My cousin Allegra and I both have June birthdays - when we were kids we'd send each other "birthday buddy" emails around the same time every year. This year for her 28th birthday, Allegra blogged a list of 28 things she's thankful for. I love the idea, and although my birthday was this past Tuesday, I'm hopping on the boat - a little late.
25 Things I'm Thankful For (for my 25th birthday):
1. Nathan, my husband and best friend (who got me a KitchenAid immersion blender and a set of pizza pans for my birthday!)
2. Our family members, all of whom we wish we could see more often.
3. Our wonderful friends
4. Our cozy, low-rent, stand-alone apartment. With no neighbors to worry about, Nathan can play the Steinways as loud as he likes, and I can play my violin - and teach from my home - any time of day.
5. Crossword puzzles for those quiet moments when I'm not busy
6. My four grandparents, who always have a hug ready and a fascinating story to tell. I've been blessed to know them.
7. Warm weather - I always feel better in the summer!
8. Reusable grocery bags - bigger, stronger, and more eco-friendly than plastic or paper!
9. My gym membership - a one-time $50 payment has covered the past year, and will continue to guarantee me a workout facility for as long as Nathan is employed as an accompanist/coach at the college.
10. Kitchen gadgets, and my enthusiastic husband who buys them for me when he sees something "too cool to live without."
11. Summer cookouts
12. My iPod, which makes both workouts and long trips more enjoyable.
13. Apricots and raspberries... mmm.
14. Summer sales, like the four- and five- dollar shirts that cured my previous lack of short-sleeved clothing.
15. My sewing machine
16. Our toaster oven, which saves the day when you combine a husband who won't eat fresh fruits or veggies with that same husband's (quite reasonable) tendency to not want the oven used during the hot summer months.
18. Living in a town where I can walk to all sorts of places both interesting and useful.
19. The big barrel of dirt that was given to me to use for planting out in the alley beside our apartment. (Not so thankful for the guy who agreed to water my egg cartons full of seedlings in my absence last week, and killed them all!)
20. Blogs that keep me in touch with family and friends far away.
21. Air conditioning!
22. The beach I can walk to in just five minutes.
23. The faith I have, and the knowledge of a life beyond this one where I'll see people again someday...
24. Music, and the friends it makes for us, the powerful memories it holds, and the joy it brings.
25. Jobs and opportunities. Recently at a gig a woman asked me what I did to "pay the bills." It's no guarantee for a musician to be able to say that she pays the bills solely with the fruits of her musical endeavors, but that is exactly what I do. Another woman at that gig interjected in response, "Sarah plays every gig on the North Shore!" It gave me pause to remember yet again how fortunate I've been since graduating. I have lots of private students. I conduct a wonderful children's orchestra through a larger organization that has provided me with learning opportunities as well as teaching opportunities. I get calls to play for orchestras, shows, weddings, and other ceremonies. The terrified graduate of two years ago with a "useless" degree is playing the violin and teaching for a living - just as she always hoped to.