I’ve been home for more than one full week, and this list in particular has been growing. So despite the fact that actual Thanksgiving is many months away, I bring you The List of Things for Which I am Thankful.
I am thankful…
1. That I had the opportunity to go on a trip like this, even if it didn’t turn out like I’d planned.
2. That I took eighteen hundred photos. They remind me of the good parts. And, contrary to what I’ve written on here, there were some good parts.
3. That nothing went ‘terribly’ wrong on the trip–no one got really sick or broke anything, no one lost anything important, nothing was stolen…and so on.
4. I know I keep saying this in different ways, but I am thankful that I’m married to a man who stuck with me through all of the bad parts. And by ‘bad parts’ I mean ‘the times when I was being a huge bitch’.
5. For my mother, who not only helped me get home when I needed to, but who cleaned my house while I was gone. And weeded the garden. And text messaged me happy thoughts.
6. For the fact that I decided to skip Barcelona, and that doing so was possible.
7. For my friends, who call me up and say ‘hi…so how’s it going?’ in a tone typically reserved for someone who just went through a messy break-up and/or just got over a long and possibly embarrassing illness, like a hernia operation or, oh I don’t know, some kind of ass surgery. I appreciate their support and the fact that they’re not telling me I’m an idiot for not having fun. To add to that, beyond just being nice about my blunders, I am thankful for my friends in general. I’ve seen a great many of them already in the one week since I’ve returned, and it is so good to spend time with other people–and people who make me laugh.
8. For my car. I love my car. It’s not a fancy car–hell, it isn’t even a ‘nice’ car, but it takes me wherever I want to go right when I want to go there. And for that, I am extremely thankful.
9. For kind waiters who speak English. I actually almost hugged the server at The Outback the night after we came home. When I told him why I was so enthralled with his service, he said ‘oh I know–waiters in Paris are very cold. And isn’t it, like, SO dirty there?’ That was the part where I almost hugged him!
10. For my own kitchen, a fridge full of food I can cook, and a garden full of fresh veggies. For my grill, my Santoku knife and super-sized cutting board; and, when I tire of all of that, I am thankful for pizza delivery and nice restaurants with prices in dollars and menus in English that I know I like and can visit whenever I’d like. In my car. With my friends or husband or mother.
11. That I’ve finally stopped saying ‘pardon’ instead of ‘excuse me’. Also for the fact that I don’t HAVE to say ‘excuse me’ over and over again in any language, as I’m no longer spending my days shuffling through crowds.
12. For my newfound perspective on how much ‘stuff’ I really need. I lived out of a backpack for over three weeks–why do I have three closets full of clothing I never wear? Hopefully someone at a thrift store will be thankful for my donations in the very near future.
13. That we went to Amsterdam. I almost deleted it from the trip entirely at several points–up to and including ten minutes before we got on the train (having been deeply upset by afore mentioned angry gypsy woman). It, along with our side trip to Bath, was the highlight of the trip.
14. That we returned to London on our way home. Even though it was part of my crazy 36-hour return trip from hell, it made me appreciate the city in a new way. Ok–who am I kidding? After Paris, I LOVED London!
15. For all of the lessons that I learned. They will serve me well when planning future trips. And there will be future trips–maybe not outside of the US for a while (or anywhere expensive until we pay off this last one!) but there WILL be future trips. In fact, my very next post will be on precisely that topic. Stay tuned.