Although Thanksgiving is over a week away, in just this last weekend alone I’ve become thankful for more things than I can count on both hands. The list will probably extend even further in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, but I wanted to become consciously aware of the things that I am grateful for so that when I become frustrated or impatient with something I can realize that there are a lot of good things in life that definitely outweigh the not-so-good things.
- Good health. Every night before I fall asleep I pray that my family and friends, from coast to coast, stay healthy and safe. I pray for the people that are younger and the people who are older, and every age in-between, because poor health does not have an age minimum. I am grateful for the health of myself, my family, and friends. And I pray for those who are trying to overcome a health struggle so that they may find the strength to “power through” any difficulties they may face.
- A loving family. Even though I’m three hours away from the home I grew up in, I am blessed with a family who only wants the best for me. My parents support me when I need a pep-talk. My grandparents tell me how much they miss me every time we talk on the phone. I can call up family members on the west coast and have conversations that make my heart feel rejuvenated. I recently heard a guest speaker in one of my classes tell the class how dysfunctional her family was. I remember not being able to fathom having a family who doesn’t know how to love. I’m most grateful for my family because they will be there every step of the way, no matter what life throws at us.
- Friends. I may not have a lot of friends, but I have a few friends that mean the world to me. I’m grateful for these friendships because we all share common interests and values, and can laugh over the most ridiculous of things. These are the people that have let me crash on their couch for a weekend, who brighten my day when I’m feeling down, who can turn a frown into a smile, who understand that you can’t just eat one cookie (6 cookies is acceptable, right?) or just 2 slices of pizza (3 is a good start obviously), and who can turn tears into laughter. These friends include people who live a 5 or 10 minute walk away, those who live a 3 hour car-drive away, or those who are a 3 hour plane ride away. No matter how close or far, these are the people I never want to lose. These are the people who I care about, who I can turn to for a much needed girls-night-out, and who I would never want to replace.
- Running friends. Yes, running friends will get special recognition. And yes, some of my friends are also my running friends (there’s definitely an overlap!). These are the people who understand the struggles of running, the sacrifices we sometimes have to make, the disgusting feet, and the lack of caring about sweaty hugs. No matter the speed or distance of a run, runner friends are proud of you regardless. I know these people will be there for me when I need a pep-talk or a gossiping long run. I am grateful for the running community because without them I would feel like a lonely (and insane) runner.
- Knowledge. I’ve been attending school for the past 16 years of my life. The amount of information that has been shoved into my brain is overwhelming but it’s culminating into a college degree. Every bit of information that has been taught to me (even pre-school was important, okay?!) has helped me become the person I am today. I’ve developed a wealth of information that soon will need to be shared with the rest of the world in whatever job I find in my future endeavors.
- Freedom and protection. I live in a country where I can feel relatively safe. I don’t live in a perfect country but I do live in a free country. Every time I see a police officer or military personnel, I make it a point to thank them for all they do. Without them our country would be much different. I am grateful to be an American citizen.
- Fate. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we don’t understand why certain things happen. But if we trust in God and in the path that are lives are following, we will understand why we were put in the world, why things happened, and how life probably worked out just fine because of everything that happened. Fate challenges us but it also rewards us. I believe in fate and I will continue to believe in fate because we each have a purpose in this world. We must trust that everything will work out and that we’ll become a better person for it; therefore, I am grateful for fate.
(To be continued…)