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#14

It has been a while, I have quite a few today, they may be repeats. Repeats are even more worth the share because they just keep on giving. And it’s been so long, I am bursting at the seams with appreciation for this life.

First, I am thankful for all the produce in my fridge. The fact that I can afford it. The fact that it was straight up delivered to me. The fact that I’ve had a full week of healthy eating. I already feel better and have lost 3.8 lbs. It’s just the beginning of a long distance marathon. Maybe I’ll take up running..? Nah, probably not.

First.5, I am thankful for my good pal, Carrie, who got me back into weight watchers. She brought it up and 5 minutes later, I was meal planning. Maybe I’ll cancel in a couple months, but it’s always a good way to start again. I just need the motivation to pay attention to what I’m eating. That’s all you really need, up to a certain point.

First x3, I am thankful for the photos of my boss’ client appreciation event that made me realize how much weight I’ve put on! I did not like the way I looked at all, and it’s those photos that kicked my ass into gear. I know what I need to do, I just need to stop being so lazy. Each time I fall down, it takes that much longer to get back up. Hoping I can stay up this time.

Second, my husband. This time of year, I used to always feel so lonely. My family is far away and not in strong contact. My closest friends are far away. Chicago is a cold, dreary city this time of year. Most the friends I have made here, have since moved away. This year, for the first time in a long time, I am really looking forward to the holidays. Is it the being married part? Because not much else has changed since last year.

Third, my dog. I never could have imagined adopting a dog would be so incredibly easy. He is a dream come true. I’d wish I’d done it sooner, but if I’d done that.. I wouldn’t have ended up with this guy. I love him. Double bonus, I get to say hi to all the neighborhood pups without just being the weird girl who wants to pet your dog.

Fourth, my apartment. Working in real estate, I am constantly on the lookout for an affordable place. And there is just nothing in Chicago that is as cheap as my place is. Sure, I don’t own, but that just means any issues aren’t my problem. Sure, this is a shitty old building, but even if we left, I’d still be drawn to old… old means character. Sure, laundry in-unit would be ideal, but at least it’s in the building.

Fifth, my work that allows me to do endless, brainless, data entry type work, which I actually thoroughly enjoy, contrary to the populace. But also, I am being given the opportunity to utilize my puzzle-solving, organizational skills. Some people are creative, I am ORGANIZED… it’s a form of creativity, in my mind.

Fifth.5.. This morning, I rolled out of bed and started working. Not having to commute for an hour, to go 3 miles, and having to wake up an hour earlier than that, to get presentable, is something to be thankful for. The companies of tomorrow will all operate, remotely.

Fifth x3, I do work for multiple people at the moment, but I am thankful that I truly admire each of them, individually. I enjoy working with each one of them, in a different way. It is impossible to feel burnt out when you have such a variety of day-to-day material.

I took such a massive leap into the dark and I could not be more thankful for that, today. All I want to do is take more scary leaps and see where I land. In my experiences, the scarier the leap, the better the outcome. But maybe I’m just lucky?

#13

Today, I am thankful for online selling shit services like – Craigslist, OfferUp, LetGo, and Facebook Market. Since I’ve been working only part time, and from home… I’ve had time to list and sell a ton of stuff (see also: junk) that we had cluttering up our world. I’ve even made an inventory list: things to list, what is listed, what is pending pick up, what sold, where, and how much. I am up enough to cover all the costs of our road trip to Sarasota this month, and then some. That is just impressive.

The extra dough is nice, sure, but my favorite part is the freed up space. The more that goes out the door, the more I want to send out that door. I’ve even started looking around at things we still use daily, to decide if I really actually love them, or as Marie Kondo would ask.. “Does it spark joy?” If not, sell it!

It’s a way more satisfying feeling than just tossing things in the trash. Because of the money, yeah, sure, but also the people who buy these things are excited about them. Today, I sold a container of unused yard and a couple booklets with patterns, to a mom and her son. They told me he had just recently learned to knit and he was wearing a hat he made himself. And it was good! Way better than I could’ve ever made. I’m glad it’s all going to good use.

#12

I am grateful for my failures.

A good, hardy failure teaches us how to do better next time. A mistake proves that you tried anyway. Even if you didn’t know what the heck you were doing in the first place… You still tried. Failing means that you tried to do something most people wouldn’t have even attempted. The average person, facing the unknown, would turn around and go back to what they know, for fear of failure. People should rejoice in failure.

Falling down means you had the balls to get up in the first place. Getting lost in the woods means you had the courage to explore, to take a wrong turn, to go adrift from the mapped out path, or to even enter those damn woods. To travel the path less traveled.

As far as I’m concerned, if you have not failed often, you have not truly lived.

#11

I am thankful for my husband, every single day. He not only puts up with my crazy flightiness, he grounds me. He takes care of me. He cooks breakfast pretty much every morning. He does the laundry, he takes the trash out, he cleans, he grocery shops, he’s smart, he’s handsome, he supports me, he’s funny, we have the same goals in life. Aside from all these amazing qualities every woman wants in their partner, if it weren’t for his support, a whole hell of a lot of things would be different in my life right now. And I would not be nearly as happy as I am.

But today is a good day to express how he is great outside of our relationship… It was pouring down rain this morning. Before he went to work, he went outside, in the rain, walked down the block, clearing out all the drains.

You see, every single time it rains in the Chicago, the sewers are always clogged or blocked, which causes these massive puddles in the streets. It gets really ridiculous. Multiple feet of standing water, most people can’t even get into their cars. There’s one alley near us that turns into a damn river. All you have to do is remove the block and the water will drain. Nobody ever does this. Except him. Everyone should be thankful for him today!

#10

Today, I am thankful for having the ability to work from home. The amazing opportunity this woman has given me. I am so thankful for her and the support she continues to give me as I now attempt to expand on this work. It is really comforting to know that I won’t have this long span of unemployment on my resume, while I take programming classes online.

It also feels great to know, without a single ounce of doubt, I made an impression. All that hard work at my last job was not a total waste of my time. People recognized it and appreciated me, dammit! And because of that, I can now comfortably pursue my first interest.

And just in case this programming thing ends up not working out, I already have some other ideas brewing. I know how to pivot, I’ve had plenty of practice in it. I’ll be successful no matter what life throws my way.

#9

Today, I am thankful for Chicago public pools. Why have I not checked out lap swims sooner? There are set to a very strict schedule and the timing of them never worked out for me. But NOW, I can adjust my schedule around lap swim hour.

The cost is a third of what I was paying for the gym, just to use their pool. AND it’s way more enjoyable to swim outside, in the sunlight, with open lanes. Than it is to swim in a dark basement, with only 4 closed lanes.

There are actually four different pools (that I know of), within a two mile radius of my home. And when the weather gets colder, one of those pools is indoors, but not in a basement! It even has extra hours for lap swim.

The best part is, I have not been riding my bike at all this season. Swimming motivates me to dust it off, use it just to get to the pool, and then maybe joyride a bit afterwards, for drying off. Two things I’ve always loved doing, happy to finally welcome them back into my daily routine.

#8

Today, I am thankful for where I live. Chicago is a bustling metropolis, with no shortage of anything you could possibly want, at any time of day. While that thought could go in all sorts of crazy directions, let’s target it towards volunteering opportunities.

For the last couple years, I have had this overwhelming sense of “What am I doing to help others? How am I contributing to my community?” I am just going into an office for twelve hours a day, going home to bed, and otherwise being a mass consumer of all things. This does not particularly leave a person feeling good about their routine.

It started with fostering, but that didn’t last. More recently, we finally adopted a new baby. And that only motivated me 10x more to help out a rescue/shelter, whatever I can do.

I found one rescue that needed help with their website, which was great because this is what I am going to school for. They also needed accounting help, which is where I come from. It was perfect! But she was always too busy and never remembered that we had scheduled a time. The place was pretty inconvenient for me to get to, just for her to say “Oh, I don’t have time now.” So, that idea fell through. But that’s okay, there’s another rescue to go to! There are tons, actually. But Alive Rescue actually has organized orientation dates and tons & tons of events. And is closer to me.

Also, unrelated to animals, I was actually able to help out at The Wasteshed. Yes, it’s not animals, but it’s repurposed art projects, school supplies, yarn, fabrics, etc. As someone who is a little bit of an arts & crafts hoarder, I really really love this idea of recycling, reusing, re-selling for cheap. I also really love organizing, so I was happy to help them out. While there, I learned they do a volunteer event the last Tuesday of every month, 5-8 pm, BYOB. See you there!

#7

Today, I am thankful for the rain, the thunder, and the sunlight.

The rain reminded me how damn lucky I am. I get to stay home. I don’t have to commute in that horrible traffic that gets backed up to twice as long, as soon as one drop falls. I don’t even have to put pants on if I don’t want to.

The thunder makes Sawyer a little nervous, ever since he experienced his first 4th of July in Chicago. But that only means that I get to snuggle an adorable pup who wants to be as close to me as he can get.

The sun in the afternoon. Generally, you can’t get me outside when it’s humid out there. Especially when I’m having a no pants party. But I am forced to spend at least a couple hours, outside, getting some good old fashioned vitamin D, and lots of puppy time. And ya know what, the humidity aint shit against that kind of enjoyment.

#6

Today, I am thankful for my apartment. I am thankful for the location. I am thankful for the far away views of the downtown buildings. Thankful the lease was renewed only 2 months ago. I am thankful that while I would love to move somewhere else, there is no pressure for that to happen quickly.

We went for a walk in the neighborhood around 8 PM. There were three different guys, moving out of their places. All three, alone. One guy only had a CR-V. Another guy had a U-Haul, pulling a trailer already filled to the brim, and he was still loading stuff into his jeep. Today’s weather was in the 90’s. I am so very thankful to not have the burden those guys had today.