Unconventional Gratitude

Who wouldn't be grateful for cat butt magnets?

Who wouldn’t be grateful for cat butt magnets?

I hope all the Americans reading this had a great Thanksgiving Day, with pleasant family interactions and good food and football (whether on TV or in the backyard). I also hope everyone else reading this had a great day, whether it was a holiday or not. 🙂

Obviously, it’s the thing to post what you’re grateful for this week. So of course that’s what I’m going to do. But I want to try to go out of the box a little bit, because of COURSE I’m extremely grateful for the usual things: a comfortable house to live in, bills that are paid on time, a wonderful, supportive husband and a couple of kids who have grown up great and healthy and happy and not doing scary things. And I’m grateful for my career and the people I’ve met because of it.

But here are some of the (maybe) less typical things I’m grateful for:

Sunshine
A few weeks ago I posted a lament on Facebook that the juncos were in my yard already. I typically don’t see them until January. Add that to the people commenting on goldfinches getting their darker plumage early, and one of the famous Farmer’s Almanacs declaring that we’ll have an early, cold, high-snowfall winter. I dread the lack of light in the winter, and as much as I hate to say it (because I don’t like being this way!), the older I get, the less I like the cold and snow.

But this November has been AWESOME. I’ve sat outside for lunch a couple of times, basking in the sun and warm (high 50s!) temperatures. I still haven’t worn my coat, and my flip-flops haven’t been put away. Every day that we have sunshine, I’m grateful for.

Kid Pride
I’ve talked enough about how proud I am of my kids to make everyone roll their eyes without even hearing what comes next. Sorry about that! But this year, I’m grateful that they are proud of me. I’m grateful that Number One told one of her classes about how I tell telemarketers that Mrs. James Damschroder doesn’t exist. (One of her classmates called me badass.) I’m grateful that Number Two gave one of my YA books to a friend for a birthday gift and couldn’t wait to tell me how much she liked it and couldn’t wait for the second one. I’m grateful that they are proud to call me Mom, instead of embarrassed by the uncoolness that is me. 🙂

Working at Home
Every single day, I am so, SO grateful for the opportunity to commute to my basement, for a job that allows me to manage my time and my frustrating issues that would make a full-time day job so difficult. And I’m even grateful for the inevitable ebb and flow that can be scary, but gives me room to breathe every so often.

Entertainment
I had a whole slew of little things that I realized fall under this category. Books. Football games. Television. Roller derby. Movies. Soccer. Candy Crush Soda Saga. Celebrities on Twitter. All of these things make me happy and have their own little places in my day.

People
I am not a people person. I avoid parties and dread events where small-talk is required—you know, like conference meals, volunteer or school events, the dentist… It’s not hard to imagine becoming a recluse. And with social media awash with the lowlights of society, I could easily withdraw from there, as well. But the people who are in my life? I am SO grateful they got there. However, whenever it happened. You guys here are some of those people. You give me reason to go out and fill my well. All of the above keeps me happy, healthy, and creative, but the people are what give my life meaning. So thank you.

What unconventional thing are you grateful for?