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Gratitude 2023

I am not a big Thanksgiving celebrator. We don't have extended family in this country so have never traveled to gather, though when I was a kid we took in all the graduate students from my dad's university department that had nowhere to go. And I have issues celebrating holiday based on a falsified history.

But, I do love that families across our country make a major effort to come together for this holiday and I had amazing families that took me in when I was in college thousands of miles away from home. They treated me like one of their own and made me feel loved and welcome. Now, there is a family that does that for my daughter (this is year 6!) and I am so very appreciative of them.

There will be a small gathering at my parents' house this year with the three of us and three other friends so I am glad we can all be together. It will be lovely, yummy, and warm. And I will go for pie with my best friend at her dad's. I also find myself yearning for something a bit different, even if I don't know what it is.

All that aside, this is a time of year that I turn inward and take time to be thankful and grateful for the people and things that I have in my life.

  • Family. This is a given for me, but I know that isn't true for everyone. Sometimes family is blood and sometimes they are chosen. This year I plan to reach out to both kinds of family and let them know how much I appreciate them.
  • Health. Yes, I could lose weight and be in better shape, but I am healthy. It feels that, lately, many around me are dealing with major medical problems and I really am appreciative that I and my relatives are doing so well. I am also grateful that those friends have access to health care and treatment, in this country that is, unfortunately, a privilege that not all of us have.
  • Work. I have a full time job that I enjoy (it feels so good to be teaching again even though the venue is so different) and I am not worried about finances. What a relief.
  • Friends. I appreciate my friends that live here in town as well as those that are farther away in this country and abroad. I hope they know how much I love them and how important they are to me.
  • Santa Barbara. I love living here in this sleepy town with the ocean only a couple minutes away from my house. Even though I am not at the beach often, it matters to me that I can see the ocean daily.
  • Travel. 2023 has been the year of travel for me and I loved it. I love the process (even when it is frustrating and exhausting), seeing friends and meeting new people, visiting places I love and learning about new locations. And, I love coming home.
  • Books and the blogging community. I appreciate that I have a fantastic local indie bookshop, that I can afford to buy the books I want, that I can read, and that I can share all of that with others who love books and reading and sharing as much as I do.
What are you grateful for at this time of year?

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