Over the past year, I have had many opportunities to be grateful, and for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to pick the top ten things that I am grateful for that have blessed my life these past 12 months:
1. I am ever Thankful for my amazing family--for my father, my mother and my step-father--who time and time again have stepped up with their time, their talents, their skills, their funds, their care, and their love to help me both in times of need and in ways to help my dreams and goals move forward; for my siblings and their significant others, who have taught me, loved me, made me think, helped me re-evaluate my perceptions,and have been steadfastly themselves throughout the year. Even in times where there is friction or disagreement, the blessing of my siblings is one I would never change, for they teach me, love me, humble me, support me, and help me grow into the person I most want to be; for my neices and nephews, for all of the amazing, young, budding personalities, interests, ideas, perspective, attitudes, and freshness that they express and bring into my life, I am grateful for having so many amazing young people keeping it fresh and real; and most of all for my children, whom my life revolves around right now, who teach me patience who challenge me in ways I never knew I could be challenged, who bring me gifts I never knew existed, and who daily show me both my strengths and my weaknesses, giving me both the awareness of my faults and the reason to work towards a better me, showing me the height of my power and the reason to use it with compassion and love, sharing wiht me all that they are, and giving me a chance to learn who I am. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
2. I am so Thankful for the amazing home we live in now, for the work and energy it took to build and create it, for the many ongoing projects that it will take to complete it, and for the warm, safe, and comfortable place that it is becoming. The stress, money, and energy that this house took dominated the first half of this year, and I am grateful for both the experience and for the conclusion of that experience culminating in what is truly becoming our home. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
3. I am so grateful for the doctors that have been so helpful this past year in working with my children, in particular the evaluation and insights of Marie McCabe, whose in-depth evaluation of Josiah has helped to bring both understanding and a more concrete plan to both his academic and personal life. thank you, Thank you, thank you.
4. I am so thankful for how well the school placements are going for both Josiah and Gonzalo. While their issues have made many difficulties for their school program placement, this year they both seem to be in the places that are a good match for their needs. They are both making progress socially, academically, and personally. As they change, the programs are able to change with them, giving them the right mix of support and challenge to help them grow and move forward. After so many years of stressful and "not well matched" programs for one or both of them over the past few years, it is wonderful to finally be in a year where they BOTH are in the right places at the same time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
5. I am grateful for the long standing, amazing friendships that I have, the incredible people that bless my heart, mind and soul, and who have walked this journey of life with me for so long. For those deep, long held connections, that neither time, or space can deteriorate, i am ever grateful. The loss of a dear friend in October really reminded me of how blessed i am by the amazing people in my life, and how long some of them have walked next to me, held me up when I was falling over, leaned on me when they were falling over, and laughed with me when we both needed it. So I am grateful for the incredible gifts that have come to me in the form of friends, and how deep those connections are. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
6. I am grateful for the ability to look on the bright side, to see the rainbow through the clouds, and to really be able to whether the storms of life: those that are the result of various choices I have made;those that are the results of the choices that others have made that affect me; and those that seem to arise from out of no-where. This past year, I have been given the ability to grow in my own attitude and outlook on life, to be more capable and aware of living the serenity prayer "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." There is that peace, the peace that passes understanding that Christ spoke of, that is finally a gift that I accept, and my life and the lives of my children are better because of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
7. I am thankful for the ability to blog, and to share my stories and experiences with who ever wants to read them. The be able to learn and grow, and have a conduit to share that so that others can build on it, glean from it what they need, and maybe improve their own well-being is a wonderful gift. To know that I can share in a way that only those who want to can listen, and that I do not have to keep all of my insights and ideas locked away. The gift of the internet and the ability to share our lives, our perspectives, our ideas with the rest of the world, and thus grow more connected to the whole human race is amazing to me. I am thankful that people read my blogs, and that some come back time and time again, for whatever reason, and find something useful in what I have shared. It is my chance to be a blessing to people that I don't even know, a way to contribute to the world, and hopefully help make it a better, more accepting, less judgmental place. thank you, thank you, thank you.
8. I am grateful for the blogs and websites that I read regularly, and for the writer of those who have had the courage and the desire to share their stories, their lives, their struggles, and their insights with the wide world. It is not always comfortable to put yourself and your feeling or experiences out there. But for those of us who have learned something new, have been able to see things through different eyes, have been able to say "I am not the only one..." and thus feel more connected as living being, that courage and that sharing has been a gift and a blessing. So to the Bloggess, Cornish Adoption Journey, Trials and Smiles, Cakewrecks, Epbot, Emerald Wyn, Only One Mom, Urban goes Country, Hyperbole-and-a-Half, and the other blogs and bloggers that touch my life--Thank you, thank you, thank you.
9. I am thankful for a working car and the income that comes with it. though she is 13 years old and not the healthiest of vehicles, she keeps going, she chugs on daily driving over 100 miles, and us partially living on what is left of the mileage reimbursement after taking out the cost of gas. Though she has had a lot of repairs and people have said that this car would never make it, she has been a great vehicle, and I am very blessed that she keeps going and going. may she continue her labors in good time for a few more months. I am very grateful for my car and all that she brings to me and brings me to. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
10. i am grateful for time, for experience and the ability to see so many different sides of life. Robust living through having so many different experiences -from various income levels, to various cultural venues, to religious and spiritual changes/awareness, to different life styles, to varied geographical living experiences, and so many others. I am grateful for the amazing experiences that have shaped my life over time and helped me become who I am. From past trauma to the ability to work through it, to the acceptance and love of people--for those who have been hurtful and those who have been kind, for those who have helped, and those who have hindered, for those who listened, and those who refused to, for the love, the hate, the gifts, the taking, the understanding, the confusion, the drama and the peace--for Life, Learning, and Living I am ever Grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.