By. Danielle Husband
Although it’s important to share our gratitude year round, Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful for this year’s blessings. Just as we harvest crops, we can also review the other “harvests” we’ve gathered over the year. This year, I have much to be thankful for, and I decided to share my 2017 gratitude list.
Falling in love. It’s beautiful to know that no matter how many times our hearts are broken, they can always be made whole again. The heart is a muscle – if you give it the tools it needs to heal after it’s been torn apart, it will come back stronger. This year my life unfolded into a love story, complete with candy hearts.
Bonding with my family. Like all families, we’ve had our ups and downs, but this year has been one of our best. We’ve really grown closer, and even with the physical distance between us, we’ve grown closer. Some of my best memories with my family were made this year.
Great friends. I’m grateful for all of the friends I’ve gathered through the years, including those who’ve come into my life in this past year. I still have friends from back home, but I’ve made so many close connections over these past few years in Houston. I’m so lucky to have made artist friends, writer friends, and now actor friends, as well. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people.
Sharing my life with a needy lap cat. Catsby and I have officially been a part of each other’s lives for two years now. Her shelter days behind her, she spends as much time as possible purring away in my lap. She’s the perfect companion, and I couldn’t imagine life without her. This year, she’s thankful for her new cat tree.
A new apartment in a neighborhood I love. This year I was able to move into a nook of an apartment located in Houston’s artsy Montrose neighborhood, within walking distance of my favorite coffee shop, a library, a meditation chapel, and an art museum. With tree-lined sidewalks and vintage buildings, it’s the perfect place for me to be. I love living in the heart of a big city, with life beating steadily on, carrying me forward.
Sharing my writing with the world. This year I plunged into a freelance writing career, which has allowed me to share my writing through a variety of writing gigs. It’s exhilarating to actually be doing something that I love and honestly need to do to feel happy. I’ve been fortunate so far on this journey, and I’m grateful that things have been falling into place.
Living an artsy, unstructured life. My freelance job allows for a lot of flexibility, since I usually work from home. It’s been great for me mentally, allowing me to thrive artistically. Though I work almost every day, I can assemble the pieces of the day in a way that fits my needs, which is a blessing. I have time to write, draw, paint, do improv, and enjoy local events. I’m getting to live life on my own terms.
A new record player gifted by my mom. My record player broke about a month ago, silencing the sweet sounds of vinyl that had once filled my apartment. Spinning a record lifts my soul and changes the way I feel about a moment. Vinyl brings a different sound, filling the space in a way all its own. Playing a record is a different kind of music experience, and I’m grateful to have that back in my life.
Cheap wine and brie. Working for myself as a freelance writer, I don’t have a ton of cash to spend, so I feel blessed to be able to sip on inexpensive wine and nibble on budget-friendly brie options. My lifestyle has varied over the years, but I know that I can still live in a way that makes me happy as long as I remain flexible and keep my eyes open for good opportunities to do what I enjoy.
An escape to New Orleans. These past few years have been low on vacation opportunities as I’ve pursued the more important goal of building a writing career. Last month, my boyfriend whisked me off to NOLA to celebrate our anniversary immersed in the art and culture of The Big Easy.
Finding out how strong I truly am. This year has had its peaks and valleys, and they’ve taught me more about myself. I have seen my strength and determination, and I know that in my darkest moments I have people in my life who will light matches to lead me home. Without hardships, strength has no meaning. Without darkness, there is no such thing as light. Without turmoil, we cannot know peace.
What are you thankful for this year?