the thankful list, 2012

I am thankful for my dog, Sweet Pea, who is truly the best friend I could ever hope for. We’ve been together for six and a half years now, and even though she is a complete booger, she is also smart and funny and kind. And great at cuddling. Tonight after dinner, to ward off an impending food coma, I took her for a short stroll around the neighborhood. It was 60 degrees today, which is something of a miracle in late-November Michigan (tomorrow it might snow), and we had a good walk together. When we walk, she gets the dopiest, happiest grin on her face, and it is my favorite thing in the world. I’m thankful for that grin, for that friend who will walk with me anywhere. I love her so.

I’m thankful that it was 60 degrees today. I can’t stress that enough.

I’m thankful for my human friends too. I have some really great friends, you know, and I’m so thankful they’re in my life. I’m thankful for the after-work margaritas (because sometimes the only answer is “Let’s go get margaritas!”), for the laughs, for the chats. We can talk about recipes, health issues, family, work, gift-buying, whatever. I’m thankful for the way they celebrate my successes, and that when they know I’m going through stuff, they check to make sure I’m okay. I’m thankful for my concert-going companions and my adventure partners. I’m thankful for my people. They are the best.

I’m thankful for my family. Other than the fact that, seriously, we make the best dinners ever, we get along really well, which is great, and not the case for everybody (both in terms of dinner and getting along), so I know that we’re a particularly awesome bunch. I’m especially thankful today that my grandmother was well enough to come over and have dinner with us. She’s 98 and getting out and doing stuff isn’t as easy for her as it was when she was, say, 91. Yesterday, a friend was asking about her, and I said “You know, she really is a tough old bird.” And she is. She’s amazing. In a lot of ways, she’s changed so much over the past few years, and there are times when it’s hard to remember what she used to be like, before Alzheimer’s. And then suddenly she’ll just be on, and she’ll say or do something that’s cool or funny or charming or all three, and it will all come back, and… yeah, what an incredible woman. Each holiday with her is more precious than the last, because it’s impossible to know how many more of them there will be, and I am so thankful that I live close by enough that I get to spend so much time with her. Really thankful.

While I’m on the subject of family, I have to say that I am thankful for my mom, who has, time and again, proved how cool she is. And she’s really been extra cool this month. I’m thankful that life teamed us up. I love that we get to be adult friends now, and I’m really thankful for that relationship. I am thankful for our chats over coffee, which can be about anything in the world (but if we have to talk about curtains ever again I will poke my eyes out). We have some really good talks. I’m thankful she’s my mom.

I’m thankful for my job. I’m thankful that things have worked out for me in ways I didn’t expect even a month ago. I’m thankful for the challenges that lie ahead and that I have new opportunities to learn and grow and prove myself. And health insurance. I’m really really thankful for health insurance.

Right now I’m looking at a photo I have hanging up near my desk. It’s of me and Missy, taken almost exactly one year ago. It’s a really good photo, and I smile every time I look at it. It’s from the night we went out to dinner and then stole some traffic cones in honor of Stacy. In fact, the reflective tape on one of the cones is shining in the background of the picture. When I look at the photo, I think about what was going on when it was taken, and how SO MANY THINGS have changed since then. Things I never saw coming back then. Things she didn’t see coming either, I don’t think. Life sure is a funny bastard, and I dig that about it.

I am thankful for where I am. I’m so thankful.

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