Friday, December 25, 2009

25 Days

So I've decided to do "monthly experiments". The focus being something I attempt to concentrate on for that particular month to make life more enjoyable and to better myself. I am a firm believer that life is the journey, that there is not some happiness to arrive at, but rather the experiences shape us and we are continually growing and learning. I could write a laundry list of ways in which I would like to improve myself as a human being, so hopefully I'll tackle those slowly but surely.

This month I made myself write down one thing I was thankful for before I went to bed. Rather simple considering it's the season and I graduated this month. But having all of these things contained in a few journal pages reminds me that I have incredible people in my life and, even on the days where I'm feeling down, I have been blessed with much.

In the future, I'll go the whole month and report back, but I thought this would make for an appropriate Christmas blog.

12/1 - One of my girlfriends sat on her couch with me, offered me a glass of wine and helped me to think through some personal stuff in my life. I am thankful for genuine friendship and the ability to be open and honest.

12/2- My Mom and I were in Ann Arbor looking for Arbor Brewing Co. before a show and we were totally lost. Hunched under an umbrella too small for two with water beginning to seep into our shoes, this older woman appeared out of nowhere. When she didn't have directions herself, she followed us and went into a shop to ask for us. She sent us on our way, then disappeared. I am thankful for kind strangers.

12/3- A girlfriend
texted me to let me know she got us tickets to the Nutcracker as a graduation present. I am thankful for friends who love me.

12/4- The battery in my phone has been losing power for quite awhile now. I was gifted with a nearly new phone by a friend who was upgrading hers. I am thankful for generosity.

12/5- My son and I experienced
this disaster and my friend laughed, loved us and told me what a good mom I am. I am thankful for needed words hitting my ears.

12/6- My Mom watched Aidan during the evening while I utilized her computer to write two papers for school. I am endlessly grateful for a mama who is so good to her grandson.

Aidan's dad and I talked about Christmas and he told me I could have whatever schedule I wanted. I am thankful for a drama-free divorce.

12/8- My boss gave me dark chocolate during a long work day. I am thankful to be employed, to be busy and, always, for dark chocolate :)

12/9- One of my closest friends sent me the most lovely email. I am thankful for
soulmate friends, the kind who get you and love you unconditionally.

12/10- Today is so easy. I was unexpectedly gifted with a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings that I would never be able to afford as a graduation gift. It made me cry. I am thankful that there are people in my life who recognize that this mama isn't often (or ever) gifted with fine jewelry and wanted to make my day.

12/11- I had sushi with a good friend who openly told me what some of my positive character traits are. I am thankful for people who do not hold back, who say what is on their mind and who let the people in their life know how special they are.

12/12- My lovely little sister drove to be at my graduation and my Mom threw me a surprise party. I am thankful for my family. My wonderful, crazy, loud, honest family.

12/13- Five friends of mine threw me a graduation dinner. I am thankful for people who love good food, wine and
conversation as much as I do.

12/14- I went out with friends and watched Monday Night Football. I am thankful that my son sees his dad every week and that I can relax with a beer and my friends.

12/15- Tonight was officially the last class of my undergrad. I am thankful to the parents, professors, bosses and friends who helped me finish.

12/16- I visited a girlfriend of mine who just had a baby. Every time I hold a precious new life, I am amazed at the miracle. It made me really thankful for the health of my son and for my own health.

12/17- I started to read a book tonight. For pleasure! In English! With a homemade candle lit and a cup of tea in hand, I am thankful for my awesome, cozy home. It is all mine and I feel very blessed that I have been given the abilities to earn what I have.

12/18- I like to dance. I really do. Completely sober in my living room or a couple cocktails deep out with friends, I enjoy it. I'm not really a good dancer. I'm just someone who looks like she's having a good time when she's doing it! I danced tonight. I am thankful for music and dancing.

12/19- I went for a run this morning and it was a snowy, winter wonderland scene. I am grateful for my ability to put one foot in front of the other and for every moment where I feel truly alive.

12/20- Aidan behaved so well when I took him to an indoor garden/sculpture park with tons of different Christmas trees decorated for various countries. I am thankful that God entrusted me with the little boy who is perfect for me.

12/21- Bedtime was before 8. BEFORE 8. I am thankful that I have every evening with my boy and can give him a better schedule now.

12/22- Aidan brought home a little brown paper bag from school with a gift that he made for me in class. He is obviously very proud of it. I am thankful for a school that gives children something to put under the tree for their parent.

12/23- I walked into an establishment as one of many last-minute shoppers. Having already checked at multiple other places with no success, I told the clerk who I was shopping for and what they're in to. Help. I am thankful for patient people who work in retail.

12/24- I went to the Christmas Eve service at church alone. And I was running a little late. I am thankful for the usher who helped me find an empty seat and for the kind people surrounding me.

12/25- After Aidan opened his gifts I was able to set up the
Wii by myself, help Aidan build a lego house and I taught him to drive a remote control car. I am thankful that, even when I doubt my own abilities to do something right on my own, I always seem to pull through. And I'm thankful that I had people I could call had I not been able to.

From my family to yours...Merry, merry Christmas.

What are you thankful for?


  1. You are truly a gift to your son, yourself, me, and the rest of the world! I am grateful to know someone that has the wisdom to be grateful for and notice all that life is. You are beautiful!

  2. This is a beautiful post. You've inspired me....

  3. I am grateful for having a big sister with so much wisdom i can look up to and learn from :)

  4. This made me smile the whole way through. Especially the part about soulmate friends. I am grateful for the ability to read blogs of those who remind me to be grateful, even when I don't really even know them. Thank you for that.

  5. Penelope - This may just be my favorite blog post of 2009. I love your thankful spirit. Gratitude is one of my strongest values. I think that you and I are very like-minded. I am grateful to have found you and your beautiful blog.

    From what I've read, you are a wonderful mother, and Aiden is very fortunate!

    What particulary stood out to me in your list above are two items that I can really relate to: 1. on 12/7 you were thankful for a drama free divorce. This is something that only a lucky few of us can boast! 2. on 12/17 you were thankful for your cozy home that is all yours. I am thankful for my cozy beautiful home every evening as I look around and recognize that I am living in a home that I pay for, I decorated and I can offer to my son. My home is a tranquil sanctuary when Braden is with his dad and lively family playground when my son is home! :)

  6. Another thing I wanted to mention is that I love your idea of the monthly experiments. I am working with my ex on a coparenting project and as part of it, we are applying a similar methodology. We will have monthly parenting topics that we use to guide our son's personal development. Essentially, for the monthly topic, we will have a goal as parents and we will set a goal for Braden. Braden will hopefully gain from the experience the skills to set, work toward and acheive goals as well as learn whatever the monthly topic is. I'm really excited about this and I'll blog about it as we go through it.

  7. I'm so glad MLI linked to your post. It's so lovely. Those who know and love you must also be very proud of you. And, your little boy is adorable. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  8. Thank you all, so much, for your kind words! I'm really glad the post touched you in some way. Happy New Year!!