Alright, so somehow, November has snuck up on me again. I say it every year, but time is flying by at warp speed, and it drives me a little nuts. September punched me in the throat a bit, when I remembered that this is the year I turned 39. That’s not ok. When did that happen? I am still 35 in my brain.
But, it is now November – the month when people stuff themselves with foods they wouldn’t touch during the entire rest of a year, men refuse to shave and grow ugly beards to raise money (or because they are just too fucking lazy to shave and don’t bother to try to raise money), and the Facebook thankful posts start. I fully disclose that I have attempted to do the 30 days of thankfulness over the past few years, but I always end up losing track, running out of things to say, and fading into obscurity. This year, I am not even going to try to come up with something new every single day.
I really believe that it is much more important to be thankful and show gratitude all year long, and I really do try to do that as much as possible. I try to tell the people I care about how much they mean to me, not just one day, but all the time. I choose to do this in both words and actions. But, in the spirit of Novemberness, I will now list 30 things that I am thankful for (in no particular order but how they fall into my brain), and get this business over with.
- My health (such as it is) – It hasn’t always been the best, but I am still here to annoy and delight the world, so I guess that is something.
- My amazing husband – November is a special month for us. It is when Paul proposed to me five years ago, and it is when we were married four years ago. Paul changed the way I looked at love and relationships, and taught me that love shouldn’t be hard. It should be as easy as breathing… and it is.
- My parents – While my parents parted ways many moons ago (and thank God for that), they are amazing to me and still hang around each other for the sake of their middle aged children. I love that my parents (mostly) accept me for who I am and don’t let the fact that I say what most people keep to themselves – a lot. I am also thankful than neither of them know how to use Twitter, so I have a place to keep all of my truly awful things, because I still want
- My siblings – I am so incredibly glad that my brother and sister aren’t total shitheads, like so many others that I see. We fought a lot as kids, but I seriously cannot even remember the last time I had even a disagreement with either of them. High school? I love that when we get together, we can still act like total dorks and have a great time. I wish my brother lived closer so that we could hang out more, but I am truly grateful for the time I do get. I also love that my sister lives close and allows me to be so involved with my nieces.
- NIECES!!! – It’s no secret that my sport of choice is competitive aunting. It isn’t that I want to be better than my nieces other aunts… I just want to be their favorite! 😉 I don’t currently have any children of my own, so I can play aunt like a rock star, and the girls love it! I have three nieces by blood/marriage – Madison (8), Natalia (7 in a few weeks), and Olivia (1 week), and a slew of nieces/nephews that I love on who are not actually related (kids of close friends – I don’t just start hugging random kids on the street). I adore being part of their lives and seeing their eyes light up when I come over. It’s a special kind of bond, and I will always treasure it. [My brother and his wife are expecting their first child in a few months, and we don’t yet know if it will be a boy or a girl. So, I will put “Ziggy” in this category too, until I know if he/she is a he or a she.]
- Dogs – Mine. Yours. Dogs in a shelter. Dogs on Instagram. Cute puppies doing cuter things. I love them all. My dogs have always been so special and I have loved them all to pieces. Even when I wanted to strangle them (my dogs are also punks) – like now, when Daphne and Lucy are chasing each other through the house and the tiny one humps the big one, I still love them. They bring smiles and noise when the house is too quiet.
- In-laws – I am incredibly fortunate to have some amazing in-laws in my life. I have wonderful parents in Kathy and Paul, and my sisters-in-law (both real and assumed), Magdalena, Brianne, and Medbh are fantastic. I only grew up with one sister, so having these girls in my life is just pure awesome. I love you all! I also managed to get a couple of extra brothers in Javier, Fred, and Phillip. I love having a great family.
- Family – In addition to my immediate family and in-laws, I have a huge extended family, whom I love greatly. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Kids of Cousins, Cousins by Marriage… you name it. They are cool.
- Books – Seems like a strange thing to be thankful for, but I am pretty sure if you left me alone on an island with my iPad full of books and music, I could stay happy forever. I love to read. I am always floored when people tell me they don’t read. It seriously does not compute. I finished two books in two days this week. I have read 20 of the 25 I challenged myself to read this year. I have two more in the queue, and will need three more after that, at minimum. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
- Music – Along with books, music is my life. I have always loved it, and always will. I have been singing all my life, and managed to find an opera singer to spend the rest of my life with. We don’t necessarily run in the same musical circles, but we do have that bond. Music can bring you out of a bad day, make you contemplate, and bring you right back to something powerfully sad. It’s powerful and beautiful, and I couldn’t imagine life without it.
- Nerdy Bitches! – I am super grateful to my friend Heather for asking me to podcast with her. She approached me three years ago saying, “Hey! I have an idea that will be a lot of hard work, will make us zero money, but will be a ton of fun! Are you in??” Hell yeah I am! Who can resist a tag line like that! We have been recording our podcasts for the last year, and I still have a blast every time. I hope it goes on forever. Thank you, Heather! And, of course, thank you to Producer Craig for doing all of the hard stuff so that we can just talk.
- Friends – I am super thankful to have made so many awesome friends in unexpected places! I grew up feeling a bit invisible. It still amazes me when someone knows who I am, or remembers me when I never would have thought they would have known my name. So many of these wonderful people have reached out and established friendships, when I probably never would have (you know, for fear that they wouldn’t remember me).
- Humor – I am grateful that the universe saw fit to provide me with a sense of humor, and the people around me who appreciate it, without thinking I’m a total nutcase. I mean I AM a total nutcase, but it is nice to be able to speak my mind or say what I think without too many people judging me. I have definitely rubbed people the wrong way, but that is really their problem, not mine. I am thankful for those who see me for who I am, and who do not have giant sticks up their butts.
- The Internets – It may sound shallow to include the Web in a list of thankfulness, but without it, people like me would still be lost in obscurity. It gives me an outlet to say whatever I want, and there is more connection than shunning, at least in my little corner of it. Social media has changed so much about how we live and work with other people, and it has opened worlds of new opportunities for everyone. Plus, I like buying web domains and creating things that did not exist before.
- Restaurants that deliver – Admittedly, I am a bit of a recluse when it comes to getting out in the land of the living. If I could spend all my life on the couch binge watching Netflix, writing, reading, and playing with dogs, I would be a happy girl! But, we do have to eat. I love cooking, but that also requires grocery shopping, which I try to avoid like the plague (thankful also for my husband and dad who don’t mind doing the shopping). So, enter the delivery driver! Since we moved at the beginning of the year, we managed to find at least one place close by that delivers, and the food is tasty, so I am happy to let them bring it to my door.
[I need to point out that I am already losing interest in completing this list, so it would not have made it to the end of the month. Again. It may not make it to the end of this post!]
Numbers 16 – 30: Blah blah blah… things that will come to me later.
In conclusion, be thankful all the time. Stop shaming people when they can’t think of anything else to say. Also, go write that novel. This is also the month for writing books. Clearly something that cannot be done at any other point in the year.