The Things I'm Thankful For
Relax and Enjoy Life
After reading Ramkitten's spectacular lens on this topic I realized that I have been focused too much on things I cannot change and it has been much too long since I gave thanks and remembered what REALLY matters in life. We only get to do this once, we may as well enjoy it.
And Remembering What Matters
Lensmaster LittleIsMore (aka Claudette Mitchell) started a thread in the SquidU forums titled, "What are you thankful for?" She wrote:
Although I knew how important it was to be thankful, I only learned a few years ago the significance of it. I had learned on a Dani Johnson call to write out 100 things that you are thankful for. At first I thought I couldn't find two (especially when you are in a dark season of life). I challenged myself and, when I came to 100 things, I realized that I could keep on going! I learned a great lesson that day, and it was the beginning of changing my life too! So if you are feeling gloom, discouraged, hopeless, I challenge you too to start writing out 100 things that you are thankful for and look at them everyday for a while. It will change your life.
The information above is copied directly from 100 Things Thankful which is possibly the best lens ever written.
I was very touched after reading it and realize that I need to make a list for myself.
Please understand that I am not trying to copy Ramkittens success. I need to write this list for myself and what's left of my sanity. I hope you enjoy it, but my sky won't fall if no one ever reads this.
I also hope that I'm optimistic enough to reach 100 things!
I'm Thankful For
People - Who they are and why they mean so much
- No change from the original lens. My Husband. He's pretty well my reason for living. We've been together for 15 years and we're no longer a public display of affection type of couple, but he makes me laugh and feel wanted and I love him to bits and pieces. I enjoy his company and humor and how absolutely ridiculous he can be and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my days with him.
- (I was going to post pictures, but I thought I'd stick to scenery until I convince everyone to let me post their images!)
- My Mother. She's possibly the nicest person anyone will ever get a chance to meet. I will admit that she drives me crazy sometimes but I could never deny how wonderful she is. She's optimistic and cheerful and incredibly loyal. She works full time and volunteers like it's going out of style. When she's done she quilts with a passion seldom seen. I cannot even begin to imagine where and who I'd be without her. She's a treasure and I love her.
- Friends. I'm lucky enough to have a few great ones and I appreciate them every day. Distances may separate us but our hearts will always be close. I love you guys, you know who you are. The crazy ones ... they will remain nameless but their ears are burning right now. The clumsy one... Hi Jo! You're great people and I'm proud to count you all as friends.
- My stepson. He's smart, and smart-assed and is doing great things for himself, he has a job doing what he wants to do and I guarantee you he's going places. I've been the evil step mom for a long time and I'm very proud of him. Keep it up.
- My extended family, aunts and uncles and cousins. I'm an only child and these folks were huge for me growing up. Sadly distance has separated us in the past while but I think of them often and visit when I can. They're great folks and I'm proud to call them family.
- My In-laws. I'm not kidding, they're really great. My mother and father in-laws stayed with us for around 7 months and I loved every minute. My husband has an amazing family and I'm quite content to be part of it.
- My Grandparents. They're all gone now but they had huge impacts on my life and I wouldn't feel right without mentioning them. They were all special in different ways and I miss them everyday.
I'm Thankful For
Being surrounded by wonderful and affectionate animals.
- Two Cats, Salt and Pepper
- Pepper is just full of love. And drool actually. He purrs constantly and is cuddly beyond belief. The only time I can take a nap is when he's curled up with me. He's my little kindred spirit.
- Salt is young and possibly psychotic but he's also sweet and cuddly when he's not destroying the house.
Funny Stuff to Keep Us Laughing
I'm Thankful For
The Dogs and Other Critters
- Buddy is great; he's a pound dog that was abused before we found him. It took a long time to build trust with him and he's possibly the easiest animal ever. He's loyal (unless someone else is petting him) and loves people and he's a remarkable soul.
- Shadow is a walking cartoon. He's too big, he drools and farts and generally makes commotion wherever he goes. He's also the first puppy I have ever had and I am ridiculously attached to him.
- The birds. Simon and Missy. I can't claim the same type of attachment that I have with the cats and dogs but I am very fond of them. Simon makes his fire alarm noise every time my vehicle pulls into the driveway and Missy makes a point of not landing on company and instead comes to my husband and I. It's flattering.
- Duchess. Another dog! She's another pound dog that belonged to an elderly friend of ours. When he had to leave town for medical reasons, we inherited her. She's a great guard dog and manages to convince people that she's actually scary. She is loyal to the end and will actually take treats out of her dish and lay them at my feet.
- Tally. The resident mouser. Tally is the classic Halloween cat, pure black and gorgeous. She is yet another pound critter and she takes her mouser role seriously. When it gets cold in the fall and we start to keep her inside at night she begins tossing live mice in the window, presumably so she doesn't get bored throughout the night?
Our household is full to the top with feathers and hairballs but I love it. Every one of the critters gives unconditional love at all times and it's remarkable to experience.
I'm Thankful For
In No Particular Order
- Where I was born. Every time those sad commercials for WorldVision come on TV I try to remember that the challenges I face everyday are nothing compared to what others are dealing with. I find it easy to forget to be grateful and to simply take things for granted. We all need reminders that no matter how bad life is, we're incredibly lucky
- My childhood. I was lucky enough to have the idyllic childhood. I grew up on a huge acreage with all sorts of animals including my own horse. My mother stayed home until I was 10 or 11 and I never had a babysitter. I grew up in touch with nature and how to take care of it and I am grateful for that.
- The animals I have known and cried for when they passed. Nala, Brandy, Shadow, Tigger, Nuisance, Moose. I miss you guys and I do hope there is a special place for you. I know I have one in my heart.
- Where I live. It's remote and unspoiled and you could literally go for miles and miles without seeing another soul. I value this freedom. I have given up all the "normal" day to day things such as shopping and coffeehouses and I believe it's worth it.
- My lawn. Okay I will admit that I'm a little nuts about the lawn but it's hard to grow grass in this climate and I'm fricking militant about it! Don't you even think about driving on it...seriously
- Our garden. We have a beautiful little garden and I adore it. There is something so satisfying about watching things grow. I love being able to pick veggies and give them to our friends and share the experience of nature. Yeah, I even enjoy weeding.
- Wildlife. I live in the perfect spot to watch nature as we are surrounded by untouched area. We have moose in the backyard, foxes at the office. It's great.
- My wild birds. I have religiously fed the outside birds for years and they reward me by bringing their young to the deck. It's awesome to watch. Every new sighting will actually make my day.
- My tanning bed. I know I know, it's bad for you, but if you live 4 months of the year in darkness you'd buy one too. Sun lamps weren't enough to keep me sane so I went for major light therapy and I'm still married, so it works!
- Health. My husband and I have faced some challenges but overall we're both healthy. It's amazing how easy it is to forget that this matters.
- I'm thankful that Ramkitten's original lens mentions public servants. Thanks, we all appreciate it.
I'm Thankful For
These Things About Myself
- I guess I like my writing skills. English has always been my preferred subject and I've always loved the feeling of a red pen in my hand. I enjoy expressing myself in writing and I'm fairly proud of this.
- My photography, I have learned that I suck as a stock photographer but I am very proud of my skills. None of my friends carry a camera because they know if something happens I'll capture it before they get a chance. I may not be commercial but I believe that my work is solid and I have a talent for pictures.
- My techie skills. I have learned how to reformat hard drives, reprogram just about anything and I'm smug about rarely having to refer to manuals. I like technology and I like playing with it even more
- My way with animals. I've always been good with critters and they have always been good to me.
- People confide in me. This was a burden for many years but now I see it as a blessing and it suits my career very well. My father was the same so maybe it's genetic, but regardless it has turned out to be an asset in my life.
- I'm not trying to hurt anyone. Ever. Even people that are mean to me, I don't have the time or energy to deliberately injure anyone. I am very proud of this and I know it's true. My apologies to anyone I hurt unintentionally.
- My people skills. A lot of them are job related, but I'd like to think that I have a knack for dealing with people. I could be wrong on this one, but I'd like to believe it anyways.
- That I react well in emergencies and can keep a clear head.
I'm Thankful For
Things I have Been Lucky Enough to Experience
- I was an active member of 4-H as a child and I'm proud to say that I was sent to the PNE in Vancouver and won third in the province. That was cool.
- I got to hold a baby loon and return it to its mother. How many people can say that?
- My husband and I have rescued five animals from the pound. Every single one was worth it. (Please spay and neuter!)
- I was the youngest manager hired in my region. Not that big of a deal, but I was proud.
- I know that in some way, even if it's small, I help people every day at work. This means a lot to me.
- Those moments when you see something so breathtaking that you can't even put it into words. I have had lots of these and I treasure every single one. Northen lights and migrating caribou and so many more.
- That I have been able to ride a horse and feel such a strong connection that it was like we were one creature.
- That I have been able (with help) to tame and rescue a beautiful little stray cat
I'm Thankful For
The Little Things That Mean So Much
- Watching perennials sprout in the spring
- Listening to a wild thunderstorm
- An unexpected bout of giggles
- Cuddles. And hugs too.
- Random acts of kindness. Giving or receiving both sides are wonderful
- Waking up to sound of birds chirping at the feeder
- The feeling you have when you finish a good book
- Sunlight glinting off fresh snow
- A cobweb covered in dewdrops
- That day in early spring when you can suddenly feel heat from the suns' rays
- Getting into a toasty warm vehicle when it's 40 below
- The joy of catching a fish. Even a little one
- Watching the tide roll in
I'm Thankful For
- Religion. I'm not particularly religious at all but I respect it and like believing that there is something more than we know.
- That I found Squidoo and can use it as an outlet for the jumble of stuff in my head.
- Experiences. The Good the Bad and the Ugly. I've cried and screamed and laughed and felt peace and then done it all over again. Every experience made me who I am today, and after all, whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
- Campfires. Whether they're in the back yard with a circle of friends or in the middle of nowhere, they're special and have a way of connecting people.
- Music. A good song can uplift my mood and change my entire day.
- Dancing. This usually involves alcohol, but it's always fun.
- Simplicity. That I finally figured out the difference between "needs" and "wants" and am no longer tripping over clutter
- Butterflies. They're quite uncommon where I live so any sighting is a big deal to me!
- Swallows. I know they make a mess when they nest over doors and windows but I love watching them fly and dive-bomb. Such little acrobats
- Education. I don't have a huge one but I sure appreciate what I have. Huge thanks to my parents and teachers for putting up with me.
- Sitcoms. I know, I know but I still love them. I like that everything is amusing and no problem exists that can't be fixed in 30 minutes minus commercials.
- Post-It notes. Without them I would be incapable of holding down a job
- That I am loved. That I can go to sleep at night and know this without question
- That I have people to give love to in return.
- That I have a green thumb and can rescue most plants brought to me to nurse back to health.
- That we can pay our bills. We're not debt free but we're working towards it, and we're comfortable in the meantime.
- That I'm part of a brand new society for Animal Protection in my town
I'm Thankful For
- Kittens and Puppies. I know I already have lots of animal influence in this list but they need to be included!
- Technology that allows us to do things like make lenses on Squidoo and connect with the World
- Snowball fights. Need I say more?
- That I like my job. Somedays I hate it, but I don't think there's anything completely perfect. I think I'm lucky to be secure and well-suited to what I do.
- That I live in a free country.
- That we have brave men and women that are willing to keep it that way
- That Rubbermaid Totes exist. Just about everything I own is in one and I'm not sure if I could give them up.
- Berry picking.
- When the snow slides off the metal roof at work and everyone screams.
- That some of the best things in life are truly free, you just have to learn to see them.
- Preserving. That we have the knowledge and capability to keep our home grown goodies over the winter.
- That I work with people that can make me laugh until I cry.
- Snowmobiling and 4-wheeling
- Going for a nice long walk
- Playing fetch with the dogs at the lake and getting soaked by their splashes and wagging tails
- Laughing at something that's not even funny but I just can't help myself
- That my friend taught me to play spoons
- Babies. I don't have any but the ones I'm around are sure fun to play with.
- Rainy days.
- Heavy snowstorms. (Best watched through a window in a toasty warm cabin)
And I'm Also Thankful For
- Security in my little spot on the planet.
- Trust in family and friends
- Loving my husband. (I know this is a repeat, but it's worth saying twice)
- Our home which is a little slice of heaven plus some dog hair
- Our yard where friends always know they're welcome
- Life. That I'm even here in the first place.
- The promise of tomorrow
- That RamKitten made her lens in the first place
- 100 Things Thankful