Thanks Giving

My typical Thanksgiving thought process goes something along the lines of “I’m happy to have my family and friends and that freaking delicious looking turkey – can we eat now?” Inspired by The Frugal Girl, I thought I might go a little more in depth this year, in recognition of all the things that I have to be grateful for – in no particular order, and ranging from the silly to the serious.

I am thankful:

1. For the privilege I have as a white, college-educated, lower-middle class woman in the Western world.

2. For the skills and talents I have been born with and have developed over time, that can be used both to bring me happiness and hopefully to bless those around me.

3. For my iPhone. I consider it the third hemisphere of my brain and love it to death, even if it’s made me more ADD in the process.

4. That I have a respected (well, mostly) four-year university near where I have grown up, which gave me the option to stay near my hometown or move away.

5. For the beautiful pine trees that surround me. Day to day, I get annoyed with the falling leaves that need to be raked up and the sap dripping on my car, but when I actually take the time to look up I’m struck by how beautiful they are, and how crazy it is that I pretty much live in the middle of a forest.

6. That I have not one but two jobs, which not only pay higher than minimum wage but involve doing activities I’m interested in.

7. That I have a place to sleep and food to eat.

8. That if I ever didn’t have either of the above, I have people who I know would help me.

9. That all of my immediate family lives within only a few hours of each other, so that we are all able to see each other. A few years ago, on of my sisters was out on the other side of the country and no one got to see her very often; it was amazing how much of a difference it made to not have even that one person around as much.

10. For the adorable Ethan, Lucy, Karis, and Ellah. On their own merit, they are great to have around and I enjoy spending an afternoon with them. But they also get to be a second set of nieces and nephews for me, since I don’t get to see my biological niece and nephew nearly as often as I’d like.

11. For the friends, family, and non-biological family I have the pleasure of being surrounded by. I always have people that I can talk to, ask advice, bounce ideas off of, be silly with, and live life with. These folks are the base of my life.

12. That I have free time to use as I please and am not roped into a large amount of time commitments.

13. For all of the possibilities in my life. Aside from relationships, I have nothing to keep me from doing whatever I would like to with my life.

14. For my fairly low income. It keeps me from getting too comfortable or cocky, helps me be compassionate to the least of these, and forces me to get creative for the holidays instead of buying lots of excess stuff.

15. For the internet, 4chan and all. It is only recently that it is possible to decide to learn how to do something, pop open a web browser, and have a million different sites offering to walk you through the process, often for free. And all of the blogs offer insight into humanity and personality, while search engines allow me to look up any little trivia.

16. That I’ve grown up with all of this technology and am a native, not having to learn the language and techniques later in life.

17. For the Sims 3. A gamer I am not, but this can keep me busy for hours.

18. That my mom taught me so much as a child. How to bake, the basics of sewing and piano, and was willing to put up with my stubbornness to homeschool me for six years. While I don’t think homeschooling would work for everyone or in every place, I’m very thankful that she was willing to do this for me.

19. That my dad taught me to work hard and not mind getting a little dirty or putting in some manual labor.

20. That I happened to end up living in the only part of this little residential community that is surrounded by parks and little artisan shops within walking distance.

21. That my sister convinced me to buy pepper spray to put on my keychain – it makes me feel a little more secure when I have to walk alone at night.

22. For GIMP; I am waaaay too poor to buy Photoshop, and even though the format is foreign it’s still a good (and free!) alternative.

23. For articulate writers. What does emergent/hipster/postmodern mean? Ummm….here. Read The Great Emergence, I’ve got a copy right here and I wouldn’t be able to explain it as well.

24. For the DIY movement, which has made it possible for me to learn so many things, and to get lots of inspiration.

25. That my family and friends aren’t completely burnt out on my homemade stuff yet (though my sisters did give me a bit of a “talk” last night about how they appreciate homemade stuff but also have some specific store-bought things they’d like). 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

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