Okay, okay... I didn't altogether quit being thankful, I just quit recording my thankfulness for a few reasons. Most of them are weak and pathetic excuses, "I have been so busy!" or "My kidney hurts so much!" But, I also have a couple reasons that are actually legitimate. My best reason is that I have really struggled during this "season of gratitude" with a lot of guilt and (admittedly) irritation. Most of you can identify with the feeling of being inundated with other people's really great news on Facebook. Trust me, I could't be more thrilled that your vegan turkey tasted just like actual turkey, oh wait... yes I could be, I could be way more thrilled.
You get the point though, right? We all read other people's comments about themselves and their own lives and we think "WHO CARES!" And then I sit down to write my blog, and I think "Who cares!?" It doesn't make me feel bad, honestly it doesn't. I barely care what I am making for dinner, I know that you people don't! So, I felt a little sick about writing all the things that I am thankful for, when they are really just silly little things that only I could care about. Additionally, I have grappled with the concept of the "humblebrag" which is just a way of bragging under the guise of gratitude. "So thankful for my precious son who can already write in complete sentences at age 2!" which really just means "So thankful my baby isn't as dumb as your baby! Clearly I am a sensational parent! Happy Thanksgiving, my kids are so smart." Or maybe it doesn't mean that. I don't even know what it means... but, I know that it sometimes makes people feel bad about having a child that cannot speak, let alone write, or not having a child at all. So, I struggle to report in on the things in my life that I am genuinely thankful for, because I know that nobody really cares about the superficial details of my life, and sadly, I am just shallow enough to be really thankful for some very self-serving conveniences. Plus, my kidney actually has been acting up.
But, alas... I have promised to share the things I am thankful for, and I shall do so below. Please know that when I brag, I will do so in an outright and disgusting manner, I have zero interest in the humbebrag. When I am a jerk, you'll know it. So, please trust that anything I write is not intended to be braggy or competitive, unless I am blatantly trash talking. Then, well... I am just a jerk sometimes, and it is usually meant for comedic value. Or because my vegan tofurky was actually golden browner than yours.
Day 17: Road trips. I love road trips. Road tripping has been a huge shaping factor in my life. They have given me (and my kids) a sense of adventure and have been the #1 healthiest outlet for my wanderlust.
Day 18: Invisible Children. This organization has done some amazing things and I was so blessed to be a part of their MOVE:DC event. If you don't know about KONY 2012, you should google it before it is 2013.
Day 19: Great nail polish. (See, I told you I am shallow!) I don't care what ANYONE says, unless I hear differently from Jesus Christ himself, I will continue to believe that God created nail polish for me personally to enjoy. I like to think that there is a special little corner of heaven especially for mani/pedis... chip-free, y'all.
Day 20: Lisps. If I could go back in time and record one thing, it would be Marlie at age 3 saying "cookieth, caketh, candieth."
Day 21: Bins. Without bins, I would look like I lived inside an episode of Hoarders. I have 1,060 bins in my basement that hold clothing for boys, girls, neutral, newborns, toddlers, etc. Sorting out sizes and seasons is a miserable and time-consuming job... only made tolerable because of my deep adoration for a solid bin.
Day 22: Consignment/thrift shops. Anything that I cannot buy with a Marshall's gift card comes from a thrift store. I love items that richer people have rejected.
Day 23: Squinting. I love to squint at things because you see things in a completely different way. I know that this sounds stupid, but trust me... I do this all the time and as stupid as it sounds, it LOOKS even stupider. Seriously though, you squint at your Christmas tree one time, and you will not be able to stop. It is really the only way to look at Christmas lights. (See? I know you just squinted, and then sang "A Whole New World" from the Aladdin soundtrack.)
Day 24: Ethnic food. Cooking with only American spices would be like being in taste prison.
Day 25: Songs that I know all the words to. As it turns out, there are only, like, five songs that I know by heart. I loooove knowing the words to songs, and I will make words up just so I can sing along.
Day 26: My kids' schools. I am one of those horrible Christians that actually sent my kids to public school. Honestly, I haven't regretted it. They have had awesome teachers, made great friends, and been exposed to some really important life experiences. Sure, there are some draw backs... but, so far, we have had a wonderful schooling experience with our kids. After parent/teacher conferences today, I am feeling particularly thankful for how caring and nurturing their teachers are.
Day 27: Makeovers. I am in the business of making gals look fabulous, and I really love it. I love making accessories, and I love showing people how to "pull it off." I love making people feel fabulous, and I love when I get to know someone well enough to say "burn those shoes immediately." If somebody approached me at any given moment and offered me a million dollars to use for making over ten people... I already know the ladies I would die to get my hands on, because I have fantasized about overseeing their makeovers for years. I am thankful for fresh starts, changes and the freedom to try something new.
Day 28: Conditioner.
Day 29: My marriage. Today, I have been married for nine years. I am thankful that we are still married, and that we still laugh together every day.
This is all a little anti-climactic I am certain. But there you have it, some things that I genuinely appreciate. As for my challenge to you... the month is coming to a close, so I would encourage you to stop the humblebrag, and to share only things that you are truly thankful for. Don't praise the Lord on facebook before you take the time to thank Him privately. And since God isn't on facebook anyways, I challenge you to stop posting your prayers there altogether. I challenge you to view life less competitively and don't be afraid to be honest about who you are, what you struggle with, and what you really love.
Even if it just just a lisp and some nail polish.