Gratitude is such a wonderful thing. I love stopping and recognizing all that is good in my life. I love keeping track of such things. I also love realizing that once I start naming one or two things that I am grateful for I am swarmed by the realization that I have SO MUCH to say thanks to.
Faiza, who blogs at It's Gonna Be a Lovely Day, recently did a guest post over at The Perfect Compilation Tape about 5 things she is grateful for. In it, she challenged readers to join in. And so I am, and I am forwarding the challenge on to you.
1) Okay. This might sound random, but when I hear "what are you grateful for" I immediately think of toilets and running water. I'll explain so you don't think I am just gross. The summer before I entered 4th grade I accompanied my family to Guatemala. We were going with several doctors who were treating villagers up way way way up in the mountains. They were so far removed from the rest of civilization, that a car could only get you to the bottom of the mountain and then you had to hike up to the top, where their village was located. Seriously - they grew corn and tobacco on the side of the mountain and they had to tie themselves to trees as they harvested with machetes as to keep from falling down, that's how steep it was. They did not speak Spanish, but an old Native language derived from the Mayans. So they required one translator to translate from Mayan to Spanish. Then my mom and sister would translate from Spanish to English for the doctors. And I, well, I played with the kids. We would draw in the dirt or play soccer or do each others hair. Anyways, I'm beginning to digress. Way up in the mountains there was no running water and no toilets. When our plane landed back in the U.S. I was so excited about how clean and luxurious the airport restrooms were. I try and remember that. Even the smallest of things that most of us take for granted are totally worth appreciation.
2) Having a big family that I see regularly. I have 14 aunts and uncles, 4 great aunts and uncles, 13 cousins (15 before 2 died), 2 grandparents, 3 siblings, 11 nieces and nephews. I know all of them well. I've seen all of them fairly regularly throughout my life. We send each other emails, letters, facebook messages, and phone calls pretty often. Even though we don't all see eye-to-eye or get along well, we know each other. It amazes me when families don't know each other... like my husband. Now that he married me, his aunts and uncles hear more from us! And I'm his grandmother's favorite thing! And that makes me very proud and grateful. I just got off the phone with one of my aunts... it got me thinking how lucky I am!
3) I can't mention a family without saying I am just so grateful for my beloved Husband. I could go on and on gushing about him, but lets sum it up by saying I think he is the best thing and I am very lucky.
4) Having a job that gives me the sense of giving back. I love working in the mental health field. Yes, it is draining. Yes, it is hard. But oh, it is so rewarding too. On Monday I was working with the kiddos. They have a range of developmental disabilities. Sometimes it is hard to cater to all their participation levels. During a lull in the physical recreation period on Monday, many of the kiddos who are non verbal and utilize wheelchairs were just sitting to the side of the basketball court. I got their staff and my participants to start a game of Duck, Duck, Goose. Pretty soon the majority of the kids were playing, regardless of their cognitive abilities and/or disabilities. Staff helped some. Kiddos with some advantages in the game helped out with the ones who moving a bit slower or having a hard time following the concept. Everyone was giggling. And no one was left out. My heart swells. I love it. I am so lucky to be in this line of work!
5) Free things. I just got a pretty cool coffee table that needs only a touch of TLC to be awesome again. I got it from the curb down the street. And I won a give away hosted by Kat today! This seems silly, but it makes me so excited. I can't wait to don on my apron. You know, for all the cooking and baking I do, I have never owned an apron! And I need it, because I'm a hot mess in the kitchen. Particularly if flour is involved.
Some other bloggers I adore also participated. Check out what Claire, Micaela, and Marz had to say thanks for!
So, tell me, what are you grateful for?