Two years ago, I asked many people, both young and old, what they were thankful for in order to compile a list of 100 reasons to be thankful, even in hard times. While some time has passed since I put together that list, times are definitely still hard and the list is definitely still relevant. Looking it over, however, I decided that there were some things I would personally like to add to the list.
For many people, this has been the year of weather-related disasters. My own area of western Massachusetts has seen a tornado, microburst, hurricane, and an October snowstorm which caused an incredible amount of damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been here way more than we would like. After losing our power for a full week, this year I am definitely thankful for the basics – electricity, hot water, heat, and being able to do the laundry. I am also incredibly thankful for good neighbors and friends who made going through that experience much easier. I am also very thankful for all the electrical workers and tree-removal people who came from far and wide to help – after the tornado and after the snowstorm.
In technological developments, while I don’t personally own either one, smartphones and tablet computers are constantly evolving and changing our world. I’m thankful for them as well. I’m also thankful for more traditional means of getting information. I still love to read my newspaper every morning and my children enjoy the comics. I hope that they continuing publishing for a long time to come.
That being said, I now offer you the original list. I encourage you to add your own reasons to be thankful in the comments section. No matter how hard life gets, we all have much to be thankful for. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I am thankful for . . .
1. The health of my family.
2. Taking naps on the couch or in the backyard.
3. Driving the scenic route.
4. Community events open to the public.
5. My (flawed) relationships with God and my family, both immediate and extended. Flawed relationships are much better than none at all!
6. My wife and I have grown together and I am constantly grateful and impressed as she matures.
7. The Word of God.
8. Brief and productive meetings.
9. Quilts and blankets, to keep me warm.
10. My wonderful family and for my best friend, who has always been there with quiet support, encouragement, and words of wisdom, through thick and thin since the day we met.
11. The incredible diversity of people on this planet.
12. Co-workers who don't mind switching their days off to help you out.
14. Dirty dishes because it means we have eaten. Thank you for baby giggles; they keep me sane.
15. That God made me.
16. Teddy bears.
17. The feel of a child’s hand in mine.
18. Waking up when you need to even when the alarm doesn't go off.
20. The day being silent now that it's over for the little ones.
21. Movies and CDs being available at libraries.
22. The convenience of e-mail.
23. Wrinkle-free clothing.
24. Christmas lights.
25. Friends who care about me enough to tell me when I am being stupid.
26. Our Veterans.
27. Books, because I can experience the world, learn new things, laugh, cry and connect without ever leaving my couch.
28. My job, especially in this economy.
29. Religious leaders.
31. A cup of hot cocoa on a cold day.
32. Family and friends; love them all!
33. The smell of homemade desserts baking in the oven.
34. Listening to beautiful music.
35. Friends meeting over a cup of tea; a fire in the hearth; a friendly game of Scrabble.
36. My kids, who can always make me laugh.
37. Being friends with my parents.
38. Every member of my family, especially for my mom who is a constant source of support, encouragement and friendship.
39. Enjoyable conversation between friends.
41. My family, having a job, having health insurance, and being loved as much as I am.
42. My health, even if I complain about certain aches and pains!
43. My family, my fiancé and being able to go to college.
44. Having a roof over my head.
45. Finding a dollar in an old coat you haven't worn in years.
46. Enjoyable hobbies and pursuits in life.
47. The forgiveness of God.
48. Schools and colleges.
49. A dictionary & thesaurus, both within arm’s reach.
50. Repairing an object yourself and having it come out perfectly.
51. Hot showers after a hard day of work to ease away the stress of the day.
52. The express line at the grocery store.
53. The generosity of strangers.
54. “Chick Flicks” vs. “Action Movies” and explaining why yours is more enjoyable to the "other team".
55. Tossed aside treasures at tag sales or wherever they may be found.
57. Good role-models we can point to for children to aspire to emulate.
58. Indoor plumbing - imagine life without it.
59. Date nights.
60. Inspiring words that lift our souls in times of crisis.
61. Youth and amateur sports leagues to both watch and play in.
62. People who obey traffic regulations.
63. The trials and losses in my life for they have helped me become a stronger and better person!
64. Our favorite instructors and teachers.
65. People who enjoy reading what we write.
67. Hidden places that you can sneak away to.
68. Health care workers.
69. Internet Maps and GPS devices.
70. Lucky old coins and favorite treasures, both precious and humble.
71. The spring that will come after the winter.
72. All those who came before us great and small have a story to tell. That is what history is all about. So I am thankful to be able to know and learn their stories.
73. Old libraries and their treasures which lay hidden and wait to be re-discovered.
74. People with interesting personalities who make the world better or at the very least, more interesting.
75. Brothers and sisters.
76. Word processing software.
77. Sitting in an open field on a crystal clear night and enjoying the celestial display above.
78. Our furry four-legged friends who have chosen to live their lives with us.
79. Being able to sit at a computer and just watch music videos when we are supposed to be working.
80. Sunrises, sunsets, ocean waves, hidden forests, mossy rocks and mountain streams and all the other wonderments of nature.
81. Our Guardian Angels who stay with us even when we try to refuse their help.
82. A child’s laughter.
83. The wisdom of elders.
84. Works of art.
85. Those perfect parking places which sometimes we are lucky enough to get.
86. The creative minds of others and what they share with us all.
87. Photos, for capturing a moment in time.
88. Relaxing periods of quiet during a busy day.
89. To live in a free country.
90. Bookmarks! No need to fold pages!
92. Social Networking sites. I've always wanted to know what people I haven't seen since grade school are up to.
93. Sweaters, hats, scarves and gloves.
94. Search engine searches that actually turn up useful results.
95. Good listeners.
97. Hand-written letters.
98. Bread, the universal side to any meal.
99. Buy one, get two free sales.
100. People who commit their lives to protecting and preserving our cities, states and country.