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I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin & a best friend. I am a poet, a lawyer & a survivor. I've learned that God will give you a second chance.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

50 Thankfuls

Today is the last day of November and the first day of Advent. Here in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving in November. Many of my friends spend the month enumerating 30 Days of Thanksgiving in their social media posts, so I think this blog post is only fitting.

I turned 50 in July. I chose to make it a week-long event so that I could celebrate with loved ones. I was lucky enough to have two birthday parties. Each of them equally special because of the friends and family who were there. One of my sweetest friends that I’ve known for over 30 years gave me a card that explained “How to Turn 50.” One of the items is to make a list of 50 things you’re thankful for. So here goes:
1.     God.

2.     My faith. While it’s not always strong, it has always been there.

3.     My husband. He’s been there through it all. He has lived our marriage vows. I love him more today than I did yesterday.

4.     My parents. Not only did they give me life, they gave me adventures that can never be replaced.

5.     A road trip that took us from Connecticut to Oregon.

6.     My siblings. I have an older brother and a younger sister. Each is a friend. And I share a unique bond with each of them. Individually. There is nothing else like the bond I have with my brother. And there is nothing else like the bond I share with my sister.

7.     My cousins. They are my “other siblings.”

8.     My grandparents. I am fortunate enough to known all four of my biological grandparents. In addition to that, my father’s step-mother will always be Grandma Ellie.

9.     My in-laws. I actually like them. I have a friend in my mother-in-law. My father-in-law has been a father when I needed one after my own father passed away.

10.  Extended family. Whether related by blood or “adopted” along the way, you know who you are.

11.  My friends. I have friends that I have known since childhood. You know my secrets. I have others who are newer, but still equally loved.

12.  My BFFs over the years. One I’ve known since I was six. Another I met when we were in the 5th grade. Another I met in college. And still another I met in Law School.

13.  My animal companions. I grew up in a house filled with animals.

14.  Alexander Puff – the first cat who shared our home with me and my husband

15.  Horatio – cat number two. That one that touched my soul and I will never be the same.

16.  Maria – cat number three. While my husband is her “person” she took the time to take care of me while I was sick.

17.  Kiwi – the delightful kitty who has never grown up. We call her our forever kitten.

18.  Music.

19.  Playing the flute.

20.  Being a part of “Trinity Unlimited.”

21.  Drama. And Drama Club in high school.

22.   The ability to read. Which lead to:

23.  My education.

24.  My law degree.

25.  My law license. It took a little extra time, but was worth it.

26.  And along the lines of being able to read: my Bible.

27.  My career. I am fortunate enough to have a job that combines my experience, knowledge and passion.

28.  Consulting. I had the privilege of working at many different colleges and meeting many different people. And some lifelong friendships were made along the way.

29.  My colleagues. I work (and have worked) with some of the greatest people I know. They are caring, compassionate, and truly live what they believe.

30.  My home.

31.  A beautiful fireplace.

32.  A comfortable bed.

33.  A large refrigerator.

34.  An indoor grill.

35.  An in-home “gym.”

36.  Training for the Avon Walk.

37.  My history. I have no regrets because I would not be who I am today without the experiences I’ve had.

38.  Seeing a man not only land on the moon, but step on the moon.

39.  Living in the U.S. While we have our problems, it is still a country that allows me freedom.

40.  Travel. I have been as far west as Hawaii, as far east as England, as far north as Alaska and Canada, and as far south as Venezuela. There are still places to see on my bucket list, and I am lucky enough to think I may get to see them.

41.  Good food.

42.  My husband loves to cook.

43.  Enough money to cover our expenses.

44.  Television. Yes, I’m a TV junky. And I love having “on demand” media through my cable provider, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

45.  Social media. Not only am I able to stay connected with family and friends, I have reconnected with very special friends from high school.

46.  Fiber crafts – being able to knit, crochet, and do counted cross stitch.

47.  Of course, my health.

48.  Actually being 50.

49.  The twists and turns of fate (which brings me back to #1).

50.  And most of all, this journey.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. And on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

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