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A List of 30

I'm sitting here in a daze. The same daze I've been in for like 365 days x2. I'm completely overwhelmed at how fast time is moving.  I can vaguely recall a full weeks' worth of days in October and now November has come and gone. Nonetheless, I have a few minutes and a plan and I want to properly give thanks. I can spend time dwelling on the fact that I've missed yet another Thanksgiving holiday with family. Or the fact that I haven't seen a beach in about 2 years. And I dare not go off on a tangent about my spreading midsection. Nope. I'm. Not. Gonna. Do. It. Spending energy to think about any of those things would go against everything I'm working towards. So today, I proclaim 30 aspects of my life that I'm thankful/grateful for. 1. Food: The good and the bad, I'm THANKFUL for it all. If it weren't for the "bad" food, I may have never grown to appreciate the "good " food. There's been plenty of days when cookies and crisps have gotten me through the day. But lentil soup Whole 30 white chilli have been equally (if not more) fulfilling. So today, and always, I'm THANKFUL for sustenance and how blessed I am to have access to one of life's most basic necessities. 2. The NHS and all the NHS healthcare warriors. I know  I may sound like a broken record but, free healthcare is a genius idea that has been a very vital component of the UK economy. It works. It's a right. And it saves lives. 3. The Conservative, yet sensible UK government: because the numbers don't lie. Two lockdowns, mask mandates, travel bans- all the reasons the number of cases have been lower compared to that in the U.S. of A. 4. Having choices: Hmmmm... pizza or chicken? Plane or train? Beach or mountains? Rainbow sherbert or Pralines & Cream? Plant-based or Pescetarian? Tummy tuck or fat transfer? This job or that job? This house or that house? Everyday we are faced with making decisions- big and small. Choosing between this or that, can be daunting at times and we often take it for granted. But can you imagine a life where nothing was up to you? How dreadful would that be?! 5. A paycheck... finally! For so long, I've been an independent woman- taking pride in making my own way. Yeah, I may have asked my aunt to borrow some dollars here and there, but essentially, what was mines was mines. However, life here in London has been trying and I was forced to have to depend on someone like never before. I guess this is a two- fold thank you as I'm thankful for humbleness. But let me just tell you one thing... I'm over the moon to be making my own money again! 6. Being an introvert: which has been a blessing during a time when isolation was basically necessary. My heart aches for those who have suffered traumatically from the effects of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen the rise in mental health tragedy rise parallel to the rise in COVID cases because many human beings literally NEED the energy and presence of others to survive. So today, I'm thankful for my human make-up. The ability to be okay with staying home. The contentment in doing absolutely nothing because I know that's not the case for everyone. 7. Womanhood/Motherhood: because it's a damn beautiful thing to be one! I genuinely and routinely thank God for making me a woman. We are the most intriguing creatures and our strength, tenacity, and resilience surpasses that of the opposite sex. Please understand that this is not a diss to the "Adams" of this Universe because there's no "us" without "them".  But we are a mighty powerful entity with purpose and God made no mistakes when he made us. Remember, it is ONLY a woman that can bear a child and that is certainly for a reason. 8. Framily: new and old! I'm thankful for you all as you have been key in helping me stay sane! 9. COVID-19 Soldiers: here, there, and EVERYWHERE, I thank you! Could you imagine surviving the COVID-19 pandemic without the selfless acts and time from  every teacher, therapist, nurse, doctor, medical engineer, custodial engineer, environmental service worker,  emergency responders, and/or scientist/researcher?! We'd all be 10- feet under, if not close to it! So stop what you're doing right now, and just say a thank you to the COVID-19 soldiers all over the world. We owe them everything. 10. Video Chats & Conferencing: and the new age conversations! Marco Polo, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and Facebook have all allowed for life to go on in some way, form or fashion. Happy Hours, birthday gatherings, fundraisers, church service, doctor's appointments, concerts, therapy sessions, distance learning, weekly gripe sessions with friends have all been to continue thanks to virtual interaction platforms. It's helped businesses stay alive and relationships to remain strong. It's kept humanity very much real, even if it has seemed a bit unnatural, and I appreciate it more than many know. 11. My Husband: the smart(ass), supportive man, father, and football fanatic who I trust was meant for (and me for him). Our patience has been tried and we've been through hell and back, literally, but we keep coming out on top. I love and appreciate you, David and I can't wait to see what the years to come have in store for us! 12. Free Trials & Subscriptions, particularly during a pandemic.  I've been able to sift through several apps and/programs that I thought I needed in my life. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my free 2 month Peloton subscription and I'm sure it would've been EVERYTHING if they shipped trial bikes as well (I just made myself chuckle with that one!). Buuuuut, I was also able to discover that although I believe in the concept and immediately started to see results, Noom isn't a weight loss program that fits my lifestyle currently, and that's okay! All in all, these were definitely helpful ways to jump-start a weight loss journey. 13. The Postal Services: the most classic way to connect and access! Firstly, let me just say that if it weren't for the USPS, my vote during the 2020 election wouldn't have been a part of yet another historic and emotional presidential election. I was able to be among 51% of the American people who voted for a change and that is largely due to the United States Postal Service. And then there's the USPS and our APO box. Without a doubt, my homesickness would've last much longer had it not been for affordable access to American goods and staples. Although nothing beats walking the aisles of a Target store or the "Everyday Low Prices" of Walmart, we are still able to save money and still have essences of home by shipped goods via the amazing postal service! Which leads me to... 14. Amazon/ Amazon Prime! Need I say more? 15. Zumbini: my perfect side hustle.  Over the summer, during COVID-Geddon, I invested in myself and became a licensed Zumbini instructor and I'm songpad I did. Zumbini has allowed me to be an occupational therapist, teacher, dancer, singer, and kid- all in one! And you know,  i make decent coins doing it! No session notes to write or reports to type up- just music, dancing while facilitating learning in little people. Sounds perfect, right?! 16. Mother Nature in her entirety: When i say this, I'm referring to all living things and things that contribute to the cycle of life.  I'm talking the sun, trees, flowers, grass, animals...  and oh, let's not forget about menstruation! 17. Google: Maps, Docs, Forms, Meet, Voice, GMAIL, Suite- they're mega-minds making it easy and accessible to take care of business! 18. Dishwashers: There's been a lot more cooking these days being there's been 2 lockdowns. I know we are a quite spoiled generation but the thought of hand washing dishes day after day is preposterous! 19. Photos: I'm actually surprised that photos made my list, but as the past few years have changed my offer tremendously, I can look back, beyond the past few years, and be forever grateful for the memories that have been captured by the power of the lens! 20. Opportunity: in all forms. I've had the opportunity to travel the world, go to University, live in other countries, swim in the ocean, buy a home at the age of 24, know both of my parents, impact the life of someone in need, be in the audience of a live television production/airing, experience heartbreak, feed a dolphin... the list goes on and I take known of it for granted. 21. Dental Floss & Interdental Brushes! 22. My Acey: my Little Super Hero. I'm sure this was a givenbut it'sonly natural that he be on this list. Ace has changed my life in so many ways and it's all been for the better 23. Change: a much needed aspect of life, even when it's uncomfortable, unplanned, and out of our control. Cheers to new beginnings! 24. My acupuncturist who has been an amazing support throughout my journey here in London. Acupuncture is more than just needless being pricked all over your body- it's a release... a balancing act. You should give it a try. 25. The Occupational Therapy profession: because it allows me to say I LOVE what I do! 26. My Lord and Savior: Psalms 23! 27. Medical Advancements: great and small. For most of my adult life, pre-Ace of course, I lived life avoiding medical doctors. I put my faith in God, Eastern medicine, and other various alternative treatments (vitamins, supplements, therapies, spas, exercise, meditation, diet...). I had seen firsthand how Western medicine could be a never-ending cycle and mind trap, monopolised by "not-so-good" people. Although I still believe in much of this, I have once again been forced to appreciate the power of medicine because ultimately, medicine saved my Little Super Hero's life. Not to mention, the millions of lives saved from the current beast we know as COVID-19. So I'm tremendously grateful for medicine- in all its forms. 28. Traffic lights- why you ask, because they are a much better alternative than traffic circles! #damndrivingintheUK 29. Vera Jean! Rest in Heaven my Guardian Angel. And lastly... 30. I'm thankful for that act of hopefulness... in believing that everything is everything and that better days are on the horizon. I have faith that things will get better and that all of this is planned according to life's purpose.

They say, "Life is good, even in the midst of a storm," and you know, I'll toast to that! Love, hugs, peace and blessings to you! Until next time... 

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