November has been a strange month. The first part of the month was amazing; the second part has made me want to pack my bags and move to an undisclosed cave. Rarely do I vacillate between such extremes. For the last week, I could tell you about all the negatives: my father is ill, certain co-workers are managing to get under my skin, and the inability of some of my students to read, write, or think in the most basic fashion makes me want to bang my head into a wall. I'm not in England, and that's where I'd prefer to be, but I still have things to do here before I can really think about going there to stay. And don't get me started on the state of the world: between Da'esh, terrorist threats, Donald Trump, and general American xenophobia, it's really hard to find things to be thankful for today, which is Thanksgiving Day. If we realize the roots of Thanksgiving Day, that's not such great shakes either for the Native Americans. Really, it's a depressing lot.
So, I woke up this morning and decided that I needed to make an effort to think about things I am thankful for. Here is the list:
1. I can own a house and pay my own way as a single woman in this miserable economy; my graduate education has been worth something economically.
2. I have a job that allows me ample vacation time, and I make enough to have the freedom to travel.
3. As of the second week of December, I will be ABD (All But Dissertation), and I have a straight A average.
4. I am on track to survive the last of 3 grueling semesters finishing up coursework, teaching about 70 students a semester, and working in an administrative job with a lot more responsibility than my previous job (but also more money).
5. I am already 1/4 of the way through my doctoral dissertation, and on track to finish that by Spring or early Summer.
6. My sane family members make a positive difference in my life, and I have really great nieces (including nieces-in-law) and nephews.
7. I still have both of my parents and they are still married.
8. I have fantastic friends. I looked at my Facebook page, and it lists 503 friends. I realize that I personally know or have at least met more than 2/3 of those.
Of those friends, some I have known for a very long time--between 30 and 40 years. Others I have worked with, met at conferences, met while traveling, met in school,are former students, know from the world of academia, know from the world of library science, know from various organizations I have belonged to (mostly of a spiritual nature), and know from my excursions to see certain bands like the Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen, and John Foxx. I wouldn't trade any of them for anything.
9. I have some annoying health issues, but all of them are surmountable.
10. I have finished an entire novel and it is likely it will be published in the next year.
11. I have basically been able to do what I want with my life--I have not fallen into the trap of "you can't do that, it doesn't make money" or "There aren't enough jobs, so don't bother."
12. Mr. Shiva, and pretty much every cat I've ever met. Dogs too.
13. I have excellent neighbors.
14. I have a reliable car.
15. I have coffee.
Note: these are in no particular order.
I think that's a pretty good list; I may even think of other things.
I hope you have some things to be thankful for today. I'm not particularly sentimental, but it's worth reflecting once in awhile.