Thanksgiving is on Thursday! As much as I love mashed potatoes and gravy (I love it all, but that's my favorite), I've been taking a lot of time this month to reflect on the idea of gratitude and what I'm thankful for. This hasn't been an easy exercise- considering the car accident I was in that has exacerbated my migraines and other sources of pain, both physical and mental, it's been a tough back half of 2019 but I can't say I regret it. Quite the contrary- I've learned a lot, I've grown a lot, I've connected with some fantastic, inspiring people, and I know I'll be more than prepared to hit the ground running on revamping my life once I'm medically cleared from my concussion. So in no particular order, here's a list of things I'm thankful for, most of which I have come across due to my injury and illness.
1. I'm thankful for my medical team- it's become quite a long list of folks, but they're helping me feel and be better every single day.
2. I'm thankful for the people in my life- friends, family, classmates, and others.
3. I'm thankful for the music, movies, and shows that people have recommended to me, especially Queer Eye!
4. I'm thankful that I was able to get quickly set up with vision therapy; not only has it helped my symptoms dramatically, but they actually caught a problem with my vision that hadn't been noticed before and that was preexisting.
5. I'm thankful for my graduate program and how accommodating and kind they've been in light of my situation.
6. I'm thankful I have the opportunity to pursue advanced education in the first place- I know on a lot of levels it's a privilege and I plan on using that privilege to uplift others in return.
7. I'm thankful for my plants not dying on me even though I sometimes under- or over-water them. They're bright and cheery even on the worst days.
8. I'm thankful to live in a neighborhood where I can go for walks in peace and be able to be in my own space.
9. I'm thankful for empathetic mental health professionals who have come to my situations with understanding and honesty in their feedback for me.
10. I'm thankful for social media so that I don't feel like the world has forgotten me, and I'm also thankful I can take space from social media and still have a social network that cares and supports my choices.
11. I'm thankful for physical and virtual communities to share my story with, whether it's within the chronic illness space, triathlon groups, or political spaces (I won't go into depth on my politics here, but I'm also thankful that universal healthcare is a pillar of many folks' agendas to move the US in a better direction).
12. I'm thankful for my good days to allow me to feel like myself again, and I'm thankful for my bad days to allow me personal space and the ability to recharge without judgement.
13. I'm thankful for the time I've been given in healing- not only am I fixing my physical body, but I'm realigning who I am with my values and am pivoting several parts of my life in a new and fruitful direction.
14. I'm thankful for heating pads, blankets, and hoodies to help me stay warm and out of total pain.
15. I'm also thankful for ice packs and cold water that helped a lot in the immediate aftermath of getting this concussion (I do still drink lots of water! Stay hydrated, friends!).
16. I'm thankful for being able to reconnect with some of my "calmer" hobbies- crafts, long walks/hikes, reading, cooking.
17, I'm thankful for the future feeling bright and for all that is to come my way.
If you made it this far, thank you! I'm thankful for time (and for gravy and mashed potatoes, of course).
With love and gratitude,