Counting Down to the New Year: 11 Things I am Thankful For (2015)


Counting Down to the New Year is a series of 12 posts in which I reflect on 2015 and prepare for 2016.

Today I am exhausted and worn out. Last night I slept 13 hours and woke up still feeling depleted. Tired. Thinking slowly. Unmotivated.

Even writing this post, I’m struggling to find words. My thoughts are lagging, my brain feels fuzzy, and I keep losing words and thoughts.

Today I am achy and wondering how work will go this evening. I have to work three hours this evening and four hours tomorrow afternoon, and I rarely work two days in a row like that. It is going to take a toll on my body, and I am trying to save up every last spoon to make it through.

And then I see that today I am supposed to write 11 things that I am thankful for. It is the next post on the list. I’d much rather put it off. I’d much rather skip to the next topic. Not because there aren’t things to be thankful for, but because I’m too tired and achy don’t want to do the work of recognizing the good.

But I guess that is part of the point, that it takes work to recognize the good in the midst of the hard. Yesterday I finished reading One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. In general I had mixed feelings about the book. I didn’t agree with everything that she said, and there were small portions of the book that I found quite troubling. But, there is no denying that the main thrust of the book – giving thanks, seeing God’s gifts and his grace in things big and small – is something I can hold on to.

I won’t bore you with a thousand things I am thankful for, but here are eleven.

 Starting a new job at the end of December. I plan to share more details about this later, but in a nutshell, things perfectly fell into place for starting a new job. Such a huge gift.

A hot steaming cup of black coffee. Does this even need an explanation?

My soft, fuzzy electric blanket. Oh how I love to be warm. It cancels out the chill of falling asleep on an ice pack and I just burrow my head in its soft and comfortable fluffiness.

Anticipating a restful and stress free Christmas. We won’t be traveling for the holidays or seeing family, but the perk will be no stress and not anxiety.

White chili simmering in the crockpot. So delicious and so easy. And I won’t need to make dinner for the next two days. 

Netflix and free online shows. I’ve been watching Broadchurch, Quantico, Friends (for the millionth time), and Big Bang Theory. 

Free library ebooks. This is a new thing for me this year, and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it before. I get free library books right to my ipad. It’s wonderful.

Online support and encouragement. I’m so thankful for each of my online readers and friends. You make my days better. 

Grocery delivery. I should have done this a long time ago. Only 4$ to get groceries delivered directly to our apartment, and one less huge task to do every week or so. 

Glide. I use glide – a live video messages app – every day to talk to my sisters and friends. It is the perfect way for me to stay in touch with people and feel connected when I am stuck at home.

Sunshine. Today the sunshine is coming in through the glass doors and hitting me just right on the couch. It’s wonderful to have sunny days when it has been so rainy and dreary lately.

Check out my 2014 post on 11 Things I Am Thankful For.

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  1. Just discovered your blog today.
    I’ve been suffering with chronic pain for about 8 years now. I’m 26 with 2 herniated lower back discs, disc degenerative disease, and a reverse curve in my neck. I tried therapy, doctors, etc for a few years when I was initially diagnosed, but I lost hope and decided that medication was good enough at the time.
    I’ve now come to a time in my life where I’m ready to face these demons head on again. I have been browsing the internet for chronic pain blogs so that– as I’m sure most chronic pain sufferers agree– I don’t feel as alone in this battle.
    I want to thank you for being so earnest, open, and honest about your struggles. As much as I hope for your health, as well as my own, sometimes it is nice to know I’m not suffering alone.

    Thank you again, happy holidays, and sending spoons your way <3

    P.S. if you're looking for a new book- try Brene Brown's "Daring Greatly" and "Rising Strong". Highly recommend.

    1. Hi Emily, so nice to meet you. I’m sorry for the long eight years of pain you have been going through and continue to go through. Blogging and connecting with other chronic pain sufferers online was lifechanging for me when I first started. No joke! The biggest difference was when I started joining support groups on facebook. You might consider looking for facebook groups for your specific condition. That has been really helpful for me for support and practical advice for treatment, etc… It made such a difference for me that I ended up starting one of my own. Check it out fi you are interested, but no pressure if not 🙂 It’s a great way to stay connected. And if not mine, you should check others out!

  2. Hi Esther, great list and good on you for doing it despite how crummy you felt or still feel. I’m just getting up from bed crashing after talking with my psychologist on Skype (yes, Internet services are life saving and a blessing when you are home bound). My hubby had to come out of his office to help, another thing in really grateful for since he’s been working from home. Otherwise I would have been stuck in my recliner with no chance of escape for an hour or two. I’m also grateful for my electric blanket that also just saved me because crashing means my body can’t hold its temperature and I shiver like I have the flu.
    So glad to hear you are looking forward to a new job and I hope it will be easier on you. That is indeed something great to be thankful for.
    You make me think about reconsidering going to my husband’s mom on the 25th when I read your post. .. I realized today that since his aunt and cousin refuse to not wear perfume and worse, drench themselves in it on special occasions like xmas, I might very well end up stuck in the back room or choke/gag but noisy probably vomit and cause a migraine if I go. Last year I choked but excused myself to the washrooms. However my sensibility had since almost doubled. Hence my very realistic prediction that I will vomit, it had almost happened many times when crossing people with too much perfume these past months or in a bathroom with febreeze… so your post makes me think: is it worth it? I don’t want my hubby to not go but if I’m going to end up eating in the back room alone and after a tiresome trip there why should I go?
    One other thing I’m grateful for is having a little more energy these past weeks to cook small easy meals to make it Christmasey here without the pain and fatigue. Maybe that’s the right strategy. When I read your post and that you are staying put I felt a longing. Maybe it’s the answer. I’ll think on it.
    Thanks again and rest well. Thanks for your last answer by the way.
    Sending you good vibes to handle your work days=)

    1. Hi Claudia, that’s great that you have found a psychologist who you can see from home! I am so glad you were able to find that.

      In terms of Christmas, it is definitely such a personal decision of deciding what is worth it and what is not. I am sure you will make the decision that is right for you! But if you want to stay home and think you would have a better time at home, I say go for it! No shame or harm in doing what works for you over the holidays, even if it isn’t “normal.”

      So fun that you have been able to cook small meals to make it more Christmasey. I hope to have spoons to do that over the next few weeks. It really does make a difference 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your list of things to be thankful for! It is helpful to have reminders from others about the good things in life! And white chili sounds really good… 🙂

    Only $4 for grocery delivery?! That is so totally worth it! I might have to look into doing that someday if we ever live close enough to a grocery store.

    1. I couldn’t believe how affordable it is! For our local grocery store, the starting price is 9$ for delivery, but if you give them a four hour window in which to deliver, it goes down to 4$. Definitely worth it!

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