... for family. Dysfunctional, functional, close, estranged. At the end of the day, I know who has my back and who I can lean on in tough times.
... to have three jobs I enjoy. I can still remember my days of unemployment and other jobs where I wasn't satisfied or happy. It's refreshing to be on the other side.
... for friends -- new and old, near and far. Longtime friends are a treasure, but I've enjoyed the new additions to my life as well. I adore the people I get to spend a lot of time with, but I cannot dispute the value of my long distance pals.
... for my small, cluttered apartment. Downsizing from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment wasn't easy, but it's taught me a lot about priorities and necessities. It's also helping me get creative about storage.
... for my furkids. Cleo is kind of a bitch, and Casey mostly doesn't want anything to do with me. But I can't imagine life without them. They are my heart.
... for sore muscles. This means I haven't stopped challenging myself and pushing my body to the limits.
... for all the guys who broke my heart. Disappointment and rejection aren't fun, but I have come out of each situation a little stronger. Because of the guys who told me "no," I've learned how to say "yes" to myself and hold out for the absolute right person for me.
... for the "friends" who have proven to be anything but. I have a few enemies, but they're not nearly as bad as those people who pretended to be my friends only to use me, insult me, mistreat me, and manipulate me. But I've learned lessons from those people. I've learned to start listening to my gut when something seems off, to be more careful about who I trust, and put more stock in the people who have proven they're in my corner.
... I've never seen any of my sports teams win it all. My Texas Rangers have a few division championships and two league championships in my time as a fan. The Iowa State Cyclones have some men's basketball conference championships. The Kansas City Chiefs' last Super Bowl win was eleven years before I was born. I've stuck with my teams through the bad and good. Because I haven't seen a big win from these teams, I still have something to look forward to, and it will be that much more satisfying.
... for the two job layoffs I experienced in the span of seven months a few years ago. At the time, they really sucked. I'm pretty sure I thought I'd never find a job again. Without the first layoff, I probably wouldn't have moved to Des Moines, which means I would have missed out on a lot of awesome people. And without the second one, I wouldn't have found my way into a career where I'm constantly learning and have a ton of opportunities.
This probably isn't a conventional round-up of thanks, but I've really been thinking a lot lately about some of those at the bottom of my list. Sometimes the things we think of as obstacles or setbacks turn into blessings in time. That's sure happened for me.
What are you thankful for today?