1. My husband, who is a great traveling companion and seems to be up for just about anything.
2. My vacation time. Also, my paid holidays.
3. My salary, which is enough to fund the fun life that I need to have.
4. Health insurance. I love feeling confident when I travel to a strange town that I will be able to get treatment if something comes up.
5. Hippies. They never hesitate to dance their pants off.
6. Air conditioning.
7. My mom and dad.
8. Swimming. I got in the pool at 74 degrees on Monday, and it was delightful.
9. The Weight Watchers program. When I work it, it works.
10. My weird little apartment. It’s so me. I love having a place to call home – a place that I want to get back to after a weekend away.
1. Del McCoury
2. Bela Fleck
3. Railroad Earth
4. Greensky Bluegrass
5. Keller Williams
6. Steve Martin
7. The Infamous Stringdusters
8. Ronnie McCoury (OK, and the rest of the band, too! I just have a soft spot for Ronnie.)
9. Della Mae
10. Danny Paisley
1. Chicken and biscuits.
2. Shawn Colvin’s “Live” album.
3. Discovering random connections – it’s a small world, after all.
4. Getting along with my husband throughout the preparations for a camping trip this weekend.
5. Realizing that I should be grateful that I understand how the data validation feature in Excel works. Not everyone knows what it is, and I know things in Excel that not everyone knows. I helped a panicked coworker today who thought she had a ruined spreadsheet on her hands.
6. Realizing that I should be grateful that I understand how voting buttons and reminders features in Outlook work. Not everyone knows how to use those things. I helped a coworker complete a request today that she had no idea how to complete.
7. Trash bags with febreze added. It’s the little things.
8. The smell of freshly scooped coffee, ready to brew.
9. My blue V-neck t-shirt. I feel ridiculously happy and confident when I wear it.
10. I am going camping this weekend. With my husband. In a tent. At a bluegrass festival.
Which reminds me, I will have to pause my 30 days, unless I have the presence of mind to write my lists on paper while I am camping. I will try – but if I can’t, I will be back next week. Have a nice weekend!
1. The gorgeous green and gray first half of the day.
2. Conducting an audit at work and not feeling the dreadful anticipation anymore.
3. Being audited for TWO HOURS at work and realizing that I know my job.
4. My friend Jax, who is letting me borrow a lantern for this weekend’s camping trip. More on her later!
5. My friend Jax’s mom, who looks good and apparently likes my sewing projects.
6. The neighbors, for constantly bringing over our amazon.com purchases when they are mis-delivered.
7. My washer and dryer. I love being able to do laundry in my house.
8. Google Docs. For some reason, it’s my new favorite place to capture my random thoughts and lists.
9. My new messenger bag (that I made!) It’s the perfect size and has just the right amount of pockets.
10. Music. Music. Music.
1. My husband gets my morning coffee ready for me the night before and sets the timer so that the coffee is done brewing by the time I get out of the shower. I appreciate that, hard.
2. I drive an hour to work through beautiful hills and farms and freakishly green, spring-fluffy trees.
3. Satellite radio. Having Paul Simon come on the radio unexpectedly during the aforementioned commute is wonderful.
4. I appreciate that I can decorate my workspace pretty much how I want to decorate it. I have a fake plant and some artwork in there now.
5. I appreciate my friend Shelly at work, who has a great sense of humor and a great hard laugh.
6. I appreciate the simple tasks that some work days have. Making copies. Updating logs. Sending e-mail.
7. I appreciate the members of my wellness challenge team at work, who always enter their numbers on time.
8. I appreciate our plant admin. She has awesome shoes, just enough sass, and a big heart.
9. I appreciate Bia, who taught me to sew. She is probably the most easy-going and encouraging teacher I have ever had. She also writes awesome, easy-to-follow patterns.
10. I appreciate Sew You Can, Bia’s studio space where I lugged my sewing machine for my very first lessons. I just completed my last class there tonight (the studio is closing), and I will really, really miss sewing there. I feel lucky that I got the chance to sew with a great group of people while it was still open.
1. & 2. I can take advil when I hurt, and then a little while later, I don’t hurt anymore. So that’s 2 – I appreciate modern meds and my health. I am free of pain that requires more than the occasional advil.
3. Sunglasses – there are so many styles and tints available for decent prices.
4. Peanut butter smoothies.
5. My husband, who supports all of my schemes and dreams with minimal head-scratching and maximum reassurance.
6. My friend Katie, who believes in me relentlessly. Even in the midst of her own crises and conundrums, she has support to offer.
7. My friend Renee at work, who just GETS it.
8. Which reminds me of my friend Renee from middle school, who is a good writer, funny, kind, and loyal… and at this point, practically family.
9. Which reminds me of my friend Renee from Nashville/Jersey, who regularly posts links to My Utmost for His Highest on her facebook page. And, well. That Oswald Chambers has a way with words.
10. Cloud cover plus cool breezes. Amen.
1. My friend Stephanie, who likes to visit me here in Not The City, NY. She reminds me that I have something special here that you can’t get everywhere.
2. My brother-in-law, Jack, who just graduated from college. I can’t believe that, four years ago, I sat in a gym at Cornell and watched him graduate from high school.
3. My mother-in-law, Nancy, who hooted and hollered as we saw Jack during the processional and recessional.
4. Steve Karmen. I never knew before Sunday that he wrote the “I Love NY” tourism song and loads of other jingles. He was getting his honorary doctorate from Binghamton when Jack graduated, and he gave one of the best speeches I have ever heard, graduation or otherwise. I cried multiple times, as did the woman in front of me. He received a standing ovation.
5. The takeaway from Steve Karmen’s speech, that will haunt me forever: it is imperative that I follow my passions.
6. Can I be thankful for the topography here again? because it blew me away as I was driving to Binghamton and back.
7. The wonderful feeling of “regulating” after eating when I am so hungry that I am cranky and weak.
8. Air conditioning.
9. My car, which is so reliable, so pack-able, so comfortable, and so fun to drive.
10. My husband. I love watching him do chores – folding my laundry, packing his lunch for the following day. And I love that he will stand in the kitchen and talk to me while I do mine – and express his awe at my ability to whip up chicken salad. So cute.
1. Sleeping in.
2. Hot showers.
3. Cracker Barrel. Biscuits.
4. Corning Museum of Glass, and the artists throughout time who have worked with glass.
5. My life path. I am thankful that although I always seem to take an unconventional route, I once got out of unsatisfying work and went back to college to complete my degree.
6. Blue sky. Cool breeze.
8. Feet that can walk for hours, hold me up while I talk to friends, and carry me to explore around the city that I love.
9. My husband, who will let me seriously talk to him about starting my own business and leaving my job.
10. My life path – again. I am appreciative for the insight I have earned through weird choices I have made in the past that have helped me define what I am willing to take and what I will not bear.
1. Coffee and Almond Joy Creamer.
2. Hands that can type, make art, make food, get pruny from dishwater, hold open doors, and clap.
3. My husband. His eyes. His hands. His hugs.
4. My friend Stephanie, who has a great mind and spirit, and always gets me talking about the things that really matter.
5. The topography of the region in which I live. It is freakishly, amazingly beautiful here.
6. The warmth of the sun on a May afternoon.
7. The band Underwater Tiger. They write great songs. They play with their guts. They make music matter.
8. My little brother, who flipped me off on the patio of Buffalo Wild Wings and giggled about my return flip.
9. The peace and quiet of small town life.
10. My friend Big Antonio, who stopped his truck in the street to say hello. Seeing his smile brought back so many good memories and made me feel massively thankful for his existence on this planet.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the way that I wish my life would twist or turn. I analyze my shortcomings and try to motivate myself with shiny goals and rewards.
Some friends of mine are starting a 30 Days of Appreciation Challenge that involves posting ten things that I appreciate – every day, for 30 days.
For me, this might be hard. I spend so much time wrangling myself toward the future that I don’t necessarily take the proper time to pause and appreciate the present and the things that have led me to this point.
Ten things per day, every day for 30 days.