I get so wrapped up in life that I often forget to take into account all the blessings I have. I’m so busy getting to work and daycare on time, stopping by the grocery, cleaning the house, and taking care of all the living beings who live with me that I forget how amazing life is. And so, if you will indulge me, I am going to take the time to count my blessings.
1. I have the perfect husband. Well, perfect for me. He loves me unconditionally and supports me in anything I want to do. He believes in me more than I believe in myself. He is my best friend. He is the one person I want to wake up next to for the rest of my life, morning breath and all. He knows how to hug me to make everything better and how to make me laugh when the rest of the world makes me cry. He puts thought into gifts and romantic gestures (yes, he’s been known to be romantic!). I am so blessed that we met each other 14.5 years ago and even more blessed that he returned my call over 8 years ago. Thank goodness he finally gave into me begging to marry him (yes, it’s true; I begged to marry Justin Manna).
2. I have an amazing son. He greats every day with a cheer (seriously: “Yay!’ and lots of clapping over and over and over). He loves to laugh and smile and he loves me. He is happy and generally thrilled to be alive. He makes me want to be a better person. He makes me want to get up every morning and live more of my life than I did the day before. Robbie learns new things every day (today I asked him to say “turkey” and he responded with “chicken” – a word he’s never uttered in his life). I am so blessed to be able to see his smile and sparking eyes and hear that sweet voice and get those beautiful kisses every day.
3. I have an incredible family. My parents and brother and sister believe in me and are there whenever I need them. We talk almost every day (sometimes two or three times…). They are a part of my best memories and the only way I got through the not-so-good memories. I hated being apart from them for another Thanksgiving (this makes six), but I am so thankful that this is the family I got.
4. Justin and I have enough. I read an email forward about a family that always wished each other “enough.” At first, this struck me as sad. Shouldn’t we strive for more than “enough”? But then I realized that wishing for enough is a perfect blessing. And, in a time when so many people don’t have any, to have enough is more than we can ask for. We have a house that we love, reliable cars, food on the table, heat in the radiators. And you know what the best part of “enough” is? Knowing that when you have it, there’s nothing else you need.
5. I love my job. It is the perfect job for me and exactly where I need to be in my professional life right now. I am working with incredible students who make me laugh (and, in all honesty, frustrate the hell out of me sometimes). I am excited to get to work every day, and I don’t even mind Mondays anymore. I love my job so much that Thanksgiving actually snuck up on me; I wasn’t counting down, hoping to survive until Thanksgiving like I’ve sometimes done in the past. I have fantastic colleagues who make coming to work even better.
6. I am no longer in grad school. I know this is old news, but it is so fabulous to not be in class or doing a practicum. I didn’t realize how much of my life that consumed until, suddenly, I wasn’t doing it any more. I can come home at the end of the day and just be. I can just be Robbie’s mom and Justin’s wife and (on really lucky days) just Erin. It’s an amazing feeling to just be finished and know that you don’t ever have to go back. Of course, I said that the last time. But this time I really think it’s true. I don’t think I can read another professional article and pretend to care about it for a class.
7. I am healthy. Justin is healthy. Robbie is healthy.
8. My friends are incredible. I have the friends I am closer to now that we have kids and new things to talk about. I have friends from miles and miles away who can pick up the phone and feel like no time has passed, even though it’s been two and a half years. I have childhood friends who I see when I go home and new friends who I see for football. It’s so nice to know that there are people in my life who care about me and aren’t related to me. And it’s amazing to have so many friends who play different roles in my life.
I know I have so many more blessings, but these are my top eight. Right now I think I’m going to end this and grab one of my favorite blessings to cuddle. He’s still awake, but I think I could convince him to go to sleep if we had a little hug time. Last night, he fell asleep with his head on my lap, stretched out perpendicular to me. These moments are few and far between, so I’ll enjoy it if he’ll let me.