365 Days of Gratitude: 39 Things For My 39th Birthday

I have fallen behind on posting my gratitude lists thanks to the flu and trying to get caught up on other things I missed because of the flu.  So a catch up post is definitely in order.  My last post was for January 30th, which means I have ten days of lists (30 items) that need to be posted.  But today is my 39th birthday, so not only is it a good day to reflect on what I’m grateful for in my life, but 39 seems like a good number of items to post.  Plus it will put me a little bit ahead of the game, as I’m still trying to catch up on missed homework and custom orders that I’m grossly behind on, so I might not be able to take the time to post a list for a few more days again.

(If you’re not sure what this is all about, please read the first post)

I’m grateful for:

  1. My husband.  I’ve already gushed a great deal about how amazing my husband is, so I’ll try to keep this short. 😛  I am grateful to have someone who “gets” me, who loves me unconditionally, who makes me smile and laugh every day.  I am so amazed and grateful to have fallen so deeply in love with someone who has fallen so deeply in love with me.
  2. My friends.  I have a ton of friends who put up with the fact that I don’t let a lot of people get too close to me, and I tend to disappear from time to time.  I have a desperate need for attention, and a desperate need to be left the hell alone, so being my friend is a bit like walking through a minefield.  Or maybe a box of chocolates, because you never know what you’re going to get?  Whatever, I am grateful that my friends want to be my friends.
  3. My family.  Most of my family really doesn’t understand me, but they still love me.  I am especially grateful for my parents, who have always let me walk my own path and be my own person.  Also, they wanted me.  It’s not an easy job to be a teenage parent, but mine always made it clear that while my birth was unplanned, I was not an “accident.”
  4. My creativity.  While I don’t consider myself particularly talented at any of the arts I do, I am grateful to have a creative mind and the ability to express it.
  5. My skills.  Again, while I don’t consider myself particularly talented at any of them, I am grateful to have a wide range of skills to draw upon when I get an idea.
  6. My business.  Being able to do what I love everyday is awesome, and watching as my efforts to make this business viable begin to bear fruit is amazing.  I already have more sales in February than I did in January, and I’ve already reached nearly 10% of my sales goal for the year (to double last year’s sales).  Considering that I only had 3% of my total sales last year in the first four months of 2012, I think I’m on track for a great year!
  7. My positivity.  I know I can be a bit of a Pollyanna, but I truly believe that having a positive outlook on life leads to positive outcomes in one’s life.  It also helps me to bounce back quicker from setbacks, as I understand they are only temporary and things will get better.  I could be really depressed about all the things I haven’t been able to do thanks to getting sick, and all the points I’ve lost and can’t make up in my classes so my grades won’t be what I was hoping for, but I don’t see the point in dwelling on what I have no control over.  I cannot change the past, I can only look to the future and make the present as awesome as possible.
  8. My strength.  As the saying goes, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s why I’m a superhero. 😛  Seriously though, I am grateful that I have had the strength to overcome everything that has tried to break me.  I have the strength to keep going when the odds are against me.  I have the strength to pick myself up, dust myself off, and look life in the eye and say “You hit like a bitch.” 😉
  9. My past.  Because without all my past experiences, I wouldn’t be who and where I am today.  I would not have learned the same lessons, or accomplished so much if things had been different, so I cannot regret anything that happened.  My only true regrets are that I’ve hurt anyone, and the friends that I’ve lost.  But I also know that I cannot live my life just to make everyone else happy.  Not only is that an impossible task, but I cannot make my own happiness secondary.  I have to live my life for ME.
  10. My education.  I’m putting together my Individualized Studies degree program, so I’m doing a great deal of reflecting on the education I’ve received to date, and what I hope to learn in the future.  Seeing what all I’ve learned and accomplished is kind of mind boggling.  In four or five more terms, I’ll actually have a Bachelor’s degree.  And I have found a Master’s program I am interested in.
  11. My adaptability.  Life loves to throw me curve balls, and scatter all my carefully laid plans.  By now I had hoped to reveal some of my new plans and ideas for my business, and lots of my new products, but life had other ideas.  No matter, I will adjust and modify and make things happen as I can.  As I always have. 🙂
  12. My dreams.  My favorite poem is by Langston Hughes, and goes like this: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.  Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams go, life is a barren field, frozen with snow.”  Life would be drudgery without dreams, and I refuse to let anyone take away my dreams.  Whether or not I can accomplish my dreams is entirely up to me.
  13. My determination.  I know I can accomplish my dreams because I am determined to make them happen.  I won’t give up.
  14. My health.  This may seem strange to say as I’m still getting over the flu, but in general my health is pretty good.  My ailments can usually be taken care of with over the counter drugs and home remedies, and I am no longer suffering from the crippling effects of some of my diagnoses (most of the time, at least).  I suppose I’ve learned to work with my health, rather than against it.  And to recognize when something is coming up and deflect it if I can, or let it run its course so I can get back to “normal.”  In other words, when my mental health issues crop up, I realize what is happening and know that it is temporary, so I don’t get bogged down in it.  At least, not for as long as I have in the past. 😉
  15. My sense of humor.  I love to laugh, and my sense of humor can be a little odd at times, but it also gets me through the rough patches.
  16. My independence.  While I am happy to get assistance and let people help me, I am also grateful that I can do things for myself.  And I am grateful that my husband recognizes that some things I have to do for myself.
  17. My freedom.  There are those who think getting married means giving up your freedom, but really, it doesn’t.  Yes, I have to consider my husband when I make decisions, but I am still free to be myself and do what I want to do.  Some of my decisions may be different now that I’m married than they would have been while I was single, but my freedom to make those decisions has not changed.
  18. My intelligence.  Not to brag, but I’m kind of smart, at least according to my I.Q.  That doesn’t mean some of my decisions aren’t stupid, of course.  Everyone does dumb things.  But I’m intelligent enough to learn from my mistakes.
  19. My open-mindedness.  I feel rather sorry for bigots.  By being so blind to what people different from them have to offer, they’re missing out on getting to know some pretty awesome people.  I’m also not afraid to have my beliefs challenged, and I will examine them and change them if needed.
  20. My ability to learn.  I know that my education will never be complete.  There is always something new to learn, some new information available that enhances or changes what I already know, and so much that I just don’t know.
  21. My resourcefulness.  I don’t always have everything I need to do things the way I want to.  So I have to make do with what I have, or what I can get.  It may not always be pretty, but it works. 😉
  22. My self-motivation.  Working for myself, and taking online classes, I would never get anything done if I didn’t have the ability to motivate myself.
  23. My self-confidence.  While I am completely aware of my limitations, I am also completely aware of just what I can accomplish if I put the work into it.  I know I can do it, and that’s what makes it possible.
  24. My courage.  I am not afraid to try new things, to go out on a limb, to put myself and my work out there and risk criticism and ridicule.
  25. My challenges.  I still have things I need to overcome, and things that crop up from time to time to remind me they haven’t been completely overcome.  That’s okay, because they give me something to strive for, and a sense of accomplishment when I do manage to get past them, if only temporarily.  Nothing worth having is easy, as they say, so my challenges make my accomplishments all the sweeter.
  26. My faith.  I am not a religious person, so when I say “faith” I am not talking about religion.  I’m talking about my faith in myself, that everything is going to work out the way it should, that everything is going to be all right, that there are good people in this world, and that hard work will be rewarded.  I believe these things are true, and therefore, they are true for me.  This is the essence of faith.
  27. My successes and achievements.  Every goal I’ve accomplished, every milestone I’ve reached, every victory I’ve won has shown me that I am on the right path and that I can do what I set out to do.  If things seem hopeless, I just have to look at these and remind myself that I’ve done it before, so there’s no reason why I can’t do it again.
  28. My luck.  Of course, luck is really all about being ready to recognize and seize an opportunity when it presents itself.
  29. My practicality.  Yes, I am a dreamer, but I don’t live with my head in the clouds.
  30. My frugality and bargain-hunting skills.  Without them I wouldn’t be able to live on this starving artist/college student budget. 😛
  31. My studio.  It’s a disaster area right now, but I have this space to call my own and shape however I want, and to use to bring my designs to life.
  32. My ability to read.  Whether for pleasure or instruction, I use this skill constantly.  Reading has enriched my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to count.
  33. My ability to write.   Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do this blog!  Or the listings for my products.  Or communicate with my customers, my family, my friends… I rely a LOT on the written (or typed) word.
  34. My customers.  I am always grateful for anyone who thinks my designs are as awesome as I do, but I’m particularly grateful to those who want to give me money for them. 😛
  35. My computer and internet access.  Without these, I wouldn’t have a business.  I wouldn’t have met my husband.  I wouldn’t have known the vast majority of my friends.  And I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with any of them.
  36. My music library.  I love all kinds of music, and having access to just what I want or need to hear at any given moment.  I love sharing my music through my show on The Cape Radio and I am grateful for having the chance to be an internet radio DJ.
  37. My listeners.  I am grateful that anyone actually tunes in to listen to my shows, to put up with my babbling on the air and my sometimes ridiculous taste in music.  I am grateful that they don’t seem to notice (or are just kind enough not to point out) that I still have no clue how to be a DJ.  And I am grateful that none of them have sued me for the audio whiplash I’ve inflicted upon them countless times.
  38. My happiness.  When I look back at some of my previous birthdays, I remember how dissatisfied I was with my life at those times, how depressed I was that I had so little to show for the years that had past.  But this birthday, I am truly happy with where my life is at.  I have an amazing relationship with the love of my life.  I have a business that is showing a great deal of potential.  I have an education that is helping me reach my goals.  I have so much to be grateful for, and so much to look forward to.
  39. My birthday.  As long as I keep having them, I have the opportunity to make my dreams come true.  And the time to enjoy the many aspects of my wonderful life.
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1 Comment

  1. 365 Days of Gratitude: February 13th, 2012 « Rewondered Blog

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