I'm going for a record 3 posts today, friends. Here is a gratitude list to round out the depressing beginning to the day's blogs:
1. I am grateful for my mom, who is my best friend and incredibly supportive of anything I do. She is beautiful and sensitive, funny and dependable. I can't imagine my life without her.
2. I am grateful for my dad, whose loving presence I always feel even though we sometimes go for a while without managing to talk or e-mail. What he and I share is proof that you can have the relationship you want with a person; it doesn't matter how it started out, or how the first 16 years went.
3. I am grateful for Rico, who is the best man I could ever hope to have in my life. I am amazed at how patient and accepting he his. Some days I am amazed that we even managed to find each other.
4. I am grateful for the cats in my life. Azul, Pria and Parceiro bring me enless joy and comfort.
5. I am grateful for my new job, my wonderful boss, and my coworkers who are increasingly also becoming friends. I am happy to have my potential recognized, and to have the challenge of putting myself to the task.
6. I am grateful to have enough. Money, food, clothes, friends, family, blessings. I am completely satisfied and provided for.
7. I am grateful to have a crazy streak that allows me to embark on all these adventures through the world.
8. I am grateful to have a family that didn't try to hold me back or make me fit in a box that wasn't meant for me.
9. I am grateful for a lovely extended family.
10. I am grateful that I know how to say "NO", though sometimes I could use a refresher course on this one in situations where I feel intimidated.
11. I am grateful that my allergy attacks seem to have decreased significantly.
12. I am grateful that I have a creative outlet (jewelry making) that allows me to do something I love and make some money at the same time.
13. I am grateful for high speed internet.
14. I am grateful for having the means to plan a wedding that will be truly special.
15. I am grateful for knowing how to read, write and speak.
16. I am grateful for little treats carefully brought back in a suitcase and stored for half the year, or unexpectedly discovered at the supermarket one week - cranberries, turkey, marzipan, chai tea, green chile, red chile, dried figs, dill weed, real vanilla extract.
17. I am grateful for this blog, as it has not only provided me with an amazing record of my experiences since leaving the US, it has also been my principal outlet for making new friends here in Mozambique (and virtually!).
18. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel home each year and visit my family and friends.
19. I am grateful for all the people that help me on a daily basis - my empregada, our guards, my taxi driver, my work colleagues.
20. I am grateful for music and dance, in all forms, all the time. They are what keep me sane much of the time.
21. I am grateful for this day, this moment, and all those still to come. I hope for the wisdom to realize that this is all that really matters and live in a way that makes me happy.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. We will be eating tonight in the company of about 30 friends. On the menu: turkey, cranberries, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, yams, matapa, rice, french crepes, spanish tortilla, pumpkin cake, cheeses, apple crisp and ice cream.