Posted by: eliseanne | November 24, 2010


I was all set to come back to blogging with a semi-political post on a fiery issue (you’ll have to wait and see on that one), but I’m not feeling it today –  the day that I finally have the time and mental space for blogging. 

After reading my cousin’s blog post on what she was thankful for, I had to pause.  That’s a really good exercise, especially when avoiding cliches and doing it from the heart. In the midst of holiday stress, there is joy. I know that.  As I unexcitedly think about the rushed atmosphere & logistics & dramas, I also think about the joy in simple traditions, comfort food, and coziness.

So thanks cuzo for the reminder to pause and set aside the difficult in my life, and to instead better spend my energies reflecting on the good.

Here’s what I am thankful for (in no particular order), in this moment –

  1. Deep Breaths
    I learned recently that breathing from your chest (so your shoulders rise & fall) releases the fight-or-flight signals in your body, causing muscles to tighten and the brain to be stressed.  This happens naturally when we are stressed, and if we are in prolonged stress (as I have been), it becomes an always habit. I am learning to breathe from my diaphragm/stomach, which releases relaxation signals, and will phsyiologically cause me, my muscles, & my mind to relax.  If my neck muscles relax, my headaches stop or are avoided all together. It worked against 5 threatening headaches in a row my first week of trying to change my breathing.
  2. Microwavable Bags of Warm Stuff
    I’ve accrued a bit of a collection of different sized pouches, I guess, filled with corn, rice, or another type of seed-like thing, that I microwave and then rest on my head, eyes, or neck to warm and relax my body. These are also lifesavers for my headaches and tight muscles. They are also great for warming up the cold bed before bedtime!
  3. TV Room
    Just this week husband and I moved our TV into our spare room and out of our living room. We used to rarely watch TV because a) we didnt really care to watch it, and b) it was in a different room. In this new house, we had it in our main living room right across from the big couch. We’ve found ourselves watching it way too much. Now it is in the spare room, which is colder & will take effort to go to. We are looking forward to more reading and conversing, and less staying up late and wasting our brains.
  4. Support
    Counseling, care groups & certain people who can help me to see what I cannot, & to grow.
  5. Mud Removed From My Eyes
    To not see life as I used to, in a narrow, defined box, but to see its complexities, dimensions, and its both/and situations.  To learn to embrace the uncomfortable, the unknown, the seemingly-but not really-contradictory, and to love those inbetween spaces.
  6. Love
    I have joy in celebrating the new and growing love that several of my dear friends have found in/with the significant people in their lives. (RD/KT, JA/SMG, others). I also have joy in the love I have with others, that deeply binds us together, whether we be family, friends, acquaintences, or simply in loving the humanity of other humans.
  7. Reality
    Though reality often hurts these days, I am thankful for knowing it and now seeing it so that we can deal with it.
  8. Quinoa, Onions, and Other New Ways to Cook (aka The Co-Op)
    Cooking meat only a few times a month, eating hardly any processed foods, and expanding our base of grains, vegetables, and other foods, has given me a new appreciation for food itself. So has understanding the politics, economics, & privileges surrounding food.This also makes me think of sister. I love her and am thankful for her and our relationship.
  9. All Fruit Smoothies (aka Liquid Sunshine)
    Nuf said.
  10. Massage Therapy
  11. 2 Consistent Paychecks
    Husband and I are both employed. Full-time. No fear of lay-offs or contracts ending. This is rare.
  12. Our Home
    Despite the rocky start with the landlord, we love it. Even with its quirks. We love our neighborhood.  I wouldn’t trade it for a different house in a different neighborhood, even if it had a perfect landlord and no maintenance issues.
  13. Connection
    Bonding. Like-mindedness. Reminders that we are not alone in our journeys.
  14. Traditions
    I am excited about cutting down our Christmas tree, decorating it, and sitting under blankets in front of it. It’s not the tree or the dorky ornaments that warms me, it is the traditions. They remind me that I have a family with husband, that we have created our own lives, and that we love each other. Nuclear family traditions bring joy as well.
  15. Husband
    I love him. Who he is. It amazes me.


  1. Elise,
    This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for all the gentle reminders toward gratitude.
    Thank you.

  2. […] body from emotional/mental tension…which causes less pain, headaches, and moodiness. So does my new breathing techniques and improved eating habits, and the chiropractor helped several times as well. I’ve […]

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