1. That humans are a self-healing species.
2. The infinitude of people wiser and more talented than I, because of whom I will always be able to learn more, see differently, understand better, and generally be entertained.
3. That anytime something hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to initially, something better did. Always. Without fail.
4. My brother. He’s 5, and he fell asleep on me while I was writing this. (I’m with my family for Thanksgiving.)
5. The abundance of foods and cultures and restaurants and diners that exist in my little corner of the world, and that I get to taste a little bit of everything as often as I like.
6. I have never once in my life worried about being too cold in the winter because I couldn’t afford a sweater or jacket.
7. Friends who have loved me more than I loved myself, and who taught me how to love myself.
9. Cooking, and sharing it with others. It’s been something I have really grown a love for this past year.
10. That nothing lasts forever, which is, essentially, just a call to be present.
11. That I live in a hemisphere that experiences all four seasons.
12. Second chances. Third chances. Forgiveness. The ability to say: thank you for that experience, and mean it.
13. Nature. And trees. The after-rain smell, the springtime smell. Mountains and trails and and the fact that I have feet and legs to walk them.
14. The funny fact that the nature of realizing a problem is also you recognizing that there is a solution.
15. My job. The fact that I get to write every day. The other amazing writers and producers I get to read and work with and publish.
16. Coffee, and coffee shops at night.
17. A long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.
18. The excitement of knowing you have reservations for a long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.
19. That I have rent to pay, dishes to do, laundry to fold, and dinner to cook; because it means I have my own home, have eaten, am clothed, and have more food available to me.
20. How much joy the little things bring (knowing that that joy is always accessible.)
21. Finding a song you love so much you listen to it 20 times in a row and it just gets better and better with every word and riff and beat you start to memorize.
22. Handwriting anything.
23. Farmers markets.
24. The smell of someone you’re falling in love with, right when you’re falling in love with them.
25. The fact that there is no limit to the number of people we can fall in love with – and that it is possible to do so, each time, as wholly as we did before.
26. Confident people who live their lives and speak their truths and redefine beauty and greatness and wonder and what it means to LIVE just by the nature of their living. (People don’t become inspiring by trying to help others, just by being themselves.)
27. Kids. I envy teachers (though I acknowledge how much work they do and how crappy I’d be as one). Regardless, my real joy in life is playing on the floor and making Mac & Cheese and cuddling and watching cartoons with 3-year-olds, and I don’t care who knows it.
28. Warm, comfy beds.
29. The simple, perfect knowledge that my only real purpose is to be. Right here, just like this. My name will fade with successions of generations, and eventually, one day, nobody will know I existed. But for now, just for today, I am awake and alive to see and feel and breathe and live in a foreign, temporary body. If there is something more beautiful than that, show it to me, I’ll be surprised.
30. Everything I have healed, everything I have learned, and how being happy, being present, creating more, and being abundant in every way, always begins with thankfulness.