Best Three Things that I’m Thankful For

As I get older I’ve begun to look back on my life and realize that I’m truly a blessed person.  I don’t use the word as a religious term but one that I use to help describe the amount of things in my life that I’m thankful for.  In context, there are still lots of things I don’t have but as the years start to climb, I’ve realized that they are just things – things I want but not things I necessarily need.  However, the things that I’m thankful for are truly the things that I need and want in my life.

In a society that is materialistic, vain and consumer driven, its nice to step back from all of that and simply look at my life and see the things that I would be devastated without and the things that I wouldn’t even notice were missing if they were.  That is why I’ve dedicated this post to the best three things that I’m thankful for.

1.  My family

2. The roof over my head and food in my belly

3.  My freedom

I think a lot of people would have their family as the first thing to be thankful for – so I’m not alone.  I have to say it (and I know other may disagree) but my family is the greatest.

I have been blessed with a father and mother who are the epitome of the ultimate parents.  They have raised me, clothed me, fed me and loved me.  They allowed me to grow, allowed me to make good and bad choices – while always there in the background when I needed them.  They always put my needs before their own.  They taught me manners, values, ethics.  They believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.  They encouraged me, guided me and provided me with every opportunity they could.  They are what every parents should be and I’m lucky to have them.  My siblings, I know would echo my words and sentiments.

I was also blessed with an older brother and sister.  A brother that was always interested in showing me all the things out there in the world and of course an older sister that always looked out for me and is not only a sister but also my best friend.

Full Siblings

Full Siblings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have also been lucky to find the love of my life and someone that rounds out my family.  He means everything to me and there is not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful that he had the patience to wait for me because I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

The second thing that I’m thankful for is the roof over my head (my house) and the food in my belly.  I once went to a lecture that a local university was sponsoring about the life of a Holocaust survivor.  I can still remember the silence of the room as an older man took to the stage and looked up at the audience and said “None of you know what its like to be so hungry, to be humiliated, to have everything taken away…”   They were words I never forgot.  He went on to talk about being hungry and as he talked, he broke down and started crying.  I never forgot that.  That is why I’m thankful to have a house that shelters me from the elements and I’m so thankful that I have never had to feel hungry.

The last thing that I’m thankful for is my freedom.  There is nothing else I can say to that.

Best Three Things that Make me Smile

Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”    ―      John Lennon

In my life, there are a lot of things that I am thankful for and a lot of things that have the ability to make me smile.  When I mention a smile, I am talking about the smile that truly lights up my face.  The smile that lights up my eyes, and possibly shows my teeth.  Like I said, a lot of things make me smile but for this post, I wanted to focus on the best 3 things that have the ability to coax a smile out of me, even when, in some cases, I really don’t feel like smiling.  You know that you have experienced the same thing.  For me its just nice to go back and actually put these things in a Best 3 post.

So, here are the Best 3 Things that make me smile

1. The look on my dogs faces, after they’ve done something they shouldn’t have

2.  Reading The Book of Awesome

3.  A child smiling back at you

Honorable mentions: there are so many it would take me hours to write them all down…

My #1 best pic was easy.  If you are lucky enough to own a pet in your lifetime, life is good.  Pets are wonderful.  They love you unconditionally, aren’t judgemental, never get embarrassed and would stand up for you in a fight (ok, that is me wishing, sometimes I think my dog would let a robber into my house if he was carrying a juicy steak) .  The one magical thing that my dogs can do always do, is coax a smile out of me after I catch them doing something they should be doing or have done.  Case in point, I have a gorgeous yellow lab.  She has a great mild temperment, is playful and vibrant when she wants to be and has enough sassy mannerisms that make her the best dog in the world (yes, that is right, my lab is the best dog in the world).

There are a lot of times over our years together when this dog has made me smile but my favorite SMILE moment happened when I left a bowl of plain 2% yogurt on my coffee table because I had to go an answer the phone.  At that moment, I didn’t think that I was leaving the bowl unattended with a dog that loves human food…well that was my mistake.  I don’t remember the phone call but I do remember, walking back to my living room and the site before me made me smile.  There was my lab, sitting, staring up at me with her big, brown eyes, my bowl of yogurt slightly moves from its original place…and my dog’s snout covered in yogurt.  Even writing about it, brings that same smile back.

My #2 choice was easy.  If you have never had the pleasure of reading this book, I highly encourage you too.  The Book of Awesome is just that AWESOME!  Neil Pasricha, the author, has a brilliant way of taking everyday things that would happen in your life and just labelling them awesome, which if you’ve experienced some of them are.  One of my favorites having the exact right amount of cereal to milk ratio.  This was one of the books stories that just made me.

Cover of "The Book of Awesome: Snow Days,...

Cover via Amazon

The last on my best 3 list is when a child smiles at you.  For some this might not be the case but for me, when a baby or toddler is smiling, its infectious and I cannot help but smile back.

Best Three Ways to Relax after a long day

Everyone has had them.  The type of day that seems to drag on, that gets filled with things you didn’t plan and seems to dictate that everything that could go wrong has.  That was the type day that I had today and since I needed to start the ball rolling on my blog, I thought sharing the best three ways to relax after a long day just seemed fitting.

So here is my picks for the best three ways to relax after a hard day:

1.  Wine, Wine, Wine and more Wine

2.  Comfty clothes

3. A good book

wine

Now let me delve into my picks a little more.  As for my first choice (and no I’m not promoting alcohol as a means to erase the day) but if its in reasonable amounts – there is just something soothing about drinking a good red or white wine after a long day.  It goes down easier and takes the edge off all the frustrations that presented themselves during the day.  I don’t particularly have a favorite wine, they are all good.  However I do have a ritual.  I come home, get the wine, use my best glass and sit down (no tv, no distrations) and just sit in silence, finishing that first glass.  Its heaven.

My second pick is usually tied to the first – after that long day, there is nothing more comforting then my comfty clothes.  For me, that includes worn out yoga pants, my old college t-shirt, a hoody and soft comfty socks.  Its great to come home and change into these clothes.  It makes me happy and the long day slowly slips away.

Number three is probably on a lot of people’s best lists.  A good book has a way of taking me away and entertaining me for a good couple of hours.  I leave my surroundings and get caught up in another place, time, character, etc.  Its magical and a great way to relax.