February Gratitude List

February 9, 2014


You know that thing where you’re supposed to write a list of five things you’re grateful for each day? I think it’s an Oprah thing.

Well, have you ever actually tried doing it? I mean, sitting down each day and coming up with a list? It sounds easy enough, right? But, it’s SUPER DUPER HARD, you guys. I’ve tried it multiple times. And usually I can only keep at it for about a week before my list ends up looking something like this:

1. I’m grateful for nachos.

2. I’m grateful for not punching anyone in the face today even though I kind of wanted to.

3. Did I mention nachos?

4. Also beer. I’m grateful for that.


I kind of have a feeling Oprah would not approve.

Despite my inability to do an acceptable job at the whole gratitude list thing before, I’ve decided to have a try at it again.

But maybe not everyday. I mean that’s a little bit excessive. I mean, seriously, who’s that grateful? Certainly not me.

And instead of doing it in a journal for myself, I’m doing it on this here blog. Because, seriously, I can’t write anything for myself any more. I can only write if I know I will get instant Internet feedback. It’s like I’m one of those dogs that does tricks for meat-flavored snack-treats. Except my meat-flavored snack-treats are comments. And Facebook likes. And tweets.

Things I’m Grateful for This Month

1. My Coworkers
I don’t write about the people I work with because I don’t want to be that person in the office that everyone’s being nice to because she might write mean things about them on her blog.

Oh wait, I totally want to be that person. Nevermind.

The truth is I work with some pretty awesome folks. They have been super welcoming and super helpful. One of my coworkers has even started picking me up everyday since my car has stopped working, which I feel a bit bad about because I know my apartment is totally out of her way and that I could totally walk to work, but I don’t feel bad enough to tell her to stop. At least not until it stops snowing.

2. My Students
I also don’t write about my students really ever for various reasons, but the truth is they’re pretty awesome-pants too. They even threw me a party on my birthday complete with a cake and the hugest balloon bouquet ever.


It was super sweet.

And super effective at getting them out of the quiz they were supposed to take that day.

3. Real Letters
I love, love, LOVE real letters, but  I hardly ever get them because the Internets.

Plus, I never, ever send them myself, so I can’t really blame other people for not sending them to me.

But since it was my birthday a few weeks ago, I’ve gotten a couple real letters from family members, and it’s such a fun, simple surprise every time I open my mailbox and discover something else besides a flyer for Papa John’s Double Cheeseburger Pizza.

This is totally a thing and EWWWW.

This is totally a thing and EWWWW.

Especially when that something else has unicorns on it.


4. The Library


I’ve gotten used to a lot of things that used to amaze me when I first returned to the States a year and a half ago: the selection of cheese in the grocery store, being able to buy pants, understanding people’s conversations and thinking, “SERIOUSLY, DO THESE PEOPLE KNOW I CAN UNDERSTAND THEM BECAUSE WHY ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT THAT????”

But one thing that I can’t quite get over is the libraries. Every time I walk into one, I think, “Wait a second. Lemme get this straight. I can have any of these books for free? ARE THESE PEOPLE CRAZY?”

5. Beer
kzoo beer exchange
Seriously, did you think I could get through an entire gratitude list without mentioning beer?

Also, probably, nachos.

What are you grateful for this month?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On February 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm Ross said:

    I was getting worried about you for a minute but beer (and nachos) did make your list. I recently had the best nachos in Springdale right outside of Zion National Park. I drove 4 hours each way a few weeks later to eat those nachos again (and to hike and enjoy sunshine and warmer weather).
    Ross recently posted..Virgin River

  2. On February 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm Colleen Brynn said:

    I totally want Maya Angelou to call me up to read me a new poem. I would be grateful for that.
    Colleen Brynn recently posted..Let The Games Begin!

  3. On February 10, 2014 at 8:59 am Hata Trbonja said:

    I am grateful for being able to watch American shows abroad. The Walking Dead just started up again.
    Woo Hoo!
    And also Tom Hiddleston.

    Hata Trbonja recently posted..Family is One of the Reasons I Moved

  4. On February 10, 2014 at 9:34 am jennifer said:

    I am thankful that I have two fists that I can use to punch…er…nevermind.

    I am grateful for libraries as well! I can’t afford to purchase every DK Eyewitness Guide wtih the glossy pages and pretty pictures. So I just get them for free!

    I am also grateful for the internet. Without it, how would I know that picking one airline over the other would net me 1.5 inches of space in my seat?
    jennifer recently posted..Tuesday, December 30, 2008 – Las Vegas: Day Nineteen of Twenty One

  5. On February 10, 2014 at 10:42 am Angela said:

    Nacho’s and beer. What more is there? Tea is definitely on my grateful list. And my dog. And the internet.
    Angela recently posted..Angie’s Closet: My New Boots

  6. On February 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm Pauline said:

    I would TOTALLY send you real letters because I LOVE them too!!
    Pauline recently posted..Let’s Talk Budget: How Much does a Weekend in NYC Cost?

  7. On February 10, 2014 at 1:34 pm Priya said:

    I’m the same way. I have SO much to be grateful for but sometimes I feel like an ungrateful brat. P.S. libraries are freaking awesome. I love that ( at least in Chicago) they’ve let people renew books up to 15 times. Before it was 3 times. I’m grateful for that because I have a book around here that I can’t find so I just keep renewing it. The sad part is I think my 15th time is coming up.
    Priya recently posted..Priya’s Travel Announcement: I’m Moving To Australia

  8. On February 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm mallory said:

    I too am grateful for real letters! Just started pen-palling with two different friends and it has been the best thing ever.
    Also good books, good music, my mother, and the nice coffee shop where I am sitting and avoiding work.
    Happy February to you!
    mallory recently posted..Winter Wonderland

    • On February 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm Sally said:

      Pen-palling? How fun! I need to start doing that. Except I’m so crap at sending letters I would probably let my penpals down.

      • On February 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm mallory said:

        Well, if you ever want to be pen pals I’ll badger you to write…because I love getting letters in the mail (the secret is letting no more than 5 days elapse before responding…if I go more than a week I forget to ever write back)!

        • On February 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm Sally said:

          How do you badger people to write you? On Facebook? I like that idea — reminding someone to write you an old-timey letter while on a newfangled device like Facebook. Old world meets new.

  9. On February 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm Leslie in Portland, Oregon said:

    This will sound crazy to you, but right now I am grateful that in snow-deprived Portland, it finally snowed this winter…and snowed and snowed, and it all stayed, without ice, from Thursday until Sunday (when the ice came). Since most people couldn’t get out of the neighborhood (except on skiis or snowshoes), we (adults, kids and dogs) just played and played outside and then had dinner together. Neither the snowplow nor the de-icing truck came up into our neighborhood, so the snow remained beautiful and the streets sleddable. And the only sound was that of people playing in the snow.

    • On February 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm Sally said:

      This does sound crazy… but also like the best thing ever. Snow has totally lost its charm on me, but after reading your comment I want to go outside and play in it… well, not NOW. Maybe tomorrow?

  10. On February 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm Celia said:

    Good timing – I read this on my way home from a super-crappy day at work. A little bit of gratitude wouldn’t go amiss right now! So here goes: I’m grateful for spontaneous Prince dance parties with my housemates, the lovely friends who are trekking across the country to celebrate a big scary birthday with me, the op I’m having to fix up my knee (for free, because NHS), and wine. Always wine.

  11. On February 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm Isabelle said:

    Oh yes, I’m grateful for real letters, I love them! I don’t write them either anymore but I still get a few from old old people in Japan.
    And I’m grateful for libraries too! I just started using the library and I always leave the building with my bag full. I think I need a week’s vacation just to catch up on my reading!

    • On February 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm Sally said:

      I’ve learned my lesson to only check out 2 or 3 at a time. If I take out too many, I just get so overwhelmed by the choice and then I have to return them before I’ve even figured out which one to read! Yes, I know, I have problems. 🙂

  12. On February 10, 2014 at 9:54 pm Heather said:

    I’m grateful for the family-size bags of Hershey’s Kisses available in Rite-Aid. I’m grateful to be paying US prices for Haagen-Dazs ice cream rather than China prices. I’m grateful for baking supplies. I’m detecting a trend here.
    Heather recently posted..New York City Revisited: A Fanciful Retreat

    • On February 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm Sally said:

      Speaking of chocolate, I’m grateful for the Reese cup eggs which are out WAY too early for Easter but I don’t care because I’m pretty sure they’re the world’s most perfect candy ever.

  13. On February 10, 2014 at 10:59 pm Laura said:

    Great idea to put your gratitude list on the blog (that compliment is for either you, or Oprah I guess)! Getting real letters is a rare and wonderful thing. This month, I am so very grateful to have a warm comfortable apartment, a garage for my car and a job indoors – the weather has been SO cold!
    Laura recently posted..A Food Tribute to New Orleans

    • On February 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm Sally said:

      Ooo, a garage sounds fantastic. I just got my car back yesterday (after being at the mechanic’s for a month). I’m excited to have a car once again, but not looking forward to having to scrape off the ice. Uggh!

  14. On February 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    I have a gratitude jar! It is a HUGE mason jar and when something wonderful happens, I write it on a little bit of paper and pop it in the gratitude jar. Then on January first of every year I read all the bits of paper to look back on the finished year with gratitude. It’s awesome. It is right by my bed and every night – I stop a moment and review my day in my head and see if there is something to add to the jar. Sometimes there is nothing, sometimes there is one thing … sometimes there are more than one bits of paper. It works for me.

    Ex: On one of the coldest nastiest winter days I had a cab driver offer me a ride for FREE to cross the bridge (major wind tunnel). He said he had to cross anyway and he might as well help someone in the process. THAT went in the gratitude jar!
    Montecristo Travels (Sonja) recently posted..Local Treasure – Pet Friendly Boat Ride On The Rideau Canal – Ontario

  15. On February 13, 2014 at 6:21 am Ceri said:

    I love this. I did start a ‘Five favourite things’ for each month on my blog but then it kind of filtered out and died. Should probably start that back up again but YES – libraries! So grateful for libraries since I’ve been back home. 😀
    Ceri recently posted..9 Ways You Can Afford to Travel

    • On February 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm Sally said:

      Ooo, I like the title “Five Favorite Things.” Sounds cooler than “Gratitude List” and reminds me of “Sound of Music.” I may just have to steal it.

  16. On February 19, 2014 at 3:18 am Carmel said:

    I’m grateful for having a place to stay for free and not having to pack and unpack every few days. We’re staying with my cousin in Perth for the next few weeks and it’s been amazing being around family, having a kitchen, throwing toilet paper IN THE TOILET, and having a bit of a social life. She also bought me clothes because apparently I looked like I needed it. Of course this is all in exchange for helping them move…but you know, it’s not a bad trade.

    If you want, I’ll send you a postcard! Of course you may not get it for months and by the time I get around to posting it you’d probably think, “when the hell did I give THAT girl my address??” So, maybe not.
    Carmel recently posted..PLAIN OF JARS

    • On March 1, 2014 at 9:06 am Sally said:

      Yay, for toilet paper in the toilet! I think it took me months after returning to the States to get the hang of that. Enjoy your time in Perth!


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