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Grat·i·tude (noun) : the quality of being thankful*

I honestly began composing this in my head last night (when it was still actually “Thanksgiving”), but sometimes life takes priority to sitting down and actually putting everything down in words on a blog!

Even though I might have missed out on many of my usual US Thanksgiving traditions of helping prepare all of the food, going to Mass with my parents and eating Turkey dinner with my family - some traditions follow us wherever we go.  One of my favorite, unspoken, traditions is just taking the time to look at all of the blessings in my life each year.  So, with this on my mind, I thought that I’d share a few things from my list of gratitude for this year...

 

1. I am first and foremost grateful for the gift of my life and all those who are (or have been) part of it - my parents, my siblings, my family and friends, my teachers and mentors.  I will never be able to properly thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do for me - often without knowing that you have made such an impact on me!

2. I am thankful for the family that welcomed me into their home for the year as an au pair and has quickly gone from a family I work for to the safe haven I can always turn to share a laugh or an anxiety or anything in between.  Words can’t express how much of a gift this family is to me (especially not if I’m trying to explain in Spanish!).

3. I am thankful for strangers who have become friends as we navigate the ups and downs of living in another country and all that comes with that - coworkers from work that give me a reason to smile on days when I’m not feeling it, people that I met at orientation all those weeks ago who still check in and take the time to meet up in our free moments!

4. I am thankful for the opportunity to work abroad, in a great school, with passionate and engaging teachers and administrators.  I actually love seeing what each day at work will bring and what I will learn.

5. I am thankful for the chance to test my limits - to go abroad, to see places that I’ve always dreamed of, and to step outside of my comfort zone.

6. I am thankful for all the things that I, too often, take for granted - a bed to sleep in, a roof over my head, warm clothes to wear on cold mornings, food to eat each day, good health and the chance to get medical (or dental) care when I need it...  

 

The list goes on and on, but I won’t bore you with my list of gratitude - I’d rather let you go make your own!  As we jump into Black Friday and the rush of the holiday season, I hope that we can all hold onto that feeling of gratitude... ¡Besitos!

-Stephanie
(Ps 9:1)

 

*As defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary

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