Thinking out loud

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda at Running With Spoons for her Thinking Out Loud Thursdays! I’m basically just using this as a way to explore the random thoughts that pop into my mind. And today, the theme is gratitude. One year ago, I was beginning what would be the worst month of my life. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on the last year, and I am continually struck by how fortunate I am. Today, I am thankful for:

1. This new nail polish that Alli gave me
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I love new nail polishes, but I have several problems when it comes to painting my nails. First of all, I tend to remember at least a dozen things I need to do with my hands as soon as I finish painting them. Second of all, I’m trying to rein in my spending and nail polish has not made it onto my list of necessities. So this gift was perfect! And I’ve solved the problem of always ruining my nails post-painting by doing them right before I bike somewhere so they can dry in the breeze. Ta-da! Problem solved.

Painting my nails was one of the first things I started doing a year ago as I entered recovery, as a way of caring for myself and relaxing. It will always be a symbol of that time for me, I think, and I’m grateful for the reminder of how far I have come since that first day that I decided to sit down with some nail polish and do something nice for myself.

2. Iced americanos

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Hot damn, do I love a good americano on these last days of warm summer weather. This americano, unlike ones from one year ago, does not have obscene amounts of Splenda in it. I am not counting the calories in the espresso shots. I didn’t even think about them, and that in and of itself is worth being thankful for.

3. Noticing and appreciating little things like these adorable flowers

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When I was at my worst, things like this would not have been anywhere on my radar. I had a one-track, mostly insane mind and I didn’t have time to consider frivolous things like little vases of flowers. But today, I even picked them up and smelled them. Thank God for a brain that can notice such things once again.

4. Future planning

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I’m usually pretty frugal when it comes to my money, but the hope of moving in the next couple of months has made me realize that I should really start paying attention to my spending habits. I want to be able to move as comfortably as possible, without the stress of finances looming over me. As much as I don’t want to admit how much money I spend on coffee and other little things, they definitely add up and I should probably tune in.

A year ago, my future was the furthest thing from my mind. I spent all of my money on gum and diet soda and I didn’t give a fuck. I couldn’t imagine how I would make it through the next day or two, much less picture a life a few months out. If I could, I would tell that girl to hang on because it gets so, so much better. And I’m endlessly grateful that I have a future to plan for once again.

5. My family…and my dog

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Where would I be without the support of my family? I honestly shudder to think about it. A year ago, my mom quite literally saved my life. She’s the babe on the left in the picture, and I owe her so much. She, my dad, and my brother have stood by me in my darkest moments. They didn’t always know how to help, but their unconditional love has carried me through it all.

My dog is just the cutest damn thing, but he has also helped me reframe what matters to me. I have learned to love walks with him that are gentle, where we take in our surroundings rather than power around the neighborhood as quickly as possible. To think that I didn’t even care about this weird-looking bundle of cute a year ago is deeply saddening to me and I am grateful that I can appreciate life with a pet once more.

There you have it! Those are 5 things I’m feeling grateful for today out of a list of 100’s. The last year has been painful, challenging, emotionally and physically exhausting. But it has also been eye-opening and filled with things for which I have immense gratitude.

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