankful for:
1. My husband. He is my opposite and my complement all at the same time. He keeps me grounded. He makes me laugh. He helps me to see the positive side of things. He helps me to see what's really important as opposed to what I only perceive as important, but actually might not deserve my full attention.
2. My family. I was so lucky to have been given the family that I have. My parents have been married for 41 years and counting. My sisters are my best friends, even on the days when we don't get along. I grew up in a household that was simultaneously filled with love, laughter, chaos, and adventure.
3. My job. Yes, even though I am not thrilled right now about the hours, or the commute, I do realize how lucky I am to be employed. I will never take this for granted even if I continue to search for my perfect position.
4. My health. Every day that I get out of bed and go for a run, or ride my bike, or swim, I am thankful for my health. I am thankful that my body responds to endorphins. I'm thankful that I can do the things that I love, which also keep me sane. If I were injured or unhealthy and couldn't run.... well I just won't think about that. (Shudder)
5. Endurance Rehab. Enough said. January 7 will mark the one year anniversary of working with my physical therapist, Nate. He helps me get stronger, work on flexibility, all while maintaining my tissues so that I can do the things that I love (and which keep me sane). Without him, I'd be sidelined, injured, inflamed, pained, and I'm sure many other things.
6. My motivation. How boring would it be to walk through life with no real direction or purpose? What stimulates one to get through their day? Having goals to work toward makes my life more interesting and rewarding! When I set a goal and achieve it, I get to celebrate. When I don't achieve a goal, it's a learning experience and I gain from that too.
7. Food! I love food. I love cooking food. I love trying new things. I love eating other people's creations. I love it all. (OK, I'm not a fan of baked beans...weird, I know).
8. My friends. On my birthday, I got to run 20+ miles with a friend of mine who 12 months ago was not a runner. Now she is training for a marathon. I am lucky to be surrounded by a group of supportive, fun, loving people who share my passion for sport, food, books, and life in general.
9. The new year. Every year I become more and more disenchanted with the holidays as it becomes more and more commercialized, and technologized. (yes, I made that word up.) What happened to the days of getting toys for Christmas as a kid? A new sled or a board game. A barbie doll. When did we lose the meaning of Christmas? Now it's all about who has the best and latest gadget. iphones, ipods, video gaming equipment, computers, etc, etc, etc. I want. Give me. Blah blah blah. Where are parents supposed to come up with the money to keep all the spoiled brats happy??? And do the really need a new phone every 6 months? Sigh. I digress. But, back to my thankfulness for the new year... As we wrap up the holiday season, I look forward to January 1. I get to turn my calendar forward, erasing the past year. I set new goals. Look forward to new challenges. And look forward to another year of life with my husband.
10. Pizza. I know I already said food. But I feel that pizza deserves it's own shout out. Pizza, that which I consume no less than 3 times per week. Pizza, that which goes down so smoothly with my cold beer on a Saturday night. New York style. Thin crust. Ham, pineapple, tomatoes. Onions, basil, spinach. Veggies. Take n bake. Frozen. Homemade. Restaurant. Hot out of the oven. Cold leftovers. Oh, how I love thee.
11. My electric blanket. We keep our house fairly cool and try to avoid running the heater. But I like to be cozy when I sleep. My husband got tired of me coming to bed in 3 layers of clothing so he got me an electric blanket for our anniversary. Best. Gift. Ever. Now I get to slumber, sans clothing, in my cozy bed with my wonderful husband. And we each have our own temperature controls to regulate our sides of the bed. (Did I mention, best gift ever?)
12. My cats. Yes, I am the crazy cat lady. I love all 4 of them to pieces. They like when I sing to them from the musical, Cats. They like when I talk to them. They love to snuggle and be petted. They like to sit in my lap. The demand so little, and give so much.
And there are a lot of other things that I'm thankful for. Honesty. Laughter. A warm embrace. My husband cheering for me from the sidelines. Birthday texts and FB posts. Trails. Fall days. Green trees. Grass. The Grand Canyon. The ability to travel. Mt Lemmon. Brooks. My new kindle. Inspiration. The ocean. A soft purr. A hot bath. Sing-o-grams. Coffee.
The list is endless, as it should be. I strive, daily, to be thankful for everything that I have. It's not always easy. But it is always worth it.