gratitude

It’s easy to become consumed by the things we don’t have. Perfect skin, a $1500 handbag, a series of 12 super-cute engagement photos on Instagram, another shade of red lipstick that will definitely make a girl holiday-photo ready.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of dishes you need to prepare for Thanksgiving in your tiny kitchen, the rooms that need cleaning, the effort that feels like it might never be enough.

We always want more, and it’s even harder when there are holiday sales on every corner, showing you what more you could have if you’d just wake up at 3 AM to get to the Target on time.

But that’s not what this day is about. Sure, I may have just bought a stack of Christmas dishes to feel like a more festive hostess. Yes, I treated myself to a sparkling red lipstick at Sephora last week. And I’ve been plotting out my outfit for weeks.

But today, all that really matters is the fact that my folks are in town. That I get to prepare a meal for them as they’ve done for me my entire life. That I’m welcoming them into a home that I share with the man I love, complete with two cats, one fluffy white dog, and 6 goats, including a newborn baby (goat) that they’ll finally get to meet.

Because that’s what this holiday is about. Time. Companionship. Love.

So if I were to play that game around the dinner table where one must state what they’re grateful for before they can dig in and eat, this is what I’d say. This is what I’m truly grateful for:

I’m grateful for my family, new and old. I’m grateful for the laughs we’ll share and the memories we’ll make this week. I’m grateful for their acceptance, their enthusiasm, and their little quirky oddities that make them who they are.

I’m grateful for my home. I’m grateful for the bohemian mix of styles and comfort that Webb and I have created. It’s not perfect, but it’s us. And we’re happy there, even if there is a leak in the bathroom roof.

I’m grateful for my pets. I’m grateful for that new baby goat and our ridiculously crazy cats who can’t decide if they’re wild beasts or domesticated felines. I’m even grateful for that big ole puppy dog that’s learned to shake and now thinks it’s compulsory behavior for every interaction, even when her giant paws are covered in mud.

I’m grateful for my health. Sometimes I can get worried about the smallest aches and pains, but luckily I’m alright. I may not be as skinny or as dewy-skinned as I would wish to be, but I can walk. I can even run (if I’m feeling extra motivated). I am capable and strong and my body really isn’t that bad. It’s gotten me through a lot.

I’m even grateful for past friends and relationships. It’s easy to see an ex-boyfriend moving on with a new girl and wonder why he never treated you that well. It’s easy to wish he was still lonely and unfulfilled. But you know what? I got all that. So why shouldn’t he? Who’s to say he didn’t learn and grow from his mistakes with me. I grew from it. My life is better. And he wasn’t so bad that his shouldn’t be, too.

I’m grateful for the shit I have. Even though I have too much, even though I’m always going to be tempted to buy more, even though I’m flooding our home with new Christmas decorations when I haven’t even gotten out the old ones yet. I enjoy my stuff. I need to get rid of some of it. But I enjoy having fun, chic accessories and I enjoy lighting up our living room with twinkle lights and pumpkins. Plus, I have the ability to have all this. And that’s something to be grateful for, too. Stability. Even if we can always do better, save more, etc. etc. we know we can afford food, shelter, and the little details that make a house a home and a person a personality.

This is just the core – the things I forget to think about sometimes, the things that deserve to be thought about all the time. So, whether this gets read by anyone or buried in a slew of #grateful #blessed posts bombarding your feed today, it feels good to say it. It feels good to write about it. Life is good today – and everyday. Things aren’t all that bad.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. I hope you eat all the carbs and pass out on the sofa with the ones you love. That’s my plan, at least.