While birthdays or New Year's seems to be a good time to reflect, Thanksgiving as well offers up a good chance to take a look back. I have never experienced the "go around the table and say what you're thankful for" routine... while I personally don't mind it, but I think it puts some folks on the spot... and/or it's just stating the obvious things like loved ones, good health, etc... which granted are all worthy of thankfulness!
And while I won't be spending time with my immediate family this year (oh, the guilt!), I am thankful that we have been spending the last several Thanksgivings with Todd and his family (which I may be well doing at this very moment as this is pre-posted!)... it's nice for me to have this surrogate family that always makes me feel so welcome... so much so, that I was fully expected to go on the family vacation over July 4th weekend.
And speaking of travel.. this time last year, I could not imagine where life would take me... physically speaking. I know for sure I certainly was not expecting to log 25,000+ air miles (and basically w/in a 6 month period)... and I don't think the Europe trip was even in the planning stages. I am so glad... I mean thankful (!!!)... that I finally got to see London and Paris and all their iconic landmarks... and then off the beaten track to Amsterdam, which granted is still a major European city... but something totally different and unique.
And needless to say, thankful is understatement for our trip to Beijing for the Olympics. China (and Asia, in general) was never high on my "to do" travel list and now I am telling anyone that if they have the opportunity to go to China... do it! We still shake our heads in our amazement that we were there... and to throw the Olympics on top of it... and that it was all-expense paid... just created the "awesome" perfect storm.
And I am thankful that we did the Europe trip this past year, as with the current state of the economy would have likely squashed it from even being a part of the "where to go?" brainstorming session for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, both of us are fine with employment and savings (and hopes that it remains that way)... but I am sure we're not alone in buckling down and hoping for the best... and a quick "thankful" shout-out for the outcome of the Presidential race... thank you, Easter Bunny!
Of course, I could not not have a Debbie Downer portion to this post... and while it still smarts that we lost Toby at only 6 years old, I am certainly thankful for the time we did have together. He was certainly
an interesting character for my first ever "from scratch" dog... and while the end came quickly, I am glad we had some time to prepare for it and that he didn't suffer too much or for too long (ok, I seriously need a tissue right now... oy! I should have known better than to go down that path again).
But I am certainly thankful we have Rocky... who was a particular comfort during that difficult time. A character in an entirely different way, there is a lot to be said for having a dog who smiles... literally! He is such a happy dog... and while he certainly exhausts us, there is probably not a day that he doesn't bring a smile to our faces.
And I am sure you all would be thankful if I got around to wrapping up this post! So I am thankful for this outlet. While this blog is an incredible wonderful and much needed outlet for me... it is made all the greater that people are reading it and enjoying it (or if not, having some reaction to it). I am particularly thankful for the friends I have made because of it... though with two notable exceptions, I wish you all lived closer so we could go meet up for coffee or dinner or something! (Update: Sorry if I made anyone paranoid, but the 'two notable exceptions' are my friends who already live in town!)
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving no matter how you are celebrating it or not... and wish that you have many, many things to be thankful for right now and in the days, weeks, months, years ahead! I'm guessing posts will be very light to non-existent until next week... see you on the flip side!