Frank Thanks: 30 Days of Gratitude in One Blog Post

Bonjour, readers. I’ve been insanely busy lately, and I’ve been trying to find some time to post this.

There’s a meme going around Facebook this month where, every day, you list something for which you’re thankful in honor of Thanksgiving here in the US. Admittedly, I’ve been feeling kind of down lately, and I just know that thinking about all the good things I have and for which I am grateful will be very good for me. Numbers correspond to dates (so #1 is Nov. 1). Some days are represented by very specific things, while others are broad. Ready, pilgrim?

(Sorry, I was just imitating John Wayne.)

30 Days of Gratitude

I am thankful for…

1. My friend Amy, whose birthday is November 1st. We’ve been friends since 3rd grade. Every Saturday night I go over to her house to watch TV shows or movies, but mostly just to hang out with her and be entertained by her children. When I feel like I’m going stir-crazy, I know I could always call her up. Also, her taste in music is awesome and she’s a really good photographer.

2. My B’s in Virginia. Though I’ve now been gone from Virginia for longer than I actually lived there, I’ve remained close with my group of friends. I love going to visit them because I spend that time laughing my ass off, which is always a good feeling.

3. My grandfather. He’s a lucky, lucky guy who has led a very interesting life. He’s also incredibly kind-hearted and willing to help people when they’re in need. On this day, he helped me tremendously.

4. Food, clothing, and a place to live. I complain a lot about being unemployed/underemployed, but I know that it’s a sentiment shared by many. I also know that I’m very fortunate to be able to live with my parents, regardless of how frustrating that might be sometimes. They give me a roof over my head and food to eat, and if I’m ever really in trouble, they help me out if they can. Lots of people don’t have that option, and I’m grateful that I do.

5. My brother, sister, and brother-in-law. Like many siblings, we have our share of fights and times when we don’t want to be anywhere near each other. However… we are still close and I’m thankful that I have a relationship with them.

6. My extended family. I grew up very close to some of my cousins. In particular, my dad’s sister and her family. On this day, I enjoyed a humorous and impromptu joint birthday dinner (my one cousin’s birthday is the day before mine). We babysat our baby cousin, made a mess in the kitchen, and then had cake. It was supposed to be a 20 minute thing and it turned into 4 hours of hanging out, but it’s good. I always enjoy spending time with my extended family too (well, the ones I’m close to).

7. My job and the guy who gave it to me. I’ve become a workaholic since I started with this “part time” job (which I do completely online because I’m the managing editor of a rather large news blog). But I love the work. I don’t relax enough, but I’m learning so much about content creation and this whole world that I can go to with writing. And I get to write too. Best of all, and a bit of bonus gratitude, I can pay my bills.

8. All of my teachers. I can’t forget my old job, though, and I’m still passionate about education. I’m grateful to all of my teachers who showed me patience and kindness, and who provided me with a wealth of knowledge. I hope I have made them proud. I’m also grateful for the fact that I have kept in touch with several of them (Hi Paul, Jim, Lynn).

9. My brain. I’m grateful that I’m smart and capable of doing many things.

10. My parents, who welcomed me into the world on November 10, 1982. They have done and continue to do so much for me and I will probably never be able to repay them for it.

11. New friends. This year I got to celebrate my birthday with some old and new friends, and I’m grateful for all of them. Special shout-out to my friends/chiropractors, Dr. TJ (whom I will forever think of in my head as “Miniteej”) and Dr. Laura. They’ve helped me out a lot lately. Awesome chiros and awesome friends.

12. Friends named Jason. One friend named Jason (aka the aforementioned Dr. TJ) is fixing my back for me. As a result, I don’t have nearly as many of the headaches that used to plague me almost daily. My friend Jason from college can always be counted upon to be straight with me, but we’ve had some good talks lately. And finally there is my childhood friend Jason, whom I have known for years. No matter what, he’s always encouraging and positive throughout my efforts to find a job and join him in Philadelphia.

13. My health. Though I’ve not had insurance in almost 3 years, I’ve remained pretty healthy for the most part. For that, I’m very grateful.

14. The ability to write. There are some people who can’t. At all. Reading their work has made me realize that I’m actually a pretty good writer.

15. Music. It fuels me.

16. Good books. I love reading in general, but lately I have been especially grateful for the escapist nature of literature.

17. My church. While I attend services every week and have participated a bit outside of that, I have been considering how I could give my talents back. You think churches need writers? Anyway, I’m grateful that I have something that, even if just for an hour each week, brings me peace.

18. My dogs. I spend a lot of time talking to them. They amuse me with their mannerisms and make me laugh out loud at least once or twice a day.

19. My education. Not everyone has the ability to further their education. I was lucky enough to attend my first-choice undergraduate school, Susquehanna. I may have mentioned once or twice how much I love and miss it. I was also lucky enough to attend my first choice grad school, George Mason.

20. Beverly. My first new car (c. 2006). She’s a Honda and I’m grateful to have a reliable mode of transportation (excepting those few times in the summer of 2007 when she wasn’t feeling the love). A loyal Honda fan, I learned to drive on a Honda, I drove Hondas the whole time I was growing up, and now I have my own. I’m thankful that I do and that I have the freedom to come and go as I please.

21. Cori. You get to know someone pretty well while sharing a tiny room with them for two years. Pants can always be counted on to 1. not take my shit; 2. be honest with me; 3. accompany me in my ridiculous shenanigans and be a good sport about it; 4. make things educational. Oh, and 5. really twist my arm into obtaining mozzarella sticks. She and I have been friends for almost 13 years now, and I’m glad for it.

22. Chris. He’s always been very good at giving me a sense of perspective and good advice. Also, he made college a bajillion times more fun. He shares my fondness for weird and amusing things (like naming your fish after light pop stars) and… tons of other stuff. I’m really glad that we have stayed close over the years because I don’t know what I’d do without him. Who would I send all of those random texts to?

23. Funny things.

24. Milk. That probably sounds weird to you, but I drink milk (skim or 1% only) like it’s going out of style, and can easily consume a gallon in about 5 days. On a related note, I’m never getting Osteoporosis.

25. Longtime friends. I already mentioned Amy, whom I met in 1991. There’s also Kim whom I became friends with in 1986, Stephanie (1985), and Laura (1993). I still talk to all of them regularly.

26. My trip to Ireland. I’ve never been through most of the US, but I went to Ireland in July 2001. Even though it was 10 years ago, I think about it often and am grateful that I had that opportunity.

27. Butch Walker. Not sure any other musician has had quite the impact on my life that Mr. Walker has.

28. Thirst for knowledge. Sounds corny, but there are times when I’m not sure I’d get out of bed in the morning if it weren’t for the fact that the day at least offered the possibility of learning something new.

29. Social media. It drives me crazy and I hate it sometimes, but I also love it. It allows me to network, meet new people, and stay connected to old friends. For example, without it, I might never have been reunited with my best friend from jr. high, Carrie, who moved after 8th grade. And I’m so glad that I was.

30. Blogging here at Frank. Unlike other kinds of writing I do, this gives me a chance to organize my thoughts, explore different interests, and share those experiences and ideas with others. While you may not find each post terribly interesting, they are all pieces of me (in the most un-Ashlee Simpson way).

Happy Thanksgiving; may your Tryptophan comas be merry!

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