Ah, yes, here we are again, that time of year when we reflect on the things in our life we're grateful for.  That awkward moment when someone at the dinner table suggests you take turns sharing: family, friends, happiness, blah, blah, blah.  Every year I express gratitude for the things that are very obvious, but this year I wanted to try something a little different, so here it goes: Angie's Off-The-Beaten-Path List of Gratitude

  1. Slippery sidewalks for the extra core workout and for forcing me to be present while I walk.  Apparently staring at my phone, in no way, makes it easy to avoid falling on my a$$.
  2. Shorter days for forcing me to get creative with my time indoors.  I've been reading lots of books, cooking, knitting, working, cleaning, doing yoga, meditating, and obsessively listening to the podcast, Serial (check it out!!).
  3. My body's desire to consume large quantities of food (is this a change-of-season thing?! Am I getting ready to hibernate?!) for allowing me to try MANY recipes I've been wanting to experiment with.
  4. My fear of driving in the winter (either I've turned into an old lady or I was in California too long), which makes me get A LOT of walking in.
  5. My ignorance of the U.P. weather for providing lots of entertainment on my walks to work.  I completely forgot about wet hair icicles.
  6. The stairs at Sugarloaf that resemble icy slides more than stairs for the adventurous and hilarious trip back to the parking lot.
  7. The hurt caused by a freshly applied bentonite clay mask for creating some of the weirdest faces I've ever seen and the most painful belly laughs I've ever experienced.
  8. Wool socks… enough said.
  9. The soft, pillowy snow for catching my case-less (I keep forgetting it) iPhone more times than I can count…
  10. My temperamental heating situation in my apartment for sometimes allowing me to snuggle up in slippers and tons of blankets and for other times encouraging me to have the windows open during a snowstorm.
  11. My uneven floors for collecting the dropped lip balm tubes (I have lots of these as I make my own) in the middle of the room.
  12. Aaaand… the whirlwind of life changes I've experienced this year for challenging me in every way possible, forcing me to be strong in who I am, and to claim the things I want in life.

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving full of laughter, delicious food, friends and / or family, and love.  Reflect on the things you love about life, but always find ways to be grateful for some of your struggles as they're our biggest opportunities for growth and learning.  Plus, it makes the world a better place when we can be thankful for everything that comes our way.