What three things from this year have significantly blessed my life?
I have an answer, but I want to make sure it's understood that listing these three things doesn't mean that I'm not thankful for many, many other things. I guess I say this because there's an obligatory list of things you're supposed to say you're grateful for. Like family. I'm not going to list family in this post, but that's not because I'm not grateful for family. Just know that I have gratitude in my heart for so many things, but I am only focusing on a very small portion of them today.
So with that out of the way, here are my three blessings from 2016 (in no particular order):
I learned something about myself this year - I need strong friendships. I thrive when I have people and purpose in my life. I really, honestly, did not know about this need until this year.
2016 has shown me how blessed I am in friends. As I have found my way out of depression, I have to acknowledge the perfect timing of these friendships because they were an imperative part of my recovery.
I appreciate the variety of friends I have and the different roles they play in my life. I love the vast array of inside jokes we share:
"Drive safely in the dark!"
"I choose life!"
I love that I have friends that will hang out with me at 5:00 a.m., friends who will listen to my "Lost Devotionals" (yes, I incorporate scriptures), friends who let me play them a new song I like, friends who will meet me for lunch at the drop of a hat, friends who laugh at my Donny Osmond memes (they are gold, people. Gold!), and friends who embrace my daily goal of "pants before noon."
All of these things matter to me, and I am deeply grateful for all levels of friendship in my life.
I've already said a lot about this, so I won't repeat it all, but let me just acknowledge the progress I have made since June of this year.
My life has changed!
I can feel the Spirit again, and I feel capable of bringing light into my life. I couldn't do this a year ago... or even two years ago... and I didn't understand what was happening to me. In hindsight, it is so clear, but in the thick of it, I didn't know I had depression. I heard friends talk about their own depression and never made the connection that I was going through the same thing. That just shows how detrimental depression can be, even in its mildest forms.
I am so grateful that I can finally see it for what it was - that the fog is lifted and I am doing better.
3. My Mind
With wading out of depression this year, I've learned to really appreciate my mind. Some of my capacity for learning, pondering, and growing was stunted for the past few years. I forgot how much I love learning - both in educational settings and in leisure. I enjoy having meaningful discussions about things I'm learning (so having friends who will listen and engage in my ramblings has been so wonderful!) I love drawing parallels and making inferences. I love calling upon things I've learned when I need them. I love writing things down and becoming reacquainted with them years later.
I'm very thankful for a mind that can study and learn and think things through.
While the list is not exhaustive, those are the three things from this year that I think have blessed my life in countless ways, and for that, I am sincerely grateful.
I wish you all a happy Thankgiving! Here's a song for you to enjoy this week (introduced to me by Shannon, one of my blessings from 2016):