Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a Thanksgiving freebie - things you're thankful for or books you're thankful for. I can't pick out specific books that I'm thankful for so I'm going more general with this one.

1. Books - all of them!
There are so many out there that there really is something for everyone, and I appreciate that here in the US we have the freedom to read whatever we want. Not everyone in the world has the freedom to do so, or the access to the books they want.

2. Meditation and my meditation room
I started meditating back in May and it really has made a difference in my life. For one thing, I sleep much better these days, but I also think it's just made me more calm in general. We have a room that's small enough to be kind of useless and I made it into my meditation room (also called "room of solitude" or "room of requirement.") It feels absolutely luxurious to have a space set aside for mindfulness and contemplation.

3. The US government's system of checks and balances
I always take it for granted but I think we'll be getting more use out of it soon.

4. Organizations like ACLU, SPLC, and fact-checking websites like Politifact
Protecting our rights and helping us figure out what's true and what isn't. I've been lax about donating, but soon I'll be setting up some monthly donations so I don't fall behind again.

5. Financial stability
I'm all too aware of the growing economic inequality in this country and I'm incredibly lucky to be in the position I'm in.

6. The city I live in
There are many reasons why I live in Somerville, and specifically East Somerville. My neighborhood has a huge immigrant population, which gives it a diversity and vibrancy different from many other places. Not to mention delicious tasty foods. We are one of the sanctuary cities that have been mentioned in political discourse recently, and our mayor has strongly reaffirmed that status. This makes me very happy.

7. My job, especially my department
This was on my list last year too, and it has not changed. My job is still amazing. Even though it's been a bit rough lately because of being so incredibly busy and some post-election safety-pin-related drama, I still wouldn't trade it for any other job I can think of. I'm especially lucky that the people in my department make being a department head much easier than it could be. Every person in my department is passionate about their job and that makes all the difference in the world.

8. That guy I live with
He doesn't get much airtime here, but I need to give a shoutout to Eric. I've been reading a lot of posts on Pantsuit Nation (the secret FB group Clinton referred to in her concession speech) and the MA offshoot of Pantsuit Nation, and a lot of women have expressed that their husbands voted for Trump and/or don't understand why many women don't want a president who has bragged about sexually assaulting women. I'm very grateful to live with someone whose masculinity isn't threatened by feminism or anything else, and whose basic beliefs are very similar to mine. He also does all the cooking, so.

Someone doesn't like her new winter coat.
9. Petri's greatly improved behavior over last year
Getting a dog has been incredibly disruptive to daily life and making plans, not to mention a whole new skill set I've had to learn. Last year at this time we were both tearing our hair out and really honestly didn't know if we'd be able to keep this dog. She was horrible! Biting, grabbing at our clothing, running around like a maniac, pulling hard when we tried to walk her, freaking out at other dogs, not to mention her ongoing intestinal issues. But as soon as her health issues cleared up we were able to send her here for an intense board-and-train program for 5 weeks. Then again in the spring for another 6 weeks. At this point she's pretty much a regular dog which feels like a miracle.

10. My health
It's true that I've been having problems with my wrist preventing me from doing yoga or knitting as frequently as I'd like, and I've also had to start wearing reading glasses this year. Aging means falling apart and I'm quite grateful that I seem to be doing it slowly. I realize I'm only in my early 40s, but there was a time that was the extent of our lifespans. I just started running this year and although I won't be winning any marathons (who am I kidding? I won't be entering any marathons) I'm glad I've been able to stick to a regular exercise routine.

I think we can all agree that 2016 has sucked in a lot of ways. We lost amazing people like Prince and David Bowie and then elected a hot-headed reality tv star as president. Now more than ever it's important to think about all the important little things that make our lives fulfilling.

What are you thankful for this year?

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