I turn 35 today. This doesn’t seem possible.
Upon reviewing My 34 list, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. A lot happened this year, much of it unexpected and done in amazement.
I have come at birthdays in the past with a deficit mindset, thinking mostly about what I have not done within the year that has gone (flown) by. I have felt intense pressure for not having met certain milestones – childbirth and marriage being the two big ones. These ‘goals’ are socially constructed and therefore a tension is present between what I ‘ought’ to be doing rather than what is happening. In fact, I have already outlived my own personal perceptions of abundance and success! I am proud to have lived whole-heartedly and courageously these last 35 years.
This year I’m celebrating by declaring the 35 things I’m most grateful for on my 35th birthday. I would like to give thanks for an amazing run so far.
1. My health. Achy knees are really all I have to deal with these days. So lucky.
2. Shelter. I adore my little space in the world. I’m warm, comfortable and content in my apartment. It’s the perfect spot for the birth of a brilliant dissertation.
3. My family. Everyone says this, but I really do have the best family. My siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins – they all form a strong community of support for me and I am thankful for their compassion.
4. My friends. I have many amazing friends too. They are incredibly thoughtful and inspirational.
5. My partner. His unconditional support, ambition and kindness makes me want to be a better person.
6. Past employment. It has provided me with amazing experiences and knowledge that has helped me get to where I am today.
7. Current employment. I love what I do. It doesn’t feel like work.
8. My education. Opportunities to learn (as a woman especially) I never take for granted.
9. My economic situation. While not wealthy by any means, I have enough. More than most. And that’s all that matters.
10. My country. I love Canada because it is at peace and free. And I feel safe here.
11. My travels & passport. Traveling has opened my mind and heart and I feel blessed to have visited all of the places I have.
12. Spirituality. My grounding and foundation.
13. Yoga. Yoga gives me the feeling of strength, accomplishment and calm. I am so grateful to have found this practice.
14. Sports. While hockey leads the way, I am grateful for both watching and playing all kinds of sports. Nothing captures the human spirit quite like the Olympic Games.
15. Music. There is nothing like a good song to lift me up.
16. My mentors. I have some great mentors who continue to motivate me to be the best I can be.
17. Nature. Lakes, mountains, rivers, trees, oceans, beaches. Amazing.
18. Books. Like a true student, I love reading and learning from books. I’m running out of room on my shelves.
19. Possibility. I am grateful for endless possibility and the feeling that my future is open and vast.
20. My community. This one is about both my amazing neighbourhood as well as my PhD community. Thank you.
21. Democracy. I can vote without threat or fear. Full stop.
22. The clothes on my back (and shoes on my feet). ‘Nuff said. With honourable mention going to sweatpants, fleece robes and cute teal booties.
23. Food/drink & cooking. I love to cook and create in the kitchen and I feel grateful to not go hungry at night. I especially am grateful for coffee, wine, popcorn, perogies and South Asian food.
24. The Arts. Whether it is the ballet, a play, musical theatre, or artwork…the Arts make wonderful contributions to my life.
25. For each and every day.
26. Seasons. I adore the full four-season cycle I get to witness (almost) every year.
27. Meditation. Stillness and silence ‘speaks’ volumes to my personal growth and development.
28. Technology. If it wasn’t for technology, I could not do a lot of things, including communicate with those I love.
29. Dancing. Dancing makes me feel so very alive. I need to do it more often.
30. Hot tubs/pools. Yeah, I really like relaxing in hot tubs.
31. Massages. Who doesn’t love a good massage?
32. Inspirational role models. There are numerous people I look up to who make a positive impact in the world, famous or not. They keep me aiming high.
33. My bicycle. I feel so free (and fit) on my little bike. I also feel grateful to live in a city where there are endless paths. Now I just need a basket.
34. Sleep. My fuel. I cherish my sleep.
35. Love and more love. It fills me full.