Why is this the must-read gratitude listicle of the season? Let’s forget the things we’re hating this season (like politics); the things we’re dreading this season like difficult and awkward situations: the things we’re worrying and stressing about like gifts and to-do lists. Let’s get down to basics. No matter who you are or where you are, this list provides a host of things we can celebrate with our gratitude.
1 Indoor plumbing
It's nice to know that we're no longer using chamber pots or outhouses (mostly). Now, we don't have to worry about the possibility of having human, well, "creations" being thrown on us through second floor windows. Running water and indoor plumbing have really made the air a lot less pungent - and sanitary.
2 No longer worrying about the Black Plague
Speaking of sanitation... Okay, yes, there have been a few cases - a little over 3200 cases world-wide between the years of 2010 and 2015. However, we're not facing a pandemic. Perhaps the largest threat now are our politicians.
3 Takeout food
You never quite realize how magical getting takeout can be until you've officially hit the wall after a long week and - get this - you barely even have to clean up!
4 Having opinions - and being able to share them
It seems that social media has gone from making connections and networking to starting family feuds over politics and, of course, the ever-lasting battle: dogs versus cats. For a while now, we've been increasingly decreasing our Friends list and followers. How many arguments have you scrolled past over the last year? (Poor Great Aunt Mildred - she posted way too many cat videos when the rest of the cousins are dog people.)
But all jokes aside, we are thankful for the freedom to express our thoughts and ideals.
5 Animal videos
Hear me out. Who here hasn't spent at least five minutes watching a funny video involving pets? Dopey dogs, curious cats, hairy highland cows? Okay, that last one isn't necessarily a common household animal, but still. Have you ever seen one play soccer? If you're not watching animal videos online, are you even really online?
Does anyone else get a thrill when opening a new book? Not just because of the journey you're about to take, but because of that special smell that only bound pages, ink, and (sometimes) dust can create. The more we read, the more we learn, the easier it is to form our own opinions (see number 4).
7 Music and movies
Who doesn't love a good tune? With various streaming services and media outlets, it's so easy to hear that new Beatles song (I. Wish.) - or to have a week-long Disney movie marathon. Of course, now it's that much easier to fall into the depths of a month-long binge of our favorite series. Who needs responsibilities when we can have our favorite characters at our beck and call?
We're still working on this in some places, but it seems that we're getting better at minding our own business and supporting those who don't share the same beliefs, interests, ect. If you want to dye your hair neon green (nice choice, by the way), go for it. Buy matching shoes to go with it! If you have the chance to express yourself, and it's not harming anyone or yourself, why not?
Can you imagine going through life without feeling anything? No joy, no laughter bubbling from the pit of your stomach from a good, solid joke. No sadness to melt away with the reminder that things do get better. Feeling can hurt and be totally uncomfortable, sure, but the ability to enjoy a well-deserved sarcastic comment or that fuzzy warmth you get during a hug can outweigh the badness.
10 The little things in life
For our last one, I'll be a little more serious. Think about your happy place. Is it by your bedroom window in the morning, watching the pink glow of the sunrise melt into daytime? Is it in the mountains, on a hiking trail with your pups? Is it at the beach with your favorite book and a cup of coffee? Maybe it's just sitting in your truck with a vanilla Twinkie and some milk, taking in the fall breeze.
Don't forget the little things like warm socks without holes in them, clean sweatpants or shorts, a short nap with your cat. Waking up every morning to a new start. Those little moments that bring that small, content smile to your lips are priceless.