So, several of my friends are doing the month of giving thanks on Facebook – every day they post something for which they’re thankful. The point is, obviously, to list 30 items by the end of November – the month that hosts Thanksgiving. Get it? Giving thanks? Thanksgiving?
I don’t know if these friends have a list they’re working from or if they’re coming up with something every day – but anyone who knows me knows I don’t have that kind of patience. That’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle one piece a day for 1,000 days – just can’t do it. I’m more the let’s-stay-up-till-it’s-done kind of girl.
That said, I do kind of like the idea of giving thanks. Rather than do it piecemeal – because again, I don’t have that kind of patience – I’m going to go through the whole month in one post.
1. My kids. They’re great people and make me laugh a heckuva lot more than they make me scream. And I’ve only pulled my hair out twice in the 10 years I’ve been a single mom. (Good thing my hair grows back quickly.)
2. My parents. I’ve raised my kids the way they raised me – letting me make my own decisions and mistakes, preparing me to spread my wings when it was time. They haven’t always agreed with my choices, but they have always let me know they had my back.
3. My extended family. It’s a wonderful thing when your cousins, aunts and uncles are among your best friends.
4. Chocolate. Because, well, it’s chocolate.
5. My dogs. Most days. OK, every day, but especially on those days they don’t bark at other dogs, pull me down the steps or wake me up at 3 a.m. (Thank you, Mia, for helping to remember that last part this morning. At 3 a.m.)
6. My incredible friends. You know the ones, those who love you more because of your faults and frailties – probably because it gives them more to laugh about.
7. For my “man-friend” Mark, for so many reasons.
8. For all of my exes – ex-husband, ex-boyfriends, ex-friends – for letting me learn what I don’t want.
9. That November only has 30 days. I’m not even a third of the way done with this list …
10. That I have the ability to work and support my family, even if it’s at the “earning level” of a single parent, and that I’ve been lucky to have had some really great jobs that paid me to do what I love.
11. That I have never had the terror of having to listen to sirens signaling rocket or missile attacks where I live.
12. That we are a country that has free elections and, with the exception of name-calling and finger-pointing, you can support any candidate you choose without fear.
13. That the election is over.
14. For whoever invented the chocolate martini. Chocolate and alcohol in one delicious combination. Yes, please!
15. For snark. C’mon, you know you love it, too.
16. For the fact that many members of my ex-husband’s family are my Facebook friends, both because a) it proves divorcing a person doesn’t always mean you divorce the family and b) it keeps me from posting snarky things like, “Dear kids: Why not ask your DAD for money to buy that video game/concert ticket/shopping spree?”
17. For coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
18. For inexpensive hair dye. I am so not ready to be seeing white roots. Hair dye is my “stop stick” for those roots – catch them before they spread to the rest of the hair.
19. For an apartment with a dishwasher. I really hate washing dishes.
20. For bags made especially for dog poop, because it seems 3 out of every 4 plastic grocery bags has a hole in the bottom near where I’d be putting my hand when it’s time to pick up. And yes, it IS worth the $7 every month for the bags.
21. That my parents moved us around a lot while I was growing up. Though I was always angry with them at the time, it taught me to adapt quickly, make friends and enjoy the moment. And that I hate to pack.
22. For stupid people. Not the uneducated or under-educated, but those who have been educated and still don’t get it. Without them there would be far fewer things to be snarky about.
23. For dictionaries, thesauruses and spell check. I’d be even more grateful if everyone knew how to use them.
24. For every obvious thing you know I’m thankful for but that I’ve forgotten to include on this list.
25. For microwaves. Though I do still occasionally make “homemade” popcorn over the stove, I can’t remember the last time I “baked” a potato, warmed or steamed veggies on the stove or browned ground beef in a pan.
26. That both of my kids have jobs, good work ethics and know the value of a dollar – well, the value of their own dollar. I think they still believe I have a money tree somewhere …
27. For reconnecting with old friends. And by “old friends” I mean some of those childhood friends I made in any of the various cities we lived in. Thanks to Facebook I’ve reconnected with friends from both high schools and one elementary school – the one in Alaska, where we moved when I was 7.
28. That my dad is the ultimate Irish storyteller. There are some stories about his “past” that I’m sure I’ll never know whether they’re true, embellished or just flat-out made up but I don’t care. I’ve enjoyed every one of them – even the ones I’ve heard more than once. Keep ’em coming, Dad!
29. That my mother is the patient, wonderful woman she is. See No. 28. They’re still going strong after 46 years.
30. That a tiny little thing called social media lets me put together a fun list like this and send it out to as many people who want to take the time to read it.
Note: I’m also thankful that some of my former editors read this blog – and call me out on the irony of my misspelling “thesaureses” in a line where I say I wish more people used them …