As you can tell from the past few posts, I've been a bit low lately. This morning's news that another friend is having cancer problems, this time melanoma, made me hate cancer all the more.
Yet there is something inside of me that is seeking out the happiness in my life. I'm starting to see it everywhere and the happiness is infectious. I rather like it. I'm finding it in the littlest of things. Like reminding the girls that if they are good listeners today they will get to help me make the pumpkin pie tonight and their responses. Angelfish, "once we make it we can eat it all up!" Ladybug, "I like pumpkin but I don't like pumpkin seeds, but I really like pumpkin pie." Or discovering that a new friendly acquaintance randomly knows of my friend J, K, and my friendly acquaintance L and that K is her vet too and now she's making sure she comes to the little holiday party we're having. Or asking Coach if she wants to come over for Thanksgiving dinner and realizing I have no plan as to a time we're going to plan to eat. Or the fact that you can convince a 3 year old that peach colored underpants are "thanksgiving color" and that makes them all the rage, to the point you have to find the only other pair of peach colored underpants for her twin sister. Or the fact that Mr. Darcy is now convinced that he needs to work out at least 30 minutes everyday because he doesn't want to get shingles again and that perhaps if his doctor, his Dad and I all think this is a good idea that maybe it really is something he should do. Or that Coach too has a tough time getting that shower in between working out and work sometimes too. Or laughing because even though you aren't going to get to see any family members (other than Mr. Darcy and the little ladies of course) you realize that your friend J's family Thanksgiving on Saturday is something you really like going to (we went last year too) and is almost like a new little family made of friends. Or that happiness that only your children can give you when they hug and kiss you and want to keep kissing you instead of going to school and you have to convince them that they can give you more kisses after school so Daddy won't be late for work. Or that one 3 year old tells the other 3 year old who has just passed gas that she needs to "spray your stinky!" in reference to air freshener; and the 1st 3 year old responds, "but I said excuse me!"
Happiness is all around us, even in the stinkiest of times, we just have to open our eyes to it. And somewhere I have been walking around with my eyes only partially open. I am opening them wide and letting all that happiness show itself from now on.
So here is a list of things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. I am truly blessed!
1. For Mr. Darcy, how much we love each other, and how he can make me laugh and even frustrate the heck out of me. I wouldn't have it any other way.
2. For Angelfish who dazzles with her smile and her silliness and then amazes with her brillant intelligence, and whose laid back personality make life fun.
3. For Ladybug who despite being ornery and stubborn has a subtle sense of humor, a smile that lights up the room, and a creative yet orderly way of thinking and who is super smart too.
4. For Heather and Lauren, my 2 girls from college who I know are there for me no matter the miles between us - through thick and thin and everything in between.
5. For "Belle" and "Craftgirl" my ATL triplets who make me smile and who are my buds through and through. And who I can't wait to see in a few days!
6. For Jen, my lawschool friend who has made me feel like family from the moment we met and even more so now that we are both in Orlando together. I seriously doubt I would have been able to adjust to Orlando nearly as well without her. Not to mention she's the one that told me she heard an ad for Team in Training on the radio...
7. For Coach and Training Buddy who have become my friends, and not just because of Team in Training and our love for all things triathlon, but because they're real and not only do they talk but they also listen.
8. For my parents, without them I wouldn't be who I am. I love them with all my heart and wish I could make their lives easier than it is right now.
9. For my in-laws, who have been good to me and wonderful grandparents to the little ladies.
10. For my house, even though sometimes I feel stuck here when I don't get out enough, there really isn't anywhere else I'd want to feel "stuck." It is one of the most comfortable places I've ever been and I believe that something spoke to us when we saw this house and we just knew we wanted to live here. Besides, there are so many who are homeless that having shelter is a true blessing.
11. For my job, it lets me pay the bills and provide a good life for my family.
12. For Team in Training, it gave me a love for triathlon while helping me feel like I was doing something about cancer.
13. For Angela's Dad, her friend (and now my friend) Liz, Angela's husband, and Angela's sister. I always knew you all indirectly through Angela, but now I love having you as a more direct part of my life. It's almost as though Angela gave me the gift of you all. This time of year will always be hard for us, especially December, but I know that Angela is pain free and happy in heaven... and hopefully putting in a good word or two with the Big Guy Upstairs so we'll get to hang out with her again when its our time.
14. For Angela who keeps me company on a regular basis. Not in the same way she did while living, but in little things that make me think of her the way she was before Cancer. The fact that I read a book, see a news report, hear a song, etc. and I think of her. Not to mention the times when I hear her telling me stuff in my head. No, I'm not crazy. I just know what she'd say and sometimes that advice, joke, etc. is what I need to hear.
15. For all the gifts God has given me - physically, mentally, emotionally, and the fact that I am alive and kicking.
16. For sorrow, it's normal to feel it and it shows that I am compassionate and love others.
17. For faith in God, without it I would have never made it through so many things that I have gone through in this life. Because I believe that God would not bring me to it if He could not bring me through it. I can do all things with God's help.
18. For all the material blessings I have - I have clothing, food, cars, a home, and extras that make my life easy compared to so many. I just hope I have the good sense to help others with it, not just helping myself.
19. For my brain. I'm smart and that's one of my sources of pride because I can figure out what to do in almost every situation, even if I might get a little weepy or pissy from time to time.
20. For the ability to swim, bike and run... especially while raising money for cancer research and to help those with cancer, and to do it for those who can't. Not to mention all the thanks I owe for all the wonderful people I have met and the places and things I have done while living the Tri lifestyle.
21. For Missy and Geni, who both made me feel welcome, supported and inspired to do and be more from the moment I met them.
22. For all the things that I cannot think of and that I take for granted. I am blessed that they are so obvious that I take them for granted.
23. For this blog, which perhaps has been the best form of mental health therapy for me over the past year or so and which has introduced me to others who blog about life and tri stuff and who have seemed to become part of my life through the written word, encouragement, and commentary. Even if that silly counter still says no one reads it when I know otherwise. : )
24. For the opportunities this world has to offer, even those that I'm not aware of or that I haven't taken. Who knows what door might open next?
25. For hope, because without it I wouldn't have realized how amazingly good life is and how amazingly wonderful people are. People are angels in our lives when we least expect it.
May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Count your blessings, my list isn't exhaustive - it's just the start. Life is good... be sure to share it with those you love!