30 Sep

It’s that time again, the time when everyone rushes around, scurrying like little mice to get presents, get the food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables, decorating, sending those annoying impersonal Christmas “e-letters” about how little Stevie’s doing in baseball this year, and forgetting that there are 363 other days a year to give thanks and let those you love know how special they are to you, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes, these two days are great reminders of this, but don’t let them be the only days because what if the one you love isn’t there next year? Be thankful for ALL you have and WHO you have every day in your life, even the things and people you don’t have.

Anyone that knows me, knows how special friends and family are to me. They know my world revolves around those who have made an imprint in my life and they know I am not one of these people who forget to say thank you or I love you and mean it. If there are any words in the “feelings dictionary” that I will ever mean, they will always include the words “love, thanks, thank you, I love you, appreciation, appreciate, grateful and gratitude.” Those to me are the most important words in any dictionary and unfortunately the most underused, incorrectly used or overlooked all together.

I thank God every day that I wake up to take another breath, that my family and friends are there to share that day with me, that my best friend Lil Doo Doo is lying at my feet happy and content and that life hasn’t dealt me anything I haven’t been able to handle to this point. There are people in this world that would love to be in my shoes and I acknowledge that every day. My shoes aren’t perfect, nor is my situation, but it’s perfect considering where I could just as easily be.

Up until I lost my “good” job back in 2009 as a corporate travel agent making $40,000 a year with no college degree, I was a single woman, living comfortably in my own 2 bedroom place, able to afford groceries, spending time with friends at concerts and bars, could travel when I wanted and was able to pay my bills and still have money to splurge. Now here it is, 2012, I am still a single woman but no longer living on my own. While I was lucky to find a part time job and currently work 15-20 hrs a week in a gift shop with no benefits at $8.50/hr, I can’t support myself on that. I am now living in an upstairs bedroom of my parents house (as ALOT of Americans are right now), spending my days sending out resume after resume just hoping for someone to see what a great hire I’d be for a full time job, eating out of their refrigerator (there are people out there eating out of trash bins), not being able to spend gas on something unless it’s somewhere I just have to be (some don’t even have a car at all), depending on their limited income for everything. Life is good, despite the fact that I have lost my sense of independence and not able to do or afford the things I once could. I am just so very lucky to have parents and a brother that care, that are always there with their loving arms open to bring me in when I have nowhere else to go and who support me in EVERYTHING I do, even if it’s not something they would choose for me to do. I am lucky enough to have the spare time to work on music promotions and help other people while trying to get my business off the ground. It’s slow in going, but it’s going and for that I’m thankful. I love doing this and whether it pans out or not, I will continue the hard road of getting it out there until I have no choice but to stop. Being jobless or being “downgraded” in life isn’t a tattoo of worthlessness, it’s a tattoo of the times and the economy, plain and simple. Don’t let it get you down, let it bring you up and make you determined, stronger and ready to make things happen. Take the spare time to appreciate time with loved ones that you might not have gotten sitting in a cubicle all day. Work tends to overtake people’s lives and it becomes who they are, work should NEVER be who you are. Those most important to you should be who you are.

I am single, yes. Single doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me, it means that I make smart decisions and am not going to settle. Settling because you’re lonely is a sure fire way to make yourself even lonelier. I may not have a man that loves me like every woman wants, but I have people that love me regardless of what I say, my bad decisions, the mistakes I make. They call me out on my BS, they see right through me when I am trying to hide my feelings about something, they know I’m not fine even if I say I am and they see through my weaknesses and flaws and focus on my strengths and abilities. They support me in what I do and want the best for me and in turn, they make me want to be better. I am thankful I’m not in an abusive relationship like far too many women are. I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I got the hell out of that. No relationship is worth letting yourself be abused, put down, belittled or made to feel like you are worth less than you are. I’m thankful that I didn’t marry that first love who I KNEW was THE ONE. Oh he’s the one alright, the one with 3 kids by 2 different women he never married, the one with the ongoing alcoholism, and the one who has decided that he doesn’t want more out of life than to sit back and watch his life pass by while he downs at least 2 12 packs a day of cheap beer. I’m thankful I made the choice to move on. I thank God for making me see that being single isn’t so bad and that one day, God willing, there will be an honest, hard working, loyal man who sees me for who I am and decides that while I may not be perfect, we’re perfect for each other.

I have my health and that is a huge thank you in my life every day. I haven’t taken care of myself like I should, have put on weight, have let depression set in when I shouldn’t, but I’m lucky to just be healthy and not require drugs or surgery to be that way. There are people out there just fighting to breathe and that’s such a simple luxury we all take for granted. The next breath you take, really breathe in and appreciate it. (Just don’t do it in a smokey or stinky place .. LOL). Say a word of thanks every day that you’re up out of bed and able to move around, that you’re not wheelchair bound or stuck in a hospital bed. Stop taking each step and each breath for granted.

Life isn’t perfect and in some cases, unfortunately, people seem to think that it’s not even worth it anymore. Life is worth it, it’s ALWAYS worth it. I believe God gives us these hurdles to see how far we’re willing to go and I don’t think he’ll ever give you anything you can’t handle. People are stronger than they think they are if they learn to see the good in every situation and sometimes it requires looking around things to see and moving things around, but it’s there. Just be thankful, peroid. Try performing one random act of kindness a day and see if it doesn’t come back to you. Express your thankfulness every day, to people, to God, in writing, in song, in your words and most importantly in your actions.


One Response to “3 Words … JUST BE THANKFUL”

  1. Marie Leathem November 25, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    I just love this. You & I are in VERY similar places right now and this made me feel good about where I’m at. Thank you sweet girl! Love you and your outlook!!

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