Part of my beautiful family – my parents, our puppy Flash Gordon, and, of course, Pearl.

This has been quite a year.

Looking back, I see how I launched into January 1, 2017, with all of my typical gusto and naivete, assuming this was the year I would finally discover just how the Dalai Lama does it….doesn’t all that wonderful cheery smiling tire out his cheek muscles?

Now here we are, one month and a day or so away from yet another brand new year, and I still take His Holiness’s ongoing personal challenges much too seriously….not to mention my own.

But there is one practice that has served as a shining beacon of light, hope, upliftment, sanity – and I highly recommend it. I do this with my parrot, Pearl, on one of my other blogs which is called “Love & Feathers & Shells.”

Every Tuesday, Pearl and I share a short list of things we are each grateful for. This list is called “Tuesday Gratefuls” (here is an example) and we have been doing it every week since this year began.

It has been so interesting to see how what I’m grateful for from week to week changes, as well as how it doesn’t change. For instance, I’m still just as grateful for healthy me, healthy parents, healthy pets, healthy everyone, as I was when this year began.

I am still grateful every time I look at my bank balance and discover there is actually some cash in there. I still feel grateful for each moment I get to spend working from home in my jammies as a freelance writer, and I’m never without gratitude for having the best office-mates ever (one has feathers and two have nice, solid and very attractive shells).

I would still like a baby goat, and I’m still really grumpy about the whole hurricane-Harvey-Houston-dam-flooding-fiasco that ruined my parents’ home of 42 years.

But otherwise, my gratitude practice has helped me err on the side of the half-full coffee (or wine) cup, especially on those still-too-frequent days when I’m sitting right on the line once again.

So I thought now would be an excellent time to share my “Thankfuls on Thanksgiving” list, an annual tradition that is now in its second year and still going strong.

Today on Thanksgiving, I am grateful for:

  • Pearl, my soon-to-be 18-year-old parrot.
  • Malti, my 3 1/2 year-old redfoot tortoise.
  • Bruce, my rescued box turtle (we think he’s around 9 now).
  • Our family’s puppy, Flash Gordon, who turned 2 earlier this year.
  • My family – Mom, Dad, my brother Adam & his wonderful fam.
  • My partner.
  • My treasured friends, near, far and online.
  • My mentor and soul sister, Lynn.
  • My wonderful career doing what I love most (besides reading) – writing.
  • Having a healthy body and (relatively) healthy mind…most days, at least.
  • Meditation.
  • All the awesome books in the world, both read and not-yet-read.
  • Ditto for movies.
  • The BEACH.
  • Nature.
  • Animals – wild and domestic.
  • Ladybugs.
  • Caffeine and adult beverages (not necessarily in that order).
  • Wonderful creative artists who have filled my casa with amazing things.
  • Anything soft and fluffy.
  • Snow globes.
  • My chiropractor, who keeps my spine sane.
  • My wonderful bicycle.
  • Delicious Thanksgiving delicacies.
  • And so many more things….

The happiest of Thanksgiving to each and every one of you and to all those you love! Thank you for being a precious and much appreciated part of my life!

Today’s Takeaway: What is on your Thanksgiving Thankfuls list this year?