Erica's blog detailing her gratitude list. After a somewhat crummy day, I really needed that inspiration to get myself back on track. I decided the only thing to cheer me up is to recount a few things I am grateful for as well, so here they are (in no particular order! :) ).
1. My Kylie-dog (aka "gimp dog", aka "princess", aka "pumpkin butt" :) ). For the past 15 years, it has been me and her against the world. She has been with me through relationship changes, career changes, location changes, etc. She is the constant in my ever-changing world. I know she may not be with me much longer, but I am immensely grateful for her coming into my life and accepting me, even when flawed.
2. My Oliver (aka "butter", aka "carmeldog"). I am grateful he has taught me to put stuff away instead of leaving it on the counters. And how, the first day I got him, he got out of the yard then ran up and down the fence barking when he couldn't figure out how to get back in. That was the cement that he was meant to be in my life permanently I am so grateful for his cuddling talent and the soft fur on the very top of his head. Not so grateful for his breath.
3. My Family. They have watched me go through many transitions and although they may tease me (and I, them), they always support me. I am grateful that my sister just rolls her eyes when I use an interaction with her as the basis of a blog post, instead of getting upset. I am so blessed that I get to be whomever I want to be and still get accepted, even if they don't always agree. I am grateful I was taught unconditional love from birth.
4. My Childhood. I am grateful to be naive. To have had such a Leave-It-To-Beaver childhood that going to downtown Detroit still makes me a little nervous, even though I'm almost 35 years old. To not be street-smart, because I never had to be. To grow up feeling safe and secure. I am also grateful my parents gave up so much to ensure we could have hobbies (especially when I chose the most expensive of them all - see #5).
5. Horses. I am grateful for horses, and that my parents encouraged and supported my passion for them growing up. Even now, living so far away, I am so grateful I can call on Carol and Tif when I need a horse day. I am grateful for that feeling of "home" when I walk into a barn and smell the hay and the leather. Grateful I feel like I belong somewhere, no matter how long I've been away.
6. My Boyfriend. I am grateful to have met someone as unique as I am. Someone who gets me sometimes more than I get myself. I am grateful to know what a healthy relationship is and how I should be treated. I am also grateful that although he doesn't share some of the same beliefs as I do, he has an open enough mind to discuss multiple sides of a topic rather than write me off as being weird. I am grateful he will watch food documentaries before I do so he can tell me to leave the room when a graphic animal-hurting scene is coming up.
7. My Boyfriend's Son. I am grateful for the chance to ease into parenting. I have always said I don't want kids, but Alex has shown me what I would have been missing, in a way that was exactly what I needed. I am grateful that he came already potty-trained and well-behaved, so I had no choice but to adore him :) Watching him learn is teaching me more than I ever thought possible. I am grateful for him opening my heart just a little bit wider.
8. My Yoga Studio. I first typed "Yoga" here, but that isn't entirely true. I have been doing yoga on and off for many years, but it never really truly "clicked" until I found my current studio. I am grateful for the heat, the music, the creative flows, and the freedom. I am grateful for all of the friends I have met - ones who, like me, start yawning by 10p and get excited over vegan recipes. Finally I am not the odd man out! I am grateful for 6:30a Hot Vinyasa, because I start each day conquering my attachment to my warm cozy bed.
9. My Breath. I am grateful to recognize the significance of something many people take for granted. Yoga has given me a tool I can use to conquer any situation. It is always with me, I just have to remember to use it. My breath can be a distraction, a heater, a focal point, an energizer, a healer. I am grateful I am learning how to take those lessons off the meditation cushion/yoga mat and into every day life.
10. Myself. I am grateful I have allowed myself to grow. That I have given myself permission to become fully immersed in a new lifestyle instead of being scared or conforming to what is "normal." I am grateful I quit my job when it was no longer serving me. I am grateful that I sometimes care too much about things, even though it sometimes takes it toll on me. And that everything I do comes from a good and loving place, even though some people may not understand that. I am grateful I can feel grateful every single day - that I can step back from my life and see the miracles constantly surrounding me.
There are so many more things I am grateful for, but my cramped fingers are telling me I have already written too much. So I guess this list is to be continued, until the next time I need a little bit of inspiration :) What are you grateful for?