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The first week of November has passed, and in that time,
I’ve realized how very little I actually thank those closest to me.  In fact, I realize now that I am far
more likely to thank the cashier at the grocery store or the bank teller than I
am to those who share my living space. 
I think this is called “taking others for granted.”

So my first seven days of the thirty days of giving thanks
are devoted to the heavy hitters, those who make my daily life what it is,
which is pretty spectacular.  Now,
I have to admit that I have, like so many other things in my life, crammed two
or three of these into a single day, because I am a notorious procrastinator
(even with good things.  I understand how this might be defeating the
purpose.  I never claimed to be
really good, only trying.

November 1, Tuesday: 
I thanked Harper Lee for being the joy and sunshine in my life.  Harper Lee is everything I aspire to
be.  She is positive and upbeat,
daring and courageous (to a fault at times), confident and kind-hearted.  She knows how to live life, not because
of her many years of experience, but because she is just innately joyful, grateful
and loving.  When I think of her, I
see someone with arms stretched wide waiting to embrace whatever beauty is sure
to come her way.  It’s my favorite
thing about her, and I’m grateful to have such a powerful role model in my

November 2, Wednesday: 
Isaac is a miniature me.  He
is more quiet than his sister and less likely to dive headfirst into a
situation.  He demonstrates more
caution and doesn’t like a lot of change. 
He is easily angered and has a fierce temper, and when he has a plan, he
doesn’t like to deviate from it for any reason.  He gets upset over little things, and he is stubborn to the
point of madness.  But he’s also
one of the most tender and loving people I’ve ever met.  He goes from irate hothead to snuggly
love bunny in seconds flat.   
When Isaac considers you his friend, you are his friend until the
end.  He is loyal, devoted and will
defend you no matter what the consequences.  He loves with every little ounce of his heart.  We are like two peas in a pod, and
although I sometimes feel a stabbing pain in my heart when he is angry because
I know exactly how he feels, I also see that we love and laugh in the same
ways.  I am grateful to him because
he lets me see parts of myself and recognize how good they are.

November 3, Thursday: I thanked Rob today just with words
and a hug.  I can’t imagine it’s
easy being married to me at times. 
Refer to the previous day’s observations.  Still, he seems to like me most of the time.  J  I appreciate the way Rob has
always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and goals.  He has always supported my efforts to be the kind of mom I
want to be, to become a writer, to run, and to be true to myself.  I realize there are a lot of men out
there who don’t or wouldn’t do that, and I’m grateful every day that he is not
one of them.  I just don’t tell him
that often enough.

November 4, Friday:   I want to thank my coach and friend, Rex.  He’s heard all of this before, but I am
very grateful for the many gifts he has given me over the years.  There has been a ton of guidance,
education, support, and friendship that he has freely given me with very little
in return, I’m afraid.  I know,
beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am a different person today than I would
have been had I never met him.  God
has truly blessed me.

November 5, Saturday: 
And because of Rex, I also met Deanne, who came over this afternoon so
our kids could play and we could visit. 
No matter how crazy and hectic our daily schedules become, when I talk
to Deanne, it’s like we never skipped a beat.  She always lends a sympathetic ear, which is good since I
like to complain, and she is another source of encouragement when it comes to
goals.  She’s also a great running
buddy in that she kicks my butt regularly.  Sometimes I’d like to strangle her and her “natural
ability,” but most of the time, I realize it’s one of the things that has made
me a better runner, so I guess I’ll forgive her.  J

November 6, Sunday: 
I also want to thank my friend, Jason, who is another maddeningly
talented runner, but who has been a real friend to me since we first met.  I am nowhere nearly as talented as he
when it comes to running.  He’s a
National Champion for Lord’s sake, but even as we line up together at races, he
in his USA singlet and me in my old, increasingly stinky one, he always makes
me feel that my race is every bit as important as his.  He believes in getting the most out of
your ability, whatever that might be, and because of it, he always makes me
feel like a serious athlete.  For
someone who is often plagued by self-doubt, it’s a really nice thing to
have.  Thanks, Jason.

November 7, Monday: 
Thanks to my Book Club.  We
are meeting tonight to discuss Laura Hillenbrand’s newest novel, Unbroken.  It is a terrific book, but the thing
that really struck me today as I was thinking about gratitude is how happy I am
to have a group of women I can share the simple joy of books with.  We aren’t a lofty academic group, but
we enjoy the written word, and I’m so happy to have a group of like-minded
(sometimes) women to read with and discuss ideas with.  It’s such a simple pleasure, but the
older I get, the more I realize those are the best kinds.

So as I write the last couple of emails and stamp the last
envelope, I am reminded that kindness and gratitude is not to be reserved for
strangers and acquaintances only.  We
often really have no further to look than the end of our own dining room table
to find plenty of things to be grateful for.