On this Christmas Eve, I’ve decided to do something that is slowly being drummed out of our society: thinking of the things I’m grateful for. It’s been a tough year, and sometimes it helps to reflect on the positive things in our lives to get over the hurdles.
1. I am in the top 1% of the world’s population. According to 99% of the nearly 7 billion on the planet, the fact that I have food on my table, a roof over my head, and an education makes me far wealthier than they are. It’s really easy to forget that between commercials for Lexus and chocolate truffles: the woes of the world don’t fit into our spend-first, plan-later society.
2. I have a husband who not only loves me and is able to balance my particular kind of crazy, but who supports whatever endeavors I choose to pursue. Many women don’t even have the luxury of waiting around for the right guy, I got lucky very early in the game.
3. Daphne is the best puppy in the world. Not only does she help brighten each and every day for us, she’s adorable, super fun and friendly, and loves exploring. She couldn’t be a better dog for us unless she slept in after 6 am.
4. At the ripe old age of 26, we will have retirement savings, life insurance, and own our own home. Our financial planning is far ahead even most in their 30s. Score 1 for us.
5. Despite my old lady hips and my sugar-is-the-enemy teeth, I can not only afford health care, but I can choose which doctors I work with and try to find the best in their fields. Definitely a better deal than the local medicine man.
6. I have the time, the money, and the energy to play around with things like blogging, Pinterest, and learning how to take great photos. I can also spend time on my writing, and hopefully will start putting a book together soon, despite the two or three running around in my head.
7. I can spend time on the beach every day for 5 days while visiting family in Florida for Christmas. We would have a white Christmas if we were in Philadelphia, but beach time should never be passed up.
8. I have not experienced any first-hand epic tragedy. I have certainly been around plenty of horrible circumstances, but I’ve never seen a serious injury, a real life or death situation, or a dead body. Please don’t think that I wish any of these things on another person, but I do understand that I cannot completely relate to the pain and suffering of families in Newtown CT, Aurora CO, or along the Jersey Shore.
9. My passport has been put to good use and between 9 years as an international American and getting married, I’ve even moved onto my second passport. Most Americans only visit 19 cities their entire lives: I hit over 80 before I even left the old U.S.A.
10. I have finally figured out what I want to do with my life: write. Now I just need to get to the point where I can write full time (and get in some yoga and tennis). Somewhere between J.K. Rowling and Nicholas Sparks is a river-front row house in downtown Charleston with garden parties and my name on it. Add a short dock for my sail boat, and I can go visit Poe’s house any time I like.
11. I have done a great job cutting the drama from my life. In high school and college, everything revolved around drama, and I am so much happier now that I have moved past all of that.
12. Even if I make mistakes or don’t do exactly what I want to do today, I can try again tomorrow. 2013 is definitely going to be my year.
What are you grateful for this holiday season?