Counting Blessings

The end of a half-century is a good time to take stock of the things in your life for which you’re grateful, don’t you think? I chose 50 things for obvious reasons. They’re in no particular order because blessings are blessings. Period.

  1. My parents have stayed together providing a loving, stable home for me to return to any time I’ve needed it. They’re going to celebrate their 60th anniversary this year, and that’s no small feat. The foundation they created for me has been invaluable.
  2. I got to grow up in the Florida sunshine. We could play outside year-round, and the beach was within biking distance. The hot, humid days and balmy nights are what I will always associate with my childhood. Florida gets a bad rap a lot of the time, but it is truly Paradise.
  3. I idolized my siblings growing up, and they showered me with love. It’s been a trip to watch them grow up, have children and grandchildren of their own, and watch what THOSE kids are doing. I wish we were closer, but thankfully, social media keeps us connected.
  4. I come from a line of strong women. Both of my grandmothers were orphaned, and they endured hardships that strengthened their character. I had a “wild” great-grandmother who was probably just born before her time. I’m proud that their blood runs through me, and I’d like to think I got a lot of my gumption from them.
  5. I’m blessed with a wide and varied circle of friends – kids I grew up with, people I met in high school, other parents I met on the other side of the country. So many people have touched my life, lent an ear, gone for a walk, made a phone call. I am so lucky to know you.
  6. Floss. Like, actual floss for your teeth, not the dance. Those of you who know me well know my obsession.
  7. I love sunsets. My favorite sunsets happen over the Gulf of Mexico, but I’ll take any sunset anywhere any day.
  8. My Tennessee grandmother had a deep, covered front porch with a swing on it. I have always wanted the same, mainly because porch talks are some of the best talks you can have with folks.
  9. Candles have always symbolized calm and relaxation for me. I light them almost every day in my home.
  10. Delicious coffee.
  11. Hot tea.
  12. Baked goods – mostly pie.
  13. Bodies of water bring me peace. Maybe it’s the Florida childhood, maybe it’s my Pisces nature. Plop me anywhere near or in the water, and I will calm down almost immediately.
  14. I like smiling. Smiling’s my favorite.
  15. I have loved my pets so much. I had a childhood cat who came running when we whistled. I had some birds I taught to talk. I had cats in adulthood whose deaths I still mourn. And now I have the world’s craziest, best dog – my first dog – who brings me joy and comfort every day.
  16. The world’s best first job working at a movie theater when I was a teenager. Nothing beats free movies and all-you-can-eat popcorn, surrounded by some of the most fun people I’ve ever known.
  17. Fresh flowers have been known to completely turn a bad mood around for me.
  18. I’m glad I’m smart and capable of learning and growing.
  19. The first home I owned was a beautiful condo on the top floor of a building situated on a canal with a fountain at one end. That condo was such a great home. I loved it.
  20. The second home I owned is the one I live in now. It’s the one in which I’m raising my kids. It was a beat-up mess when we first moved in, but now it’s beautiful and comfortable. I won’t likely stay here forever, but I am enjoying while I do.
  21. Outdoor fires.
  22. Indoor fires.
  23. A magical first kiss under the stars one night that completely changed the trajectory of my life.
  24. All the “bad” decisions I ever made brought me right here to this point.
  25. So did the “good” ones.
  26. I’m not nearly as likely to fall for charm and charisma as I used to be. Show me your integrity and honor and vulnerability. Those are the things I look for now.
  27. I’ve become allergic to bullshit.
  28. I know exactly who I don’t want to be and am still working on who I do want to be.
  29. I’ve come to accept that not everyone is going to like me, and that’s ok.
  30. I’ve come to accept that there are some people I’m never going to like either.
  31. He holds my hand whenever he can.
  32. Spontaneous hugs from my kids are the absolute best.
  33. I didn’t used to think I was a strong person. I know I am now.
  34. My body has carried my spirit around the planet for 50 years with no major problems.
  35. I learned about meditative breathing 25 years ago. It has helped me through the hardest times and the simplest inconveniences.
  36. Art museums are some of the most inspirational places on the planet.
  37. Hand me a box of crystals or some tarot cards or runes, and I will happily sit with them for hours.
  38. A blank journal and a fine tip ballpoint pen are two of my favorite things.
  39. My creative side hid for a long time. I’m glad it’s back.
  40. Travel gets me outside of myself and reminds me that the world is a big place and that we are all human.
  41. Angels are real. Sometimes they show up as people.
  42. My education and degree have made it easier to get back on my feet after my divorce. It has been a godsend.
  43. My marriage brought me 20 years of memories, two amazing children, a beautiful home, and the knowledge that I have the power to love beyond measure.
  44. Eye glasses, a good eye cream, Icy Hot, and comfortable shoes make aging a hell of a lot easier.
  45. Schools and classrooms always make me feel simultaneously comfortable and excited.
  46. Lip balm is the bomb.
  47. Kleenex with lotion during allergy season.
  48. Club soda with lime – a splash of cranberry if I’m feeling fancy.
  49. Fifty years of perspective.
  50. This life has been a trip so far. I’m not where I thought I would be, and I’m not sure where I’ll end up. I do know it won’t be boring because it never is.

And there you have it. I’ll have to save the next 50 for my 100th birthday.

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