30 Days of Thankfulness


Today is December 1st, which means that November 2011 is in the books. This year, I decided to partake in a little thing known as “30 Days of Thankfulness.” Via my Facebook status, I listed things I was thankful for, one for each day in November. Ideally, I would have done one a day but I didn’t always remember or have time, so some days I doubled, tripled, or whatever-you-call-seven-of-something up to make up for missed days. And, according to the list below, I hit all of them just fine.

Without further ado…I am thankful for:

1.) My mama. Best chicken noodles on Earth, and the softest hands ever.

2.) Amanda Sollman‘s quirks, and the patience and good humor with which she listens to my rants.

I even visited Amanda at Michigan State when she was in college. I'm sporting some Spartan spirit in this picture!

3.) A strong and supportive campus community at North Central College — my all-nighter in the art building last night was all the better for it.

4.) #Agvodate, for allowing me to get to know many fantastic people better than I would have otherwise. I consider it a happy accident.

5.) My beautiful roommates, who know just how to drag me out of a grumpy mood…even if it involves unnecessary trips to a pet store to play with puppies. I love these girls.

I love this picture of the four of us so much that I'll overlook the fact that I'm not wearing makeup.

6.) The opportunities I’ve been afforded in the last year. A year ago, my life and plans changed completely, and the world is all the better for it.

7.) The people I work with behind-the-scenes on so many fantastic projects (professional and personal) that I believe in. There are too many people to list individually, but you all know who you are. You have helped shape my outlook, personality, and skill-sets. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

8.) The hard times. Darkness make the bright times better, and suffering allows us to see the truly wonderful aspects of human nature. I’m not defined by the difficulties I’ve faced, but my ability to overcome them.

9.) All of the wonderful mentors I have been blessed with over the years. From my first gig in e-commerce, all the way up through today. I’ve been unusually lucky! Thank you!

10.) The simple joys. Sunsets, starry nights, and thunderstorms. Good wine. A warm, snuggly puppy. A child’s laughter. White roses.

Sunsets are pretty.

11.) All of the veterans who sacrificed comfort and well-being to serve, and often to provide for their families.

12.) A school with a rich culture and history and strong traditions, yet has a consciousness of moving forward.

13.) The comfort of a warm bed and Excedrin, because without either I would still have a migraine.

14.) The extended “family” that has been brought into my life in recent years, whether it’s because of volunteer efforts, internships, social media, or college. I have big brothers and big sisters all over North America.

15.) The technology that allows me to multi-task throughout my busiest days. (Such as, this week.) It’s great knowing I can stay on top of emails and projects, no matter where I am…even if it’s the basement of the art building and I’m covered in glue and plaster.

16.) What art brings into my life, both viewing and creating. I can have an awful day, yet sitting down with a blank piece of drawing paper and a pencil seemed to make it all better.

I pulled multiple all-nighters trying to get this done in time for my final, but I never managed to feel stressed out while I worked on it.

17.) Fall Term 2011 is almost over. Amen.

18.) The people who get me out of bed when I have no drive, the folks that get me back into art when I’ve lost my inspiration, and the ones who get me back on the treadmill when I’ve lost my stamina…just to name a few. Long story short, the folks who keep me going. These folks know exactly who they are.

19.) The fact that I personally know and have worked with so many fantastic, morally-grounded and compassionate farmers and ranchers. I’m thankful that despite the best efforts of radical groups, I know first-hand that agriculture is full of people who truly do care about the animals and land under their care.

20.) The education I’m receiving. I don’t just mean the formal classroom education, either. I’ve had a wonderful combination of classroom (albeit, unwilling) and real-world education that continues to prepare me every day for “Life After College.”

21.) My parents’ kittens Runt and Rowdy for being the ultimate form of stress relief.

Runt is a black and white male, Rowdy is a mostly-black female with a white spot on her chest. They are my constant companions while I work from my parents' home over break!

22.) The completion of the most stressful difficult term of college to date.

23.) The friends who keep me company during all those all-nighters in the art building.

24.) My fantastic nieces and nephews, who I thoroughly enjoyed on Thanksgiving.

My oldest niece and my youngest nephew, asleep with their dad while he worked ground.

25.) Skype mobile, for making it possible to “talk on the phone” with out-of-country friends, for free.

26.) Late-night Twitter conversations that make me laugh.

27.) New opportunities and connections that broaden my horizons.

28.) Despite multiple jobs, a cancer scare, some major life changes, and a few failed classes, I’ve managed to keep a 3.2 cumulative GPA throughout my college career. I’m proud of that.

29.) Wine. I don’t need to explain that one.

30.) The month of November, for giving me the chance to think about this and count my blessings. Let’s have a fantastic December, everyone.

So, what are you thankful for this year? And how did you celebrate that throughout

In other news…

Thank you for all of the men who celebrated Movember to raise money for men’s health (with special attention toward prostate cancer). There are many cancer survivors near and dear in my life, and many more who have lost the battle. I love seeing fun, creative ways to raise money for such a great cause!

Let me know what you think of the new look! It’s my blog’s brand new winter wardrobe. Thank you to Rosie Templeton and Mike Haley for providing the pictures used in the header image (the Herefords are Rosie’s, the little Simmental bull calf is Mike’s), and to Val Wagner for feedback. Hopefully I like this one long enough to keep it around!

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