Twenty Days of Thankful #8

Day #8: A Humble Abode

This is not the first post expressing a backwards sort of gratitude for downsizing to an apartment. A couple years ago I bought a house, and a year later I moved out. Circumstances aside, “the house and the yard and the dog” are things that almost every person wants, and I most certainly was one of those people. But I was drowning in an unmanageable schedule, with an unmanageable commute, and an impossible financial situation. Taking a step backward (according to the writers of The American Dream), was actually a huge step forward for me personally. In downsizing to an apartment, I’ve managed to pay off two credit cards in the course of a year and get all my expenses under control. My bank account is black all of the time. My responsibilities have returned to a reasonable load. Everything is just – better.

I do hope that there will be a time when the house and the yard and the dog make sense for me, but right now is not that time. I’ve learned to value things that matter over, just, things. I love the courtyard view out our living room window. I love the sunshine pouring into our dining room each morning. I love my little kitchen and how I have everything I need. I LOVE that this is a space that can realistically be clean and organized *most* of the time.

It’s not fancy, and I don’t own it, but this is my home. And that, as they say, is where the heart is.

IMG_2997 IMG_2908 IMG_2841

Obligatory Blog Post About Being Thankful on Thanksgiving

If you decide to take a little time today between the food and the family and the football to check the interwebs, I’m sure I will be one of perhaps millions of blog posts appropriately themed on being Thankful.  We bloggers are smart like that in that we’ve figured out that readers generally like posts that are timed well to a particular holiday or event.  So what is going to make my blog post about what I’m thankful for stick out more than any other that pops up in your newsfeed?

Not much. Probably….

But in spite of my self-loathing lack of confidence that I stand out among other thankful-themed posts, and the honest belief that very few people read my blog on a regular basis (thanks Mom and Julie)… I’m going to do it anyway.

2012 has been a year of drastic changes in my life.  I moved. My relationships with friends and family have changed.  My job(s) have changed.  I have withstood heartache, hardship, and more change in one year than a person should be able to handle.  While I’ve alluded ambiguously to some of these over the last several months, a rant on gratitude won’t be the thing that causes me to spill on my personal life, but I will say that the year has brought with it a total shift in my mentality, my self-worth, and ultimately my happiness.

I think I had been craving a life that’s less complicated.  A life where the “stuff” around you doesn’t matter.  A simple life that I can actually afford.  Working an average of 60 hours a week for four months hasn’t exactly brought me to the simple life I envision, but my frame of mind has completely shifted.  I am better able to recognize what I need, and what I don’t.  I’m better able to take care of relationships with the friends who matter, and let go of the “friends” who don’t.  I’m living closer to Earth; eating more vegetables than burritos.  All in all, I’m grateful for who I am, and I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have.

When I started this blog, I’m pretty sure THAT was my ultimate goal… exploring a simple life in a big city and finding myself in the process.

And, let’s be honest, I’m pretty awesome.

Oh, that, and, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be thankful for the meal that is about to make its way to my face in a  couple hours.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pickled beets, the family’s famous Gulliver’s Corn (don’t worry, I’ve been begging Mom to write a guest post so you can get your hands on the recipe), and a homemade(ish) pie from yours truly.

Apple. With homemade whipped cream.

Delicious.