I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few days trying to think of something I’m grateful for that’s different than the norm – family, friends, kids etc. It’s a tricky thing to do but I did. This year I am obviously-of-course-forever thankful for my friends, my family and my kids but I’m also thankful for a handful of lesser recognized things:

Motherhood. Motherhood has given me the access to lessons I never would have been able to fully grasp and appreciate beforehand. It has provided me with a sense of “home” that I’ve never experienced. It’s allowed me to see myself wholly, giving me the self-confidence to value me, my voice and my time. It has opened my heart and my eyes. Motherhood has propelled me into a whole new community, given me another identity and allowed me to embrace life in every phase of its mediocrity and wonder. It has aged me in a way I always worried I’d never age and brought me comfort in ways I never knew I really needed. Motherhood is 100% the best gift I ever accidentally gave myself – twice. 🙂

 

All of my female parts. Being a woman is far from easy – most times, especially in comparison to our male counterparts, it’s annoying and tedious and belittling and altogether a fucking atrocity – BUT being a woman is full of complexities and strength and love and pride. I’ve never met a single woman who wasn’t aware of her body – how it looks, how it feels, how it’s changed, how it won’t change, how it affects others, how it offends others, how strongly it draws attention, how strongly others want to control it. There’s a pride and power in that knowledge and awareness. Our relationships, our thoughts and our feelings are complex. And our hearts, equal parts soft and savage, are strong. We procreate, we love, we build and we fight. Being a woman is kind of, sort of amazing and for that, I’m thankful.

 

Good Educators. I know I’ve gone on rants before about how important good teachers are but, you guys, I’m so serious – good, invested teachers are a huge key to our future generation’s success. They’re essential to community improvement – heck, they’re essential to world improvement! Teachers nurture and care for our kids, our nieces and nephews and our grandkids when we can’t. They equip them with knowledge, skills and a promise for the future in ways we aren’t able to. They love them. They see them. They hear them. They nourish their curiosity and feed their imagination. They are SO much more than they get credit for and I’m forever grateful.

 

Being (almost) 33. This year I’m grateful for my age. I used to worry I’d never “act my age” – I worried I’d wake up one day at the age of 47 and still be running around drinking too much, staying up too late, looking for the next best job or city to call home until I got bored again. I worried I’d spend my life wanting and wishing with no real idea of what I wanted and, therefore, no real ability to confidently commit. But this year I’m happy to say my lifestyle and mindset is finally catching up with my age. I spend most of my time working, mothering, writing, making plans and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I drink too much every now and then but staying up late is defined differently (mostly anything after 10pm). The “next best thing” is something I’ve written off as youthful meandering and boredom isn’t as much of a driver as happiness and wellness is. I realize you can’t define what it really means to  “act 32 (almost 33)” but had you asked me to define it ten years ago, it probably would have been something very similar to this (minus kids).

Ellen. Ok. If you don’t love Ellen, you don’t know what love is. We must never forget -> LAUGHING IS IMPORTANT. I DVR Ellen and watch it nearly every day. It’s a great escape – I laugh, I cry, I laugh so hard I cry. Ellen is such a gift. I HOPE SHE NEVER STOPS BEING AWESOME.

 

AWE, LOOK AT US, GETTIN’ ALL THANKFUL UP IN HERE.