I set out to start writing this post at the beginning of November and add to it each day as I thought of new things I was thankful for each day until I made it to Thanksgiving, but each day was over before I knew it and here I sit on the day after Thanksgiving with a blank page in front of me, but I realize that is what I am most thankful for - a life that keeps me busy.
There was a day just a few years ago that I would have told you that the thought of busy day made me pull the covers over my head and hide. When I truly believed I was not good enough to do those things that were ahead of me. When I wondered why a person with a cloudy mind deserved to have a body that worked just fine. Those thoughts are still in the back of my mind, but the things I have to keep me busy and be thankful for are able to be my focus now.
So I did not make my goal of writing down what I was thankful for each day and even if I did it would never be a complete list, but I would like to try to come up with a list of 11 [you know me and my odd numbers and since it is the 11th month we will roll with it] to share with you here -
11. A messy house - I am sure you have all seen the quote that says - please excuse the mess ~ we are busy making memories here, but I saw a sign online the other day that said - please excuse the mess ~ the kids are being jerks - which I think is a little more true to what life is really like. There are times at home when I think I talk to myself as I try to name off the things all over the floor that need put away. I even caught myself sounding like my parents the other day when I told my girls everything on the floor when they went to bed would be thrown away and this was not my mess so I was not cleaning it up. I guess it must be something about being a parent that makes a dirty house annoying. But as the quote hanging in my kitchen says 'no one notices what I do until I don't do it' so with no mess how would I know they needed me.
10. Giggles - in a house with three little girls and a husband that considers making girls giggle a second job - we rarely have a day without giggles in the house. Even after an express ride on the scream train from a super angry three year old a giggle can be found deep down to make a quick u-turn. With all the moods in this house, I think laughter will be the best medicine most days.
9. Hard work paying off - I was so lucky to watch most of the students, staff, and community at the high school I work at pull together and reach a goal that was set out for them. And the pay off will be more than just the $100,000 prize from the competition. We will be able to make our school a place for students to feel at home and learn together.
8. Students who complain but care - I have to smile on the inside and keep my face neutral when I hear students complain about school. It must be the teenage brain that has a bigger capacity for complaints and I find it fun to make comments to make them think and it used to bother me to hear them say they didn't need to learn, but I have learned they only complain because they care and even if they don't know they are learning despite their complaints. When they stop complaining, then I will wonder if they are learning.
7. A family at work - I have heard "if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life" I think having amazing co-workers to help with that journey is the key to this. I have been lucky enough to find this not once, but twice. I cannot say enough about all these people that work so hard each day to make sure the students get the best experience at school, but I am so glad to be a part of it and have these amazing people available to help me grow as an educator.
6. Young Adult Fiction - Loving to read clearly took me down the road I am on today and I love that there is an entire genre of books dedicated to try and hook other teens into that love too. I have read so many books I could not possibly remember them all, but I do know they can make me laugh out loud and wipe tears from my eyes. I also watched close to 50 students celebrate that love for reading this month at the Dystopia Duels Bring a Book to Life Challenge - pretty amazing!
5. Open Windows - It did snow last week, but until then and even looking into next week we may be able to open the windows and get the germs out. We have had plenty of germs slithering around this house the past few weeks so open windows can only help kill them off before they sneak in to hide and avoid the cold of this wonderful midwest winter.
4. Laundry in drawers - If anyone ever creates a machine to fold and put away laundry they will make millions - the biggest G says this is her goal to create someday so I hope she can make it happen. By the time I sort, wash and dry the clothes I have little energy left to fold and almost none to put it away. So around here laundry baskets usually stay full until I run out of them in the basement. I look forward to getting them empty this weekend and have all the clothes tucked in their drawers until it is time to do it all over again.
3. Fun with family - The best part of this season is time to spend with family. A time to slow down and enjoy the time together. As I watched the girls bounce up and down on the trampoline with their cousins, run around chasing their uncle around the yard, beg to play BINGO and search for prizes when they won I know these are the times to just sit back and be thankful it is here.
2. Growing girls - I am so fortunate to have three girls to snuggle, run to dance, Girl Scouts, 4H, friends houses, scold, and love. The biggest G turns double digits in a few months and I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since I first held her. Her and her sisters change and grow each day and this is the best show to be a part of.
1. A husband who supports me - I may not always tell him and some days I may even wonder why he spends so much time outside the house, but I really could not imagine being on this crazy ride with anyone else. It can be hard to see at times, but we do compliment each other to pick up the pieces one of us may leave behind even if at times it seems like our pieces do not fit quite together.
What are you thankful for this holiday season?