All the small things

(Points if you immediately started humming Blink 182 when you read the title)

So I realize I’m coming to this pretty late to the game, with this being the end of the major fall/winter holidays and whatnot. But with finals, work, getting presents ready, zipping all about during the holidays and stressing about cleaning things up afterward – for a bit it looked like a hurricane had zipped through here – I didn’t have a whole lot of time to chill and think.

So after spending most of the weekend in my new pj pants and incredibly comfy slippers (thank you, Ruthie!) sleeping, relaxing and generally doing absolutely nothing, I came to a conclusion tonight during our prayer and meditation.

I had one of the kids on my lap, getting a back scratch so she’d stay put, Heather leaning on my shoulder, and nothing but Christmas lights glowing in the dim room. And you know what I realized? Not only the sort of hollow “I have a lot to be thankful for” that I get every Thanksgiving, but that I actually am really, truly thankful and grateful.

There’s always the big picture stuff to be thankful for – being able to go to school, having a job, food, and a roof over my head in these tough economic times, etc. But most of the things I appreciate in this life aren’t tangible, material goods (though my Macbook comes in a close second…=P). It’s the people around me and the relationships I have with them that are truly valuable.

I’m thankful for the love, affection, and care I get from having a family much larger than DNA technically permits.

I’m thankful for having people around me who balance out so that I’m both able to vent and complain and receive understanding and grace, as well as a kick in the butt when I need to stop whining and deal with something.

I’m thankful for the laughter, joy, and humor that is almost always in the air. Even though I don’t have a large group of friends, with all of the different places we’re at it usually evens out to the atmosphere being positive, even if a few people are having a hard time.

I’m thankful for the growth that the people around me have inspired me to start and challenged me to continue. I’m a firm convert to the idea of quality over quantity in relationship, and I’ve gone from having friendships that encouraged me to gossip and made me feel better about my own weaknesses, to being pushed to move forward.

Additionally, I’m thankful for people that are just as strange and nerdy – if not slightly even more – than me. 🙂

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