THANKSGIVING IS THE TIME OF YEAR to count our blessings, one by one – and I have many. It is our family tradition when we sit down to the Thanksgiving meal, for each of us to share at least one thing we are thankful for during the past year.
AS I REFLECT ON THE PAST YEAR, I am so aware of new blessings that have come my way, since I retired from an academic career, and started freelance writing. I truly loved my work in the university and was unsure about leaving it. But, I found there are new life experiences to be savored. Oh yes! And it’s something for those who have yet to retire to look forward to.
TOP TEN NEW BLESSINGS I am thankful for this year:
1. A LEISURELY BREAKFAST with my husband and time to read two morning newspapers before starting the day’s activities.
2. SHOPPING DURING THE WEEK in uncrowded stores, when most working people are in their places of employment.
3. SCHEDULING ROUTINE APPOINTMENTS (e.g., medical and dental) in the afternoons, in case I want to sleep late or finish work at home first.
4. TAKING A TIME-OUT “Me Day” to do just want I want to do. If I want to read all day – it’s ok. I am so oriented to being productive, that it took awhile to feel comfortable taking an occasional day off.
5. SPENDING MORE QUALITY OF TIME with loved ones (e.g., enjoying family in new activities, learning more about family history, lingering at the table with friends).
6. FEELING AND LOOKING (and being) more rested. When I was working full-time, I had a demanding schedule that sometimes compromised my time to sleep. I don’t take naps, but am able to get a full 8 hours of sleep a night now. When I meet an old acquaintance who comments, “You look fantastic.” I reply, “It’s called being rested.”
7. HAVING LARGER BLOCKS OF FREE TIME available, so I can work longer on a project I have started (writing or home-based), rather than working on it in only short bursts of time. And I might add, the rewards are great when I complete a project I was eager to do.
8. SEEING A REAL OPPORTUNITY to plan and implement some of the “if only I had time” goals. When it really gets down to planning, there are some things I thought I wanted to do, that I no longer have a desire to do. But making a new “bucket list” is exciting – and working on the list introduces new adventures in my life.
9. THE SPONTANEITY to drop what I am doing and seize an emergent opportunity. The freedom to change plans midstream is an unexpected pleasure (e.g., meeting friends for coffee or a concert at the last minute).
10. THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURSUE new interests and develop new skills. Learning something new every day is my mantra!
Sue Marquis Bishop 2013
WHAT IS ON YOUR list of blessings this year?