{flickr photo by Kate Ware}

Most people would list their health, their relationship, the fact that they have a job as reasons to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day. {All worthy reasons to be grateful btw.} But there are a handful of other things that often get neglected when turkey season comes around. This post is dedicated to them. So here’s one for you “unlikely list to be grateful for.”

1. Bumps in the road.

If you were to dream up your most relaxing luxurious vacation or best life, you would most likely leave out the word “challenge” from your activities list. But you would be missing out. Here’s why. Life is jam packed with unexpected ups and downs. It’s what makes life so exciting. You never what you’re going to get handed out to you. And even though your inner couch potato would rather things go exactly as planned, it rarely does and that’s a good thing.

I didn’t expect, for example, that I’d get thrown a broken toe, plantar fasciitis, and a rainy vacay when I planned my visit to San Jose last week. But it’s what I got. And I’m so grateful for it! It meant lots of time sleeping in, writing, reading, drawing and that recovery time healed my foot. Hence, I got to shake my butt in zumba and hit yoga 5 times in the 10 days I was there. Woohoo! It was better than I expected.

Of course the same goes for life challenges as well. It can feel scary, disappointing, unnerving when obstacles meet your path. But it’s always those type of heart racing, “oh-my-God-I’m-not-going-to-be-able-to-make-it” tasks that make me feel strong, courageous, and resilient. That’s why I’m thankful for them.

2. The Party Poopers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll proudly say it again. Although I wouldn’t welcome them in my life on a daily basis, these guys help motivate me to keep going. “What did you say? I’m not a good writer? I won’t make it in this competitive world?” Okay, [rolls up sleeves] I guess I’ll have to show you!
Thank you past Party Pooper because had I not heard the disbelief coming from your lips, I might not have had that challenge I was just gabbing about.

3. Imperfections.

This may be my favorite word. Why? Imperfections, flaws, the things that make your prose, your appearance, your work less than are what make you human. It’s the stuff we’re all made of. Yes, it hurts like heck when someone points out that your finger is crooked, your mouth is full of teeth and your guilty of wordy prose (all stuff that people have told me btw). But I’d jut smile with full teeth and say, “Yep, that’s me.” For the latter, it might be best to work on it. But it doesn’t mean you don’t celebrate your differences while working to “pretend” your flawless and inhuman.

4. Disagreements.

It would be nice if everyone got along perfectly all the time. But it ain’t going to happen. And why would you want it to? When you don’t see eye to eye on an issue, it may feel uncomfortable. All the better to just hold your tongue to keep the peace. But expressing how you feel and listening to others’ point of view will stretch you were you didn’t think was possible. It can either bring you closer in your relationship or it can alert you to one that’s just not working. But being afraid of being who you are is the one way you isolate  yourself. In order for people to really know you, working through discord is mandatory. Those who really love you will continue to love you anyway.

5. Life.

We complain a lot about where we live, what we’re doing, and even the temperature can warrant major griping. But truthfully, one of the biggest, most overlooked thing we all have right now to be grateful for, is our life. Thank you for this day I have to breathe, to be, to spend as I see fit.

6. Slow starts.

Everyone’s always in a rush to get things done, to be the fastest, to achieve the most in the littlest amount of time. But this prayer of gratitude is inspired by nature, that takes it time, that unfolds with patience and that relinquishes control to what is rather than what it wants to be. Sometimes I forget that life is not a computer. And that some of the best things come after a slow start.

7. Starting over.

Being fired, jilted, leaving friends and family are not easy. But these situations give you the opportunity to start over. It might not seem like the best thing that ever happened to you when you’ve just been laid off or you’re saying goodbye to old friends, but there is unexpected beauty in fresh beginnings. Sometimes when we let go of something that’s not serving us, something better comes along. But we will never know it, until we let go.

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2 thoughts on “7 Unlikely Things to Be Grateful For”

  1. This is a wonderful list. Often we find something irritating or agitating, only to find out later, when the source of that irritation is gone, that we would love to have it back. An example can be the “nagging” of our mother (when she has died), or the whining of our daughter (after she left for college). Even things which aggravate us can be blessings in disguise.
    Thank you for your post!

    1. Yes it’s true that sometimes we don’t realize how much we value or miss something until it’s gone. It’s hard to believe a nagging mother or a whining daughter would be missed. That’s why it’s always important to be present and grateful in whatever situation we’re currently in. Thanks for your comment Gregg!

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