100 Unlikely Things To Be Thankful For

I’ve always thought that thankfulness is expressed in words, while gratitude requires action…deeds…we’ve got to do something or it’s not true gratitude. My deed is to drag out this image of my son Eli and our neighbor’s turkey Gobbles. Rest assured no turkey was harmed in the taking of this photo, but the deranged look in little Eli’s eyes is what draws me in, knowing that his gentle soul would never harm a living thing, makes me laugh. I share it with you because it means a lot to me and so do you…all of YOU who sacrifice 90 seconds of your day to read my blog. I’m grateful. Thank you!

To get the holiday week in gear, I came up with a list of things that I have no business taking for granted. Most of them are not typical items on a “thankful for” list, so I hope that a quick read will generate your own thoughts, and I hope you’ll take a few seconds to share with us what you are thankful for.

  1. Tweezers
  2. Public libraries
  3. TED Talks
  4. Friends who have more than you do, and are willing to share
  5. Mentors to you and to those you love
  6. Teachers and all smart people
  7. Anything or anyone that makes you laugh
  8. Antibiotics
  9. Duct Tape
  10. Science and its discoveries
  11. Children’s picture books
  12. Flush toilets
  13. Exercise
  14. Heat
  15. Grocery stores
  16. Toilet paper
  17. An accessible God
  18. Aviation
  19. Opportunities
  20. Clean sheets
  21. Windex (trust me, we’ll get to this later)
  22. Memories
  23. Mother Eve’s courage
  24. Toothbrushes
  25. Fly swatters
  26. Refrigeration
  27. Someone who listens to you, really listens to you
  28. Forgiveness
  29. Our ability to change
  30. Movement, all kinds of movement
  31. Books
  32. Ancestors
  33. Bubbles (Don’t ya just love bubbles?)
  34. Fresh fruit
  35. Zoos
  36. Auto mechanics
  37. Karma
  38. Silence
  39. Mountain trails
  40. Good, brave cops
  41. Differences
  42. Music
  43. Balls, the kind that bounce
  44. Snow capped mountains
  45. All forms of freedom and the soldiers who fight for ours
  46. Self-discipline
  47. Phones
  48. Miracles
  49. Clean warm showers and baths
  50. Technology
  51. Flowers
  52. Farmers
  53. Sleep
  54. Intuition
  55. Order
  56. Dance
  57. Photographs
  58. Transportation
  59. Chairs
  60. Pillows
  61. Dishwashers
  62. Schools
  63. The movies
  64. Toys and games
  65. Light and darkness
  66. Animals
  67. Sun, moon and stars
  68. Faith
  69. Internet
  70. Baby diapers and wet wipes
  71. Travel
  72. Your brain
  73. Your body
  74. Mother Earth
  75. Your health
  76. Medicine
  77. Stories
  78. Storms and rainbows
  79. Second Chances
  80. Sunrises and sunsets
  81. Beaches
  82. Human touch
  83. Doctors
  84. Waterfalls
  85. Clean blank sheets of paper
  86. Paint
  87. Carpet
  88. Mirrors
  89. Safe drinking water
  90. Children, everything about them
  91. Healing
  92. Unpolluted air
  93. Honesty in people
  94. Colors
  95. Progress
  96. Museums
  97. Abundance
  98. Children’s playgrounds
  99. Love in its endless forms
  100. This very moment

This Might Just Make You Happier Than You’ve Been In A Long Time

This is my precious G-baby, Adelaide. We like to swing together, so this week while I’m pumping my way to the sky she says to me, “Did you feel that? Something just sprayed me.”

We’re in a forest in Florida so it could be anything, but I go with, “It’s probably just tree sap.”

“Or bird sweat. It could be bird sweat!” Her shout startles a flock of fowl skyward.

“Or bird sweat,” I concede.

We swing side by side for a few more pumps when a warm, wet glob plops down on my forehead. While I’m wiping it away lil’ Miss A turns to me and makes a face. “I know what it is, G-Mom.”

I don’t even dare to ask.

“It’s squirrel pee. It’s raining squirrel pee!”

Mercy me! Squirrel pee.

I start to giggle. Then I laugh. And then I’m happier than I’ve been in a very long time.

Know why? Because I’m feeding my brain all the good stuff. Look up a hormone called prolactin. It’s usually associated with female milk production, but since my lactating days have long since dried up, this is the cranial magic that breaks down barriers between individuals and allows us to bond. Mother/baby, G-Mom/G-baby, Stranger/Friend, etc.

We humans are not meant to live life solo. We’re meant to bond by dancing and singing and thriving in tribes. Survival depends on it.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, my heart is with my “tribe.” It’s also with those who are without a tribe. I’ve been there. I was raised in foster care. Some homes made me feel welcome and safe. Others made sure I felt isolated and inferior.

No child should ever feel those feelings or be that vulnerable to predators.

So here’s what I hope we’ll do this week. I hope we’ll seek for ways to include others. It’s not hard to find lonely people. They’re on the streets, in nursing homes, and in our own homes. Next I hope we’ll find a way to better bond with each other. To pardon old trespasses once and for all. I hope that we’ll invest in experiences rather than things. Make memories. Shop. Cook. Create. Laugh. Reminisce. TOGETHER!

Nourish our bodies with healthy food and our brains with healthy neurotransmitters that come from bonding, laughing, being grateful—from tossing stress out with that nasty, soggy little giblets package you find when you violate a turkey’s cavity by sticking your hand where it doesn’t belong.

Here’s the deal. You are meant to be happy. You deserve to be happy. Happiness thrives when it is shared. So I pray that you’ll find yourself showered this holiday week with unexpected delights. Maybe not squirrel pee, but then again…it worked wonders for me.