Updated: Jul 28, 2020
It’s Thanksgiving time, and I’ve been thinking about what I have to be grateful for. Here’s a non-comprehensive list.
1. My family—my husband and stepdaughters, my parents and siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws, aunts and uncles and cousins. I’m so grateful to have people I love—and who love me. I’m grateful for the time I get to spend with them and the things we talk about. I’m grateful we can support each other. I’m grateful for how we keep getting better at that, and also for how we keep getting better at communicating.
My mom and I when she came out with me to LA for my USC interview. We visited the Huntington botanical gardens together.
2. I’m grateful for my relationship with my husband. I’m grateful for the time we spend together—for when we cook together, and for how we travel together, for the time we spend just hanging out. I’m grateful I have a companion like that.
My husband Chad and I during a trip to Seoul, Korea
3. Education. I like learning. I’m grateful that I was able to go to BYU as an undergrad and grad school, and now that I’ve been able to go back to school and prepare for PA school. I’m grateful that I’ve had the means and opportunities to do so. I’m also grateful for things like jobs and traveling—all the things outside of formal education that help me learn.
4. I’m grateful that our house is warm right now.
5. I’m grateful for the circumstances I’ve been born into—for the country, for the time period, for my native language, for the opportunities these things have given me, for the freedoms I have, the socioeconomic level I live at, etc. These circumstances are not perfect, and there are still a lot of things we need to work on as a society, country, world. But considering all the time periods and all the areas of the world a person could live in, I’ve got it pretty good.
6. Kind of along with the previous thought, I’m grateful for the people who have come before us, and for the work they’ve done—work that has made it so I can wear pants and can vote, so I know about what organelles are inside the cell, so that I have running water and a computer and have been vaccinated, and so on and so on and so on.
Horseback riding in Fort Robinson, Nebraska--a wonderful trip with my husband, stepdaughters, parents, siblings and their spouces, nieces, and nephews
7. I’m grateful for mental health treatment. Again, this stuff hasn’t been—and still isn’t—perfect. But it’s a whole lot more than I had when all this started. And even though things aren’t perfect, even though I still experience depression, this stuff helps, and I’m grateful for treatment, that I have access to it, and the professionals who have helped me.
8. I’m grateful for things that make me laugh.
9. I’m grateful for travel. I love the places I’ve seen, people I’ve met, things I’ve experienced. I’m grateful for the things I’ve learned while traveling, and for how it’s made me think.
Chad and I visiting Cuba--I was excited to see places I'd heard about in classes
10. I’m grateful for a PA school admission. And for more than one! I think PA school is going to be a real challenge, and it’s somewhat intimidating. And that scares me a bit. But this is something that can change my life. I’m grateful for the circumstances that have allowed me to do the prep work and apply—circumstances like a husband who has supported me going back to school, and the forethought of two grandparents who left behind the financial means that allowed me to take all these classes and not accumulate any debt.
11. I’m grateful for Ditto the poodle, and how he loves a good cuddle.
Ditto the Poodle
12. I’m grateful for Utah. I love the mountains. I love Utah. I love that my family and my family’s history is here. I love Salt Lake City. I love the dry summers and swamp coolers. I love the international airport that’s within a 30-minute drive. I love the streets that are wide enough to turn a wagon around, and that free parking exists. I love the soda shops, and the scrub oak, and when the streams and canals are full after the winter snow melts off the mountains. I love the history of this state. I love the old houses—and the new modern-style ones. I love the bilingual elementary school programs and mail-in voting. I love the amazing natural places like Arches and Zion, and how you can hear all sorts of languages at them because people come from all over the world to visit them. I love this state. I love that it’s home.
Hiking in Utah
13. I’m grateful for creativity, and for creating. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to be creative, and that goal was one of the reasons why I started this blog. I like writing, and have felt that I’m okay at it, and I’ve wanted to do it more. This blog has been great for that. I’m also grateful for how the blog has been a reason to explore research, and try things out, and learn new things, but most of all, how it has opened a dialog with people I know about mental health. It has gotten me talking, but also other people talking. I’m grateful to be “out” about depression. I like how it isn’t so much something that I need to keep hidden. And I’ve found that being more open about it myself has allowed other people to be more open, too, and I really like that.
14. I’m grateful for a gym pass from my mom, and for exercise. I’m grateful for how working out makes me feel good, and even though my body isn’t super athletic or anything, that it can do those kinds of things. I’m also grateful for Sue at the rec center who puts on the funnest Zumba classes I’ve ever been to.
15. I’m grateful for friendships.
16. I’m grateful for languages. I’m grateful for being able to use them, but also for the things they’ve taught me, and for the things I’ve learned and experienced through them. I’m also grateful I’m not teaching them right now. As a teacher, I felt like everyone expected me to be expert at all of them. Now that I’m not teaching, it feels much more okay that I’m not.
A photo of my high school French classroom in 2014--this would have been celebrating Fête de la Musique
17. I’m grateful that I have a job. It’s a new job. It can get pretty boring, but it’s also not stressful, and I never have to take any work home, and that’s pretty great. The people are decent, and so is the management and the company.
18. I’m grateful for my past. Lately, I think a lot about the Édith Piaf song “Non, je ne regretted rien.” The title could be translated as “no, I don’t regret anything,” or “no, I regret nothing.” It sounds better in French, though. I really love this line. I feel like my life has had some dark parts, and some circuitous periods—but none of it needs to be regretted. All the little details, and all the lights and darks, make up the big picture. And I like that. I don’t regret any of it.