Okay, so I kind of failed with my momentum on the monthly favorites.
I do still want to keep up with it, and part of me says I should just give up since I messed up already, but I have a tendency to call it quits a lot, with nearly all the things, and I don't think it's a good habit. And, it's a hard habit to quit, I've done it since I was young. I remember quitting piano lessons when I was only in first grade because I thought the piano was too hard. In middle school, I quite volleyball because I was on the 'C' team, which, if that's not lingo you're familiar with, that's just the team with the worst players. It's a part of myself that I try to ignore, this part that wants to give up when it feels like I can't hack it, but I think it's time I recognize it and confront it.
So, I come to you today, with a pseudo-favorites blog, but I'm calling it gratitude becasue I don't really have any items to list. My husband and I have purged many of our luxuries and started saving more money so we can buy a house, so now, and in future months (see what I did there? I made a promise to myself that there will be future months, mmhmm) my favorites are going to have to become smaller lists, and more abstract.
This post, though, will be meaty, becasue I have a lot to be thankful for.
Rather than make a list proper, I think I'll just ramble a bit.
It seems cheesy to say, especially right after Thanksgiving, but I really am incredibly grateful for my family. As I've gotten older, I've felt more sensitive toward my parents and I feel a tremendous amount of love for both of them. They have always supported me in all my endeavours, and they've never passed judgement on me. I know many children suffer from EXTREME PARENTING where their parents are either helicopter or negligent, so I feel truly blessed to have parents who are neither. They always cared for me as a child, but gave me my space to develop my own identity, even as they sat back wearily during my goth years. They let me take that time to express myself in the way that felt right then. And, if it hadn't indeed been a phase, they would still love a goth Trisha just the same today.
I'm thankful for my sisters. My mom always told me that her and her sisters got closer the older they got, and the same is true of me and mine. For the past few months I've been having weekly lunches with my oldes sister who now only lives an hours drive away from me, and it's been so nice to be close to her. We never had that when we were younger, even though we lived in the same house.
I'm thankful for my other sister, she's closest to my age, and while we were kind of close as kids, being only two years apart, I feel like we are much closer now. We've had our conflicts, but those disagreements have brought us closer together rather than farther apart. That's a rare thing to have, and I'm so grateful.
I'm thankful for my rambunctious, wild, creative and curious niece. It seems like every week I stumble across a doodle she's left for me in a notebook somewhere, and it always brings a big smile to my face. I feel beyond blessed to have gotten to spend so much time with her before she even started kindergarten. I got to get in all the cuddles and snuggles before she'll be too embarrassed to hug me, and even when she is too embarrassed I know she'll still come to me when she wants or needs a good hug.
I'm thankful for my grandparents. I've experienced few deaths in my life so far, and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with my grandparents both as a child, and now as an adult. The last time I saw my grandpa he said to me, "It's amazing how fast a person gets old," and it really got me thinking about how important it is to spend time with your loved ones while you still can.
My husband gets a whole boat-load of my gratitude. He's an amazing person full of demonstrable gumption to follow his dreams, and encourage me to follow mine. He's challenged his own fears and worries, and helped me to challenge mine. We work hard to keep our marriage just as loving and supportive as our wedding day.
I'm very fortunate to have a set of in-laws that don't drive me mad (completely mad, that is). Popular media (think Monster-In-Law) would lead me to believe that that's fortunate, anyway. My in-laws are supportive in differnt ways from my own parents, but it makes for a nice balance.
The people I count as friends are quality company, and I'm grateful for them even if we go a few months without talking. I'm grateful that my best friend and I can talk politics and not pull all our hairs out, despite that fact that we have mostly 'opposing' beliefs. I'm grateful that I can still correspond with my friends who live a few hours and even a couple hundred miles away from me. And I'm newly happy that I can call my grad school cohort friends.
On the general, I have a tremendous ability to focus on the negative. That's a big part of why I've challenged myself to do Monthly Favorites, so I can notice, at the very least, some items that gave me joy. Gratitude is new to this space, and it's made me aware of all the more valuable things in life that I have to praise.
"Appreciation can change a day, even your life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary." - Margaret Cousins
Go forth, will you, and express your gratitude.