101 Things I Am Grateful For
This is my 101st blog post. It hasn’t all been easy but, overall, it’s a pretty good gig. I wanted to do a little something to celebrate it, so listing 101 things I am grateful for seemed like a good way to go. For the record, these are not in a particular order of importance, just an order of when they come to mind.
- My husband, John. He is my best friend and I adore him.
- My nephew, Hunter, who is known as “MS” for the purposes of this blog.
- My family. Families are like blogs; they aren’t always easy to deal with, but the benefits end up outweighing the drawbacks. Particular shout out to my siblings, my nieces, and the nephew who mostly has escaped my smothering.
- My friends, who put up with and support me.
- My cats, who enrich every one of my days, make sure I always get out of bed, and provide plenty of blog fodder.
- The fact that I have mostly achieved all of the named things on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – which is a really big deal since a lot of people in the world don’t have things like shelter, safety, food, and clean water. I don’t want to be unaware of the things I am lucky enough to be able to take for granted.
- Living somewhere I can drive again – I have some anxiety about driving. It’s not bad in places like Eau Claire, or even the Twin Cities, but it was positively paralyzing anywhere beyond my own neighborhood in Northern Virginia. I-95 was largely a no-go zone for me, whereas it is almost relaxing to drive here. (Yes, even with the snow.)
- John’s job. Not only am I very grateful that John has a job that provides the financial and health related benefits that make our lives SO MUCH easier, I am especially grateful that he is doing something that he enjoys and cares about with people who care about why they do what they do. So much more than just a software company, John works at a place that cares about treating people well, helping them have a better life, and just generally being decent. It is a privilege to be part of the extended company family.
- Health insurance – as I just mentioned, I am grateful to have good health insurance. People get sick, and the associated health costs can really set someone on a path to financial debt. I am grateful that we have that added safety and security.
- John’s parents and sister. I already mentioned family, and they certainly fit there, but I wanted to take the time to make particular mention of John’s parents and sister. John’s parents have helped us out financially on more than one occasion. They also love their son very much, which I am grateful for. John’s sister is a kind soul who takes the time to show she cares about people. I am grateful for all of these things and more.
- My health – yeah, I’ve got some ailments that can keep life “interesting”, but my health is, for the most part, fairly good. I can move without pain, I don’t have to take medicine that makes me sick, and I am not in an immediate battle for my life. There are so many people who are struggling with so much more – people who would love to be as well off as I am. I understand that, and I respect their battle and survival partially by appreciating what I have.
- Modern Medicine – You know what’s a bummer? Polio. Measles. Rubella. Those things really put crimps in people’s days. So did leaches and other forms of “bleeding out the fever”. I’m rather fond of my asthma medication, my vaccines, appropriately used antibiotics, diagnostic equipment, and various infertility treatments. These things are wins, and they make the world a safer, healthier, and more promising place.
- My faith. I won’t tell you what to believe or not. Be a decent person and you and I will be fine. For my part, though, I do have a certain set of beliefs and ideas and they enrich my life a great deal, both spiritually and culturally. I am grateful for that.
- Sauna. Pronounced “sow na”, this is a critical part of my cultural identity as a Finnish-American. It is also just a good time. Sauna’s are great.
- Chocolate – I like chocolate a lot. I can be kind of difficult about where it is sourced from (see the previous post – particularly the part about my causes), but I am a big fan of how it tastes. I wish more people in the world could experience it – particularly the people who go to so much effort to harvest the cacao (again, with the causes).
- Cheese Curds – This list could easily devolve into a simple list of tasty foods. If you’ve ever had a State Fair style cheese curd, though, then you probably understand why they get their own point on the list. If you haven’t had such cheese curds, get thee to the Minnesota or Wisconsin State Fair, Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium (where the Gopher’s play football), Hell’s Kitchen, or any of the other quality establishments that know how to properly deep fry cheese.
- Since I’ve mentioned sports now – I am grateful for the Minnesota Golden Gophers (in all things, but especially Hockey), the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Wild, and the Green Bay Packers (sometimes you have to break a trend). More generally, I am grateful for hockey, baseball, football, and most sports in general to some degree or another. I’m not particularly good at playing, but I excel at being a fan.
- Goldy Gopher – friendliest and best mascot anywhere. There is no debate. If you want to say otherwise, reread previous sentence. Oh, I agree that many other mascots are fantastic creatures that bring joy wherever they go – particularly TC Bear, Nordy Wild, and Leo the Lion of ODU – but Goldy is, and always will be, my truest mascot love.
- Crayons, Markers, colored pencils, and every other medium that allows me to make pretty pictures.
- Understanding blog readers willing to wait a few days for the other 80 things while I clean my house, apply for a job at a place I really want to work at, and pack my bag for a quick road trip. (Don’t worry, MS is cat/house sitting.)
Thanks guys! I’ll come through with the other 80 on Monday, I promise!