Practicing gratitude

Every year around Thanksgiving, I am always more mindful of the things I have to be grateful for. This year, the list is the longest it's ever been. And though I've said it many times before, it bears repeating: I never thought I even had the right to ask for a life this good, and I will make damn sure I cherish the time I have, with the people I have, now.

I'm grateful for my family, and that they are working on taking the time to care for themselves. I'm grateful to have a job that is fulfilling and helps me pay my bills and put food on the table. I'm grateful to have a car to take me places, and gas to fill up that car -- and I'm grateful that I have places to go to in that car for adventures. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to see the Pacific Ocean, to fly above the Grand Canyon, to swim and boat (and jet ski!) in lakes and oceans and rivers this summer.

Friends. I'm most grateful to those who have given me room in their hearts. I'm grateful for my adopted families, my "work moms" who look after me and friends who are so close I feel like I've known them for years.

I am grateful that I am able to take the time and energy to work on my anxiety. I am grateful that I found someone to talk to that has been helping me work through the tough times.

Peter -- I'm grateful to have his time, patience, support, and love every single day.

I'm grateful for the bed I sleep in, the books I read, the strangers who smile back. I'm grateful for the dogs I see walking down the street outside the window of the wonderful house I live in. I am grateful to have people around me who challenge me and make me want to be a better person.

A skill I'm working on currently is practicing gratitude. I think I do a pretty good job of showing that I am thankful for the way my life has unfolded, but I can always do better -- I can always be more consistent in recognizing the luck I've been given and the hard work I've done that is paying off in a number of ways. I can be more vocal in my recognition. On days I let my frustration or anxiety win, I try to sit and quiet the noise of my head and remember all that I have and let that fill me up, instead. Because, like I said, my list is the longest it's ever been, and it's still growing.

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