Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Non-Traditional, Favorite, Thankful List

On this eve of Thanksgiving, I was contemplating on all that I am thankful for such as my beautiful children, my loving husband, God's love, our jobs, friends... you know the traditional stuff. But I'm not a traditionalist so I wanted to dig a little deeper and come up with a different list. You know on the last page of magazines sometimes they have a special guest who lists their favorite things. Well, in this thankful time, I have put together my "Non-Traditional, Favorite, Thankful List" and I would like to share it with you.

Here it is:
1. Our Bedroom Ceiling Fan - Okay, sounds cheesy? You were not expecting that on my list were you? Well it is on my list because frankly I have never had a ceiling fan directly over my bed and I so much appreciate it. Now, this is no ordinary fan. I went from store to store and found nothing I liked until I discovered this modern, stainless steel, heavy-duty, clean-lines fan that functions to keep us cool on those warm nights. It wasn't as cheap as we were hoping, but it was so worth it.

2. My Cell Phone - Now I know what you are thinking: I'm thankful for this cell phone because it is an instant contact to my friends and family. Well, I am appreciative that I can make phone calls with it, for obviously that is it's function, but I'm really thankful for the alarm feature. I have set my cell phone to wake me up at a certain time Monday thru Friday and a different time on weekends. I never have to touch it or turn it on, it just knows the day and the time and I never have to worry about waking up in the morning. I love that.

3. My oldest son's laugh - No, I'm not getting sappy or trite on you. I say this about my son's laugh because it changes a room dynamic and it's a cool laugh. As a child he had asthma and so now he sounds like he has a smokers laugh. Yes, there was discomfort to the making of this sound, but it has turned out to be a laugh that has an effect on others. My son is full of emotions. He wears them on his sleeve. He cries easy and he also laughs just as easy. He also has such an advance sense of humor that my nine year old son even has to explain the humor in life to me. It's a distinctive characteristic of him and I sure appreciate this unique quality.

4. My Younger Son's Dimples - Really I am not trying to be sappy at all! I love my son's dimples, not because I wish I had them, because I don't, but because his dimples come directly from my side of the family. My grandma had one dimple and it was a deep one, and my brother has a pair as well. These dimples are not the slashes in the cheeks type, but the deep set ones that you can put a pencil tip in. Plus it reveals his inner happiness (now that is sickly, sappy for sure).

5. My Dad's Retirement Ring - Last year my sister and I were helping my mother decide what to keep and what to put in storage for another one of her apartment moves. We were opening drawers and closet doors investigating the stash. My father, who died a at a young age nine years ago, had an old dresser which my mother packed with tattered sheets and flowered place mats. We thought that's what it was all filled with until we pulled the top drawer. My father spent a lot of daily time at his dresser. In the mornings he would stand there and put his watch on, organize his money clip, slip a pocket knife with his keys, and spray on his "stink pretties" before he left the house. At night he would have the reverse ritual, storing his items in safe keeping in the top drawer. I'm not sure who opened the top drawer that day, but my sister and I just stood there staring at it in unbelief. Most of his belongings had already been farmed out to family members and some sold, but this top drawer remained untouched of items he had touched every day. There, in one of the boxes was his retirement ring which he had received at his farewell party his company gave him. The ring is made of gold molded with the company's logo including three inset diamonds representing each decade of employment. The ring represents years of commitment and a symbol of hard work as he supported a family of six kids. Although I keep it hidden away in my jewelry box, it is tucked in place I touch everyday. I love having it because it is a reminder of him.

6. My Husband's Humor - My husband has an amazing sense of humor and there is also a lot of laughing going on in our house. A simple conversation can turn into a platform for my husband (and oldest son) to display life's absurdity inducing us all into stitches. I am so thankful for laughter in our home. (I am also thankful for his unyielding love for me, his quick acceptance of others, his consistent behavior in public and in private, and his unjudgemental manner - but I don't want to take up too much of your time by listing it all.)

7. The Morning - I'm not necessarily a morning person, but I appreciate the morning because I wake up and feel God's presence. Not sure why in the morning this happens because really I think I am more of a night person actually, but it is then as I wake when I often am just overwhelmed with thankfulness for His love, His creations, and His sacrifice. I love my mornings since that is when I dwell on Him - a reminder of my purpose as I set off on my day.

Now, this is not an exhausted list because I didn't mention chocolate, or coffee, or any of my favorite movies, but a simple list I came up with on my morning walk. What is on your Favorite, Thankful List? Maybe something in your daily life that you realize you can't go a day without or something completely untraditional. A list, an item, a characteristic, or an aspect, please share with us and join in on the talk.


  1. Great minds think alike, Sharon! :) I love your list!! It gives me a getter glimpse into your life and what you appreciate!

    Love ya friend!
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    You are such a blessing in my life- all these years!

  2. Sharon! This article really made me stop and think. I love the 'randomness' of your items...and I am challenged to think outside my little traditional box of mind is swirling around the possibilities. :) Thanks for helping me to be grateful in a greater way this season.

  3. Since you mentioned ring, I would have to say I would put my wedding ring on my list. I waited a long time to get married and now that I am I realize what a commitment it really is. My wedding ring reminds me of the good and bad times we have gone through together and our commitment to love one another.

  4. I am six years old and I am so thankful for my mom and dad, brother, and my grandma. On my list I would also add my stuffed animal named Mucko. I put him on my list because he is so soft and good company. I also put my "blankie" on my list because I can't fall asleep without it. ~ Samuel

  5. I KNEW there was a REASON that I kept Daddy's "top drawer" unchanged all those years: and it gave me so much pleasure to watch Marilu's and your delight in rediscovering each of Daddy's little treasures. THAT's why I kept Daddy's top drawer intact all those years! Now THAT's a real slice of life to mull over in the recesses of your writer's mind for unknownn decades.

  6. wow what a great post. I finally sat down and had an ample amount of time to truly read it and not merely skim it.
    So I was asked this same question at the thanksgiving table, 'What non-traditional thing am I most thankful for'. Well the first thing that came to my mind was not fit for Thanksgiving dinner conversation sitting across the table from my two boys and my mother sitting next to me, so I'll share it first.
    1) Sex with my wife. I love it on so many levels. First of all it feels great - nothing like it. You know God could have made us like every other animal and derive no pleasure form procreation, but He didn't. We get that as a bonus a sort of underserved gift that's sort of hard wired into our existence. I also love it because it's something that only she and I share. therefore it's an experience truly unique to us and because of that it cleaves us together. Well I could go on all day, but here's another thing.
    2) My beach cruiser. Not because it's necessarily a nice bike but it represents more of a lifestyle I have worked hard to attain. I love riding my bike to work, when I don't have meetings and living in a town where I can ride my bike to the market, hardware store, the beach etc.. My bike represents a quality of life that I have worked hard for and been blessed with.
    3) That my boys go to bed before I do. It obviously is more condusive for number one to occur, but I sometimes I sneak into their room and watch them sleep. their faces are so innocent and peaceful that regardless of what went down that day it's truly hard to stay mad at them and I feel this overwhelming need to protect them. They seem so vulernable. I imagine that will change over time, but right now they seem like they need protection.
    4) I'm thankful that despite wanting to many times, I never gave up on becoming an architect. honestly it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in life and for every success it seemed there were an almost equal amount of failures/obstacles, but as I look back on that journey footprints in the sand never seemed so real to me.
    5) I'm thankful that Whamo a long time ago used to print the rules for Ultimate on the back of their frisbee packages. My friends and I read the rules in High School and starting playing in our own little world on the football field at Artesia high school. Well here it is 25 years later and I have travled all of the world and competed at the highest levels and now I coach at a mjor university. Who could have guessed a simple set of rules printed on a throw away piece of cardboard would entirly change my life.
    6) My wife's love. I know cheesy but, she lives with me and gets continually exposed to my obvious weaknesses and character flaws and yet she loves me regardless. Oh it's no "bed of roses" and sometimes we can fight like the best of them. But the longer we stay tougher the more respect and love I believe we have for one another.
    Well that's it for now. I actually would love to hear some other posts of things you guys are thankful for. I find this subject intiguing and in general I think on of socities biggest flaws other than having no spell check on this blog, is our genral lack of ingratitude for everything we have been blessed with. how often are we seeking treasures from this world when we are truly not grateful for what we have. What is the secret to contentment - not being satisfied with what you get, but apreciating what you already have.

  7. "Non-Traditional, Favorite, Thankful List" -M'lu
    1) My car...Not in a self-centered or materialistic frame of mind...But,being raised in a small rural town I always felt the call to go/drive places. My friends used to tease me and say I must have been a taxi driver in my past life because I loved to drive. Of course this was before gas was approaching $3.00 a gallon. I thought nothing of driving from the central valley to Redondo Beach just to hang out with friends. Many times in the spring I would often leave very early in the morning so that I could spend the morning winding through the foothills (windows & sunroom opened, Classical music blasting)in the rain to see the newest wild flowers and then dash to Santa Cruz to catch the same days sunset. Of course, on one specific occasion I was returning very late at night from a Hermosa Beach party only to hear that my Dad was getting ready to get his long awaited heart transplant. That I night I drove 8 hours from Hermosa to San Francisco to arrive and see the medical team carry in his heart in a small "Igloo" cooler. I never loved my car more than that day!
    2)My marraige- I am not generally a negative person. Before I met my husband I had little faith in marraige. Society had primed me to accept that regardless of a judges power to pronounce "husbands & wives" it didn't mean that relationships would never fail... People would never fail their relationships... that poor choices and lack of respect was abound in the 21st century. People fell out of love and grew out of relationships. I felt I would never get married. Then I met my husband. In 1 week we knew we would get married. We've had our trials; we've exchanged not-so-choice-words. Through it all- I respect, believe & trust in our love. He accepts me and all my little "impish" quirks, my brutally honest, but tactful points of view and he loves me.
    3) The ability of choice. I am who I am today because of my choices both good & bad. I am pretty happy with who I am today, but I still have the abilty to choose to be better.
    4) My dogs...past and present. My best beloved Mowgli- and current Shuggie... they have the best doggie smiles and the most soothing hugs.
    5)The quietness of the night. My mind is most productive then.
    6) Plants & flowers... they are like good friends...They always make me feel good & smile. Strange, but true...
    7) etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! M'lu