The end of November is approaching, and to many, that means …Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone! Now, Thanksgiving is not a huge celebration where I live, and I don’t know much about the holiday, but nonetheless, I think it is always a good idea to stop and give thanks for the things and people in our lives. Today isn’t going to be a long post because, in the spirit of the holiday, I would just like to take a moment to give thanks for everything in my life and share with you all what I am grateful and thankful for.
Before I dive into that though – why is it important to be thankful? There are many differing opinions about gratitude, what it looks like, and why it is essential to be grateful and thankful for the things and people in your life. I’m not going to go too deep into that because I said I would try to keep this post short but also because I have discussed it in more detail in my Gratitude attitude post.
In essence, gratitude can have many widespread psychological and physical benefits. It can improve general health, reduce stress, increase your energy and help you sleep better. Apart from that, gratitude can also increase your personal happiness, positively affect your relationships, increase success at work and simply help you relax more and feel more peaceful as a whole. Basically, there are plenty of reasons why one should be grateful, and there are so many things that we have to be grateful for. And that, is the perfect segway into my list of what I am grateful for.
What am I thankful for?
The year I’ve had
This year has been quite unusual by most standards. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and study in amazing places, I’ve learnt a lot and made some fantastic friends, but most importantly I’ve had a year filled with eye-opening experiences. I’ve discovered so much about myself that I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t had this year. Yes, it was scary and challenging at times, but I am so grateful because of how much it did for me.
My family, particularly my parents
No family is perfect. All of us have got little things that we can’t stand about our families, they can be annoying and frustrating, and a little crazy and my family is no exception. However, in spite of the mild and occasional craziness, my family is incredible. I don’t come home hoping to avoid them, and I love spending time with them. Even my brothers (I can’t believe I’m saying this). In particular, though, I have to thank my parents. I’ve had quite an unconventional year, and it hasn’t been easy, but they have been so supportive throughout the whole thing. My dad has been a rock – continually encouraging me and making sure I’m managing and my mom’s constant support and ideas to make things better and easier just made my year that much more manageable. My family isn’t perfect, but they’re pretty darn close.
I don’t have words for how thankful I am. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two and a half years, and this last year hasn’t been what people would call ideal for a relationship. We’ve had long-distance for months at a time, but through everything, he has stood by me. He has been there for me when I’m stressed when I’m nervous when I needed a shoulder (even a virtual one) to cry on, and he was there when I had good news to share. Through all the ups and downs, my boyfriend has been such a grounding force for me, and his constant love and support has helped me through so much of this year. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have a guy like him.
This one might seem like an obvious one to be grateful for, but it’s true. Both my parents are doctors, so I am aware of how fragile one’s health can be, but what really has made me thankful for my health was the car accident I was in. While no one was seriously injured, I know that that could have easily been different. Being healthy and able to do everything I can think of without health complications or problems is fantastic, and I am thankful for that.
New friends and old friends
My year of travelling and short courses has meant meeting new people throughout the year, and amongst all those new people I met, I was able to make new friends. Since leaving high school, my circle of friends has shrunk considerably and so on my list of things and people I am grateful for, I have to add friends. Friends are so important to me because no one is an island and I think that there is a special type of fun and support you get through friendship. I am thankful for the old friends I have who I’ve had through high school and still have, and for my new friends who I never would have got to meet if I didn’t step outside my comfort zone this year. All the laughs, fun memories, and support (both emotionally and academically) has been so crucial to me so all you friends reading – thank you!
There is nothing better than coming home tired from a long day and being greeted by my cat. Before I have even taken a breath out after sitting on my bed, my cat is there purring at me and giving me fluffy cuddles. I’m still blown away how loving my cat has been considering I’ve been away from him for so long this year. My cat is my movie buddy, my cuddle buddy and my unpaid therapist because of how much he listens to me (at least I think he’s been listening) and having that ball of fluff in my arms every night is the biggest privilege ever.
Food (and the smell of food)
Another obvious one, but considering how much we all (including myself) love it I thought it deserved mention. In South Africa, I see so many people who struggle to get enough food to feed their families, and I am constantly reminded how much of a luxury food is. I am thankful for food and that I don’t have to worry about when my next meal will be. I am also thankful for the smell of food because I don’t think there is anything better than breathing in the smell of hot pizza or freshly baked cookies. In honour of delicious smelling cookies everywhere – I thank you food for making so many people, myself included, happy.
Books provide an escape for me. They allow me to melt away from the stresses and problems I am facing and become immersed in an entirely different world. They are their own, individual bubbles of creativity, and I am so thankful that I have such an escape. I am also thankful for books because I hope to be a writer myself, so I am always appreciative of a good book because I can only imagine how much work went into those 300 odd pages. To books and authors everywhere, the ones I have read and the ones I have yet to read, thank you for providing an escape for people and being the wonderful inspirations you are and will continue to be.
All the people in my life
I’ve mentioned my family, my boyfriend and my friends, but that still doesn’t cover the rest of the fantastic people in my life that I am thankful for. Work-related friends, family friends, teachers and more, thank you for being in my life. I don’t think I have met a person who hasn’t taught me or inspired me in some way and as the experts say, you are a product of the people you surround yourself with. So I have all of you to thank for the person I am today!
Smiles and laughter
How amazing does it feel to smile, or just laugh yourself silly when you have been tired and stressed? Even when I feel down or frustrated, forcing myself to laugh or smile, or seeing someone else smile, has got such uplifting energy. The world would be so miserable if people couldn’t or didn’t smile or laugh, and both of those things have such incredible benefits. I’m happy and thankful for smiles and laughter, but also for the people who bring the smiles and laughter out in me. It really does brighten up my day.
You guys and my blog
Last but not least, how could I not be thankful for all of you? I am thankful for this blog and what it has brought out in me, but this blog would be nothing without the people who read it, and that is you. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. It may not be much for you, it may only be a few minutes, but to me, it means the world that there are people out there reading what I write. Thank you all for supporting me and continually being there to read my blog – you are all so fantastic!
And so there you have it! I hope that you all enjoyed today’s blog post, as short (not really) and thanking-in-nature as it was. I also hope that you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it, and if you don’t that you just have a fantastic day and enjoy the black Friday sales.
What are you thankful for? I’d love to hear so, please let me know in the comments section – anything we have in common? Thank you all again for reading. Please don’t forget to like this post if you haven’t already and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future blog posts.
Happy holidays everyone!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx