I’m thankful for dogs in sweaters.
I’m thankful for quiet mornings on the couch, under a pile of quilts, Cooper asleep on my feet, writing away before my family wakes up.
I’m thankful for holiday decorations and, more importantly, holiday food.
I’m thankful for winter and for cold nights by the fire watching Disney movies or playing Candyland.
I’m thankful for the fresh start of a new year, and I’m thankful this decade is over.
That sounds negative, I know, but it’s true. I love a good year-in-review as much as the next person, but everyone’s talking about the decade in review and whew. It’s a lot.
I’m thankful for the lessons over the last 10 years, and there have been many. I’m thankful that I lost the job I started the decade with. I entered 2009 with a desk job, marketing work that felt dull but safe. In fact, I started this very space, this blog, in the summer of 2009 as an attempt to combat the stifling lack of creativity in my day job. Laid off in 2010, I dove into freelancing, and I’m thankful for that lay off because otherwise I might have languished even longer in that job.
I’m thankful I built up a business before my December 2011 cancer diagnosis because I was able to dip in and out of work as needed throughout 2012 and into 2013, as I underwent chemo. And I sure am thankful I got through that.
I’m thankful for the amazing friends we made living in Louisiana in 2013 and 2014–it made those two years so meaningful. And for the amazing food we ate while there. And for Newtie, who joined our family unexpectedly and with such force that it feels like there was never a time we didn’t have her.
I’m thankful we were able to save two other animals along the way. (Anyone remember Molly and Petey?!)
The second half of the 2010s blew by: First, two more moves. Then, we were managing Lucas’ cancer care alongside Emmett’s. Then Lucas died, and my heart shattered. Then we adopted Violet, and my heart shattered again but in a totally different way. Then Emmett died and the ground shifted beneath me.
I’m thankful for my big boys and for the many lessons learned from them over the years. To say they changed my life is an understatement. They changed the entire course of my family’s life, and they touched a lot of other lives along the way. (People keep asking me when I’ll put all this into a book… 2020 is the year… stay tuned…)
I’m thankful we found Ripley. We needed a trio again. And Cooper loves being a Cat Guy. It suits him, and for that I’m deeply thankful.
I’m thankful I had the time, space, and co-author to put Pet Blogging out into the world, and I’m forever thankful to everyone who’s purchased a copy! (Get yours in time for the holidays! 🙂 ) And I’m so very thankful it was basically finished and out there before I lost almost 10 weeks this summer to a perforated appendix and hospital stay!
I’m thankful for Astrid and for Astrid’s birth parents and for Violet being the best big sister in the whole entire world (her words–ha!). I’m thankful for life these days, especially our mornings in bed with a pile of books for Violet, milks for both girls, and coffees for me and John:
I’m thankful that I’ve built a workspace for myself that allows for all the time and all the flexibility to wrap my mind around parenting a toddler and a newborn.
These past 10 years were full. There were a million other moments, good and bad, huge and tiny, sprinkled throughout, but when it comes right down to it… the details, the specifics, they don’t matter. Not really. The lessons matter. The spirit and the heart, those matter. The connections matter.
My 2009 self was on the right path, that I’m sure of, but she couldn’t have imagined or planned for how this past decade actually unfolded.
I’m thankful for the time and space to grapple with those lessons.
I’m thankful for John taking the 2 a.m. feeding so I can still wake up at 5 to write.
I’m thankful for coffee. Such deep, lasting gratitude for my dear, dear coffee.
I’m thankful for Cooper, pushed up against my leg as I type and for his soft snores that provide the soundtrack to this work.
Finally, I’m thankful for YOU. For sticking by me and staying in this space over the past decade. I’ve known many of you for most of, if not all of, the past 10 years. We may not get to spend time together in person often or ever, but I’m thankful for you and our connection, our friendship, our crazy love for our animals.
In the next decade, the 2020s, I sure do hope we DO get to spend time together in person. But, if not, know that I’m here thinking of you, thankful for you, and grateful for the dogs and cats you share with us.
You make the world a better place. Thank you for being you. 🙂