I have felt very thankful recently for my life. Perhaps it's due to the holiday season, or that I will be seeing dear family and friends so very soon, or my current circumstances, or what my pastor said today. I choose all the things.
Here is a list of my simple thanks:
#1. For Tombstone Pizzas.
I mean, Tombstone Pizza nails it every time, but I'm using those cheesy beauties symbolically. Michael and I haven't had much money due to unforeseeable car problems and foreseeable debt. Luckily, we've had enough to pay the things we need to every month- but that's not what I'm particularly thankful for (although, yes, obviously I am thankful for that). The lack of money has meant that Michael and I have been able to spend a lot of time together at home eating cheap pizzas, playing games, talking, cooking new foods that we can freeze for a whole month, getting on each other's nerves, having important fights, having unimportant fights (like, is it rude to start eating a bag of chips before we bring them to a friends house?), watching so much Star Trek, listening to our favorite music and laughing our butts off. I'm sure this is a common occurrence for most married couples, and I think it is an important one. We are learning so much right now, and I wouldn't trade a million bucks for it (but maybe, just maybe I would trade a million pizzas for it). I'm so very thankful for our Tombstone Pizza days, and I think we will look fondly on them in the future.
#2. For my old friends.
This is an obvious one. But I can't help but gush when I talk about my oldie but goodie Greenville friends. We've been fortunate to have two of them, Jordan and Niqui, living not too far away from us in Durham, NC. Michael's an introvert, and I am borderline introvert/extrovert, so moving to a new place and having to constantly meet people can be a little exhausting at times, and to see such familiar faces every now and then is so great. The best thing about old friends is that you always pick up right where you left off, without skipping a beat. When we go to Durham, we immediately flop down on Jordan and Niqui's couches, ask for food and tell each other funny stories- it's so natural (asking for food, that is). I've also been able to keep up with Rachel, Caitlin and Erica (my roommates from Senior Year that I haven't been able to see), and that always proves to lift my spirits and make me feel so happy with life. I am reminded through these friends that I am loved. What a great thing to be reminded of, no? Plus, we'll all be reunited oh so soon! HOLLER.
#3. For my job.
My job as a special ed. aide can be super taxing at times. Especially when you work with a punk-ass child like the one I get to work with everyday (I mean that in the most loving way). In the same breath, this job excites me because it is so challenging. It's been a test of patience and positivity- two things that I regularly fail at. It's been a test of completely forgetting about my own frustrations and myself, in order to focus on some kids that don't have it so easy. It's also been a test to take each day in stride, counting every little positive occurrence with each kid as a small victory, and not expecting huge results over night. All of these tests- patience, positivity, not to be self-absorbed and recognizing life's small victories- sure seem like things I will be learning the rest of my life, so I am very thankful that I am continually reminded of these hard things everyday. Also, the ladies I work with in the special ed. department are fantastic, I've never seen such a supportive team in the work place. I even had one of my coworkers chase me down because she noticed I was upset, which was due to a pretty difficult day at work, and she only had uplifting things to remind me of. How great is that?
My list of thanks has at times looked more like a list of doubts and concerns- not having much money, not having many new friends yet, or having a hard job are all unsettling things. Right now though, I can't help but look at this list and feel even more blessed by the sometimes uneasy and unfamiliar life that is being thrown my way.
Last but not least, a fitting Taize chant that my pastor had us recite in church today:
Keep me, O God, for I trust in you,
You show me the path of life.
With you there is fullness of joy.