i'm thankful

As I see posts on my Facebook and Twitter pages about what people are thankful for this year, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the things I am thankful for.  This post was initially inspired by one of my favourite fellow Canadian bloggers, Listen to Lena, and her Thanksgiving post.

Sure it's easy to give thanks to the familiar things in life - kids, family, loved ones, food, etc.  Not to say that I'm not thankful for those things but when I was reading Lena's post, I thought I would follow her lead and list the things that I am thankful for helping to shape me into the person I have become today.

The Mean Kid

I'm thankful for the kid in elementary school who used to call me names.  He wasn't the school bully - in fact, he was called names by other kids - but for some reason he found it to be his mission to make my life miserable.  I don't remember much about it because he didn't succeed, and because, frankly, I didn't really know what half the names he was calling me meant.  I do remember coming home one day telling my mom that he called me a certain word that was derogatory to my ethnic background {Chinese}, which was extremely confusing given that this kid was actually half Chinese.  To this day I don't even know if the kid really knew what the word meant but I know it made my mom furious and that she took care of business.  In the end, I'm thankful that this kid did call me names because it didn't phase me and I made sure that any other future name calling, if any, wouldn't phase me either.

Keeping Busy

I'm thankful that my parents gave me the opportunity to immerse myself into the world of sports.  At a very early age, I trained in competitive gymnastics and learned the discipline, respect, dignity and hard work that came with the intense training.  I remember my coaches yelling at me - some talking me down - just to get me to do certain routines, some of them becoming extremely difficult, and to rattle me a little bit.  It worked.  I cried and cried, but I didn't give up.  In some strange way, it made me feel more confident and it made me want to better myself.  My experience as a gymnast made me look at the world differently and will stay with me forever.

First Love

I'm thankful for my first love.  Even though I didn't know it at the time and even though I don't think I ever expressed it to him, I realize now that I truly did love him.  He taught me the feeling of true love and, finally, the feeling of a true heartbreak.  I'm thankful that he allowed me to make decisions for myself - for if he didn't, I would have never known what it feels like to love so much that I would die...for my children.  I would have never created a life with my now husband and our beautiful kids.  I never would have known what it would be like to be a step-mom to an incredible daughter.  Thank you to my first love for allowing me to experience life with Lil J and Baby Z.

The Love of My Life

I'm thankful for my husband {a cliche but had to be mentioned!}.  I'm thankful that he didn't give up even though it meant begging for my number for hours at a club {yes, we met at a club!}.  And when I finally gave him my digits, I'm thankful that he chose to find time for me in his chaotic life {at the time he was fighting to bring his daughter back into the country - long story}.  I'm thankful that he made me try my first bite of sushi, curry goat, and every type of seafood imaginable.  I'm thankful that he made me stronger.  He encourages me to never take no for an answer and to stand up to people that say no.  I'm thankful that he's taught me the importance of not planning things.  Because of that, we are able to enjoy life as it comes and make the most of "spur the moment" occurrences.  I'm thankful that we were able to travel the world together, just the two of us.  I'm thankful that he shows me ways around conventional ways.  I'm thankful that he never follows the rules.  Sometimes I say he's corrupted me.  Ha!  I'm thankful that he gave me my two beautiful babies.  I could not imagine my life without them - or him.

My {swank} Community

I'm thankful for all of you.  I'm thankful that you read my stories and listen to me rant.  I'm thankful when you communicate with me, as I hold our conversations dear to my heart.  I'm thankful for the community of moms {and dads}, for the support they give me, and for the encouragement they show me.  I'm thankful that you take the time out of your own busy days to say hi and to share your stories with me.  Thank you for rallying around me and encouraging me to drive forward with my {swank} existence.

What are you thankful for this year?  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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