Since over half the posts I have written in the last year were Thankful Thursday posts, I find it ironically fitting that the one year anniversary of my first post falls on a Thursday. I didn’t quite manage to post every single Thursday, but I did make 47 out of 52, not counting this one – that’s roughly ninety percent, and I didn’t make my first Thankful Thursday post until nearly two weeks in. I tried to find a minimum of six things to be thankful for each week; some weeks that was more work than others, some weeks I had more than six. So that’s probably around three hundred things I found to be thankful for this past year – and I tried to keep the doubling to a minimum.
I was going to pull all those things off my blog and put them in a spreadsheet and categorize them, so I could say something like “Apparently food-related things make up 32.8% of my thankfulness.” But that was looking like way too much work. I can tell you that the things I have been thankful for have covered a huge range; everything from big, hard-to-grasp things like grace, to small easy-to-eat things like strawberries, from ephemeral things like the smell after it rains on a warm day, to more concrete things like movies (though there’s admittedly a huge range there as well – movies from the nineties Bruce Willis sci-fi movie The Fifth Element to the fifties John Wayne Irish classic The Quiet Man have made it onto the lists.)
I am indeed often thankful for edible things, from caramel apples – “messy, gooey, crunchy, tangy, stuck-to-your-teeth, sweet goodness” – to homemade popcorn with season salt and lots of yummy-ness in between. The weather regularly contributes to my thankful list, whether it’s being thankful for something I don’t have (like a leaky apartment when it rains torrentially) or for something I do have (like heated front seats in my car to use in the cold) or just being thankful for the weather itself when it’s nice. I am frequently thankful for plants and flowers – see posts here, here, here and here for pictures – and have been blessed this year to be able to be thankful for ones I have growing and blooming at home. I am thankful for people all across the spectrum as well, from snow plow drivers to a cheerful landlady to the kind stranger who returned my cart to the corral for me one night at the grocery store. And I am always thankful for God, my wonderful family, and supportive friends, even if I don’t mention them every week.
Thankful Thursdays started out as a combination of “hey, practicing gratefulness is a neat idea” and “at least this will give me something to write every week if I can’t think of anything else.” I didn’t know that some weeks it would be the only thing I had the energy to write, or that it would become a way of letting my family know I survived another week even if I hadn’t talked to them. I didn’t know how much deliberately finding things to be thankful for every week – even if I had to stretch sometimes to get to six – would help to keep me afloat, or that it would help other people to be more conscious about their own thankfulness during rough patches. I do know that it has been good for me and that I have been grateful to share the experience with you. Please know that it makes me smile every time one of you takes me up on my weekly invitation to add your own things you are thankful for.
I do plan to continue the tradition as I am able, keeping in mind that it doesn’t have to be every single week (allowing myself some grace), that even 90% is pretty good. It’s a good exercise for me in the present and it’s fun to look back on the past Thankful Thursday posts as well. To help with that looking back, I am planning to start adding the date to the title, otherwise I end up with a long list of posts with the same name when I pull them up in my archives. If you ever want to look at all of them together for some reason, you can click on the Thankful Thursday category link at the bottom of each Thursday post. It looks like this, without the purple box:
And last, since today is indeed Thursday, and I have been collecting them all week, here are the things I am thankful for this week:
- ladies at my Monday night Bible Study who are kind enough to say “It’s good to see you again, we missed you” after I wasn’t there for several weeks because I had to reschedule my counseling
- not needing half the blankets in the house to be warm enough to sleep anymore
- that I am not (currently) allergic to the greeny-yellow pollen that has been coating my car for the past several days, as it is parked under a tree
- the fun of being re-introduced to an old computer game I used to play often – thanks brother D! 🙂
- having not only “made it through” but actually enjoyed a lot of my first year of regular blogging (my
briefinvolvement with LiveJournal in college doesn’t really count… *pause* Oh my word, it’s still there 😮 I don’t know how many times over the last several years I’ve thought “I should go back and pull all my content off that journal, just to have it, but it’s been so long since I posted there I bet they’ve deleted it.” But it’s still there! I did start in October 2004 and posted last on July 4th, 2007, so it was a longer run than I thought, but the frequency of posting was much lower than here. And the writing is much more… college aged… 😉 wow, I really haven’t looked at that in years…)
- my Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl soundtrack, which I was listening to in the car on the way to work today, because it still makes me grin and tap my foot even ten years later
And that wraps up not just another Thankful Thursday, but the whole first year of them. Here’s to many more! 🙂