Since leaving the US for the UK back in 2001 (has it REALLY been 13 years?!), I have not really celebrated Thanksgiving in the traditional sense. I know I could just invite friends around for a meal to give them a taste (literally and figuratively) of what Thanksgiving is all about in my home country (hello, Pumpkin Pie, I’ve missed you), but I’m normally so stressed out and busy planning for Christmas, that I do little more than have a simple roast dinner and call it done.
But today, I thought in the spirit of the holiday, I would take some time to talk about the things that I’m thankful for. Yes, I probably should have posted this yesterday and yes, today is Black Friday and all people are thinking about now is getting their hands on the cheapest iPads but lest we forget what the season is really about, I thought it’d be good to show my thanks.
1. I am thankful for a partner who is always supportive of my dreams and ideas.
Of course, you often see Wayne on this blog with tools in his hands and a look of determination on his face because he does what I call the ‘hardcore’ DIY around here. When the big guns are required, he’s my go-to guy. And of course, I’m thankful that I have a partner who is willing to make my visions a reality even when he’s not entirely sure what my final vision is. He simply trusts me. But that’s not really all. Starting a blog 4 1/2 years ago and letting me share our story, he has allowed me to find a whole new world in blogging. He is always encouraging and always my rock – and throughout the opportunities that this blog has opened up to me, he’s encouraged me to follow my dreams. He’s always been my biggest cheerleader and for that I am grateful. (I love you, baby.)
2. I am thankful for the friends I have made through blogging.
When I moved from Kent to Manchester 6 years ago, I found it difficult to make new friends – ya know, people who were truly on my ‘wavelength’. Starting this blog meant reaching out to people around the world and having online and offline friendships with people who ‘get it’. Their eyes don’t glaze over when I use words like “vignettes” or talk about an amazing spread I saw in the latest Lonny magazine. They don’t roll their eyes when I tell them about a bargain I got on eBay or how we are working on the house AGAIN (I often hear, ‘Aren’t you done yet?’ with acquaintances.)… they smile, join in the conversation and constantly inspire me. They pick me up when I’m feeling discouraged, fill me with ideas when I have writer’s block, make me laugh when I need it most and tell me to keep going when all I want to do is climb into my bed and stay there for days and for that I am grateful.
3. I am thankful for my fur babies.
I know non-pet owners can never really understand what pets bring to a home but my kitties are so funny, so weird, so lovely and so loved – yes, even when they are covering things in fur, waking us up at 5:30am because they want us to get up and feed them (!) or destroying my rugs. There’s rarely a time when I’m seated that I don’t have at least one clamouring to get on my lap (my own furry hot water bottles) or nestling next to us as we sleep. When I get home from a long day at work, they greet me at the door, circle around my legs and wait for me to give them a fuss (yes, they are a bit like dogs sometimes.). When I am feeling stressed, there is nothing more soothing than petting a soft hairy purring beast, eyes closed blissfully, head butting into my hand. For them, I am grateful.
4. I am thankful I have more than an abundance of the basics in life.
I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, warmth emanating from radiators, running water and a refrigerator that’s rarely empty. We have more than enough, always. And while we are always careful with money, we don’t have to worry where our next meal will come from, what would happen if we got ill (yes, I am thankful for the NHS too), or whether we’ll be able to keep warm over winter. There are millions of people in this world who are not so lucky and I remind myself of these things and I am grateful.
5. I am thankful for all of you.
Without you, Swoon Worthy would not exist. Without you, I wouldn’t have made the connections I have in this amazing community. I love hearing from you guys, I love the emails and the comments and the tweets, the messages and likes on Facebook. And even those of you who simply visit and quietly read, I am thankful for you too because just showing up and reading along means that you want to hang out with me for a little bit. I love that you guys keep me on my toes, support some crazy decorating decisions, make suggestions and encourage me to keep blogging about my little journey here. There are some of you that have been reading for YEARS and that amazes me. I always learn from you guys and I love how opinionated some of you are and I love that you just stop by and share my world with me and for that I am grateful.
What are you grateful for?