32 Things I'm Thankful for This Year (Birthday Post)

by - November 26, 2018

Every birthday I like to look back on all the good things that happened in the past year, and there's been plenty to be thankful for in year 31. Last year, I decided to write down 31 things I was thankful for, one for every year I'd been alive. It was surprisingly difficult but it felt good to only focus on good things. I decided to turn this into a tradition, as a way to remind myself there's way more good than bad in my life.

1. I am so thankful for my new job. It's given me peace of mind, more free time, and the ability to take days off guilt-free, all while letting me return to my print journalism roots.

2. Working at home. It's been a transition, that's for sure, and it's something I never would have pictured myself doing, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity. Not only does working from home give me more flexibility than working in an office, but it's also given me more control over housework without feeling like it's taking time from other, more important things.

3. New computer. Technically there wasn't anything wrong with my old laptop, but it's almost 10 years old and was moving much too slowly to use for work (or really anything else).

4. Alexis potty trained! Over the summer it finally clicked all the way, meaning we're finished with pull-ups and diapers and can use that money somewhere else.

5. Netflix and DVR/On Demand. I combined these because I use them in similar ways. Being a parent means rarely getting to watch the shows you want when they air the first time, or discovering a show you like after everyone else has been watching for several seasons.

6. Target. I mean, who wouldn't be grateful for this store?

7. Fresh flowers. In the last year, picking out fresh flowers for the table has been one of the special activities Alexis and I do together.

8. Husband. I'm thankful for my husband every day, but especially within the last few months. He didn't laugh at me when I told him my idea for starting a magazine and encouraged me to explore the possibility. He supported me when I quit my stable job and started something uncertain, and has gone out of his way to help me be successful.

9. Daughter. Parenting can be hard, but this loving little girl makes it all worthwhile.

10. Mountain Dew. Does this need any explanation?

11. Satellite radio. It's one of the few extras worth paying for in my opinion, especially since there are no local radio stations that play the kind of music I like to hear.

12. Rewards programs. Whether its Walgreens or JCPenney, I almost never buy anything without using rewards or points or building up more.

13. My natural curls. They're a pain in the butt, especially on rainy days, but now that I've finally figured out how to handle them, I love having curls.

14. Online shopping. Some of my favorite places to shop have either shrunk their women's departments in stores or don't have a local store here. Plus, it's nice to not have to put on clothes or makeup.

15. Books.

16. Lore Olympus. It's a webcomic I recently discovered that is a modern retelling of the Taking of Persephone.

17. The Isaac Bell detective books by Clive Cussler. They're my new reading obsession.

18. Fashion. It's like art without having to draw.

19. Cooking. One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to eat more dinners at home. Thanks to my career change, it's gone much better than I had hoped.

20. Bubble baths/bath bombs.

21. My parents, without whom I would be nothing.

22. My best friends. Even though we don't see each other often anymore, it's nice to know there are three people out there who've always got my back.

23. Family. They never fail to teach me the type of person I want to be.

24. My office. It's a space I created that's just for me. (Just don't look at the other half of the room where Alexis plays...)

25. Facebook, but not in a way that you're thinking. It's revolutionized the way I do my job.

26. Daycare. They've taught Alexis so much, from her ABC's to helping with potty training.

27. Mexican food.

28. Supernatural - the show, the memes, the cast. Everything to do with it.

29. Blogging. I'm grateful for this platform where I can share my experiences, express myself, and help people find deals on clothes they might like.

30. My experience working for WTVY. I may not be there anymore, but working in that place for nine years taught me a lot about the business of television news and life in general.

31. Canva. It's an online program to create graphics, perfect for making photo collages or images for Instagram. Best of all, you can use it for free.

32. The last one is always the hardest, not because I can't think of something I'm thankful for but because I want it to be something worthy of ending on. This year, I'm extremely grateful that my family came through a category 3 hurricane unharmed. Sure we're all having to replace things (in my grandparents' case, their home), but no one was injured and we all made it through to help each other. I know we were all luckier than a lot of other people, and I hope none of us take it for granted. And I hope none of you have forgotten about those people in the hardest hit areas who are still dealing with the extreme aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

Here's to year 32. May I continue to build on the successes of the past year and remember to always find gratitude. Happy birthday to me.

Outfit Details
Shirt: Old Navy (old) - similar
Jacket: TJMaxx (old) - similar
Jeans: JCPenney (new)
Boots: Target (old) - similar

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  1. Hi, Ashton!

    Happy birthday to you, dear friend! We have known each other nearly a decade, but this is the first time I realized that our birthdays are so close together. I turned 69 on the 20th.

    I like the idea of counting your blessings every year around your birthday. Like you, I was fortunate to be able to leave the grind of television news producing and assume a position I enjoyed much more, one that allowed me to creatively express myself. I am thrilled to learn that your new career is going well, that you enjoy working at home, appreciate the flexible schedule and the free time, and that you have the support, encouragement and help of your husband.

    I thought about you when Hurricane Michael struck. I am very sorry to learn that your grandparents' home was destroyed, but relieved to know that they and the rest of your family escaped injury.

    Thank you for the kind words on my blog, Ashton. It's nice to know you read my special bereavement post last week and kept my family in your thoughts. As I mentioned in my reply to your comment, our family members from Alabama visited us for a week and went home a few days ago, passing through the Dothan area on their way down and back. They live close to Auburn University. I told them about you.

    On a lighter note, I am also happy to know that your darling daughter Alexis is potty trained and on her way to becoming a young lady. She is lucky to be guided by a wise and wonderful mommy, the journalist.

    Once again, happy birthday, dear friend Ashton!

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful comment! My grandparents thankfully did not stay in their house during the storm, and then afterwards spent about a month living with my parents. But I'm happy to report they've purchased a new home and will hopefully be in it by Christmas!