20 things I am utterly thankful for

Honestly, everyday should be Thanksgiving. Even if we don’t get to stuff our faces with turkey and pumpkin pie on the regular, it’s great to reflect on at least five things you’re thankful for.

If you’re reading this post right now, chances are you’re fortunate and privileged enough to be able to afford gadgets, a roof over your head, and food to sustain you.

As I reflect on the past 30 years of my life, I’ve had it pretty darn good. My 20’s was rough in many ways, especially as I struggled to graduate university and suffered through all of my health issues. But overall, life has treated me better than not.

Here are some of the few things I’m thankful for:

  1. God. I’m a Christian, and I believe Jesus died for you and me to save us and have a personal relationship with us. Now I’m not the preacher or evangelistic type, so I won’t try to push my beliefs on you. I promise. But what I do know that God loves me unconditionally and gives me so much grace and strength throughout the day, and He sustains me.
  2. My family. I know we’ve had a lot of drama in the past and we’re not perfect. We fight at times but in the end we love each other. Boy I’ve had some run-ins with my mom and sister. But as I get older, I appreciate everything they do. I admire them. And I’m so thankful for how my dad loved and cared for us even up until his last moments. My family moved from the Philippines and struggled when I was a child but they worked their butts off to give my sisters and I the best lives.
  3. Cecilio. I just feel so lucky everyday to be married with a man that loves me and showers me with so much affection. It’s very rare to find a love and life partner like him, so when you find someone like that, don’t let them go. I just feel our love and bond growing everyday, even in the mundane, routine days.
  4. My in-laws. I’m so lucky to have in-laws who love and care for me. My mother-in-law and I get along so well. She is one of the kindest and most selfless people I know. Because of her, Cecilio is the amazing, loving man he is today.
  5. My friends. I have a close few and I’ve never been popular or outgoing, but I know who my loyal and true ones are. They are the ones who I could meet up with again and pick up where we left off.
  6. Health insurance. Without it, I’d be wayyy worse off. When I got my hospital bill from last year, Cecilio and I were horrified that without the coverage, my whole stay cost about $500k. Welcome to America, everyone.
  7. My dogs, Aristotle and Liara. And my mom’s and sister’s dogs too. They have brought so much joy to our lives. And they brighten up our day. Especially Aris. It was love at first lick with him!
  8. My job. The pay is not the best and there’s been a lot of restructuring, but I’m thankful that this was the longest job I’ve ever had and that I’m working as a designer, which is what I majored in in my university. Most importantly, I’m in a company that helps to fight food insecurity and helps individuals and families towards a better future.
  9. Despite having a chronic illness, I’m still able-bodied and am able to work, run errands, exercise, and travel. I don’t take that for granted at all.
  10. Coffee. The aromas of fresh grinded beans, the sweetness added when I splash pumpkin or peppermint creamer, and the way it gives me that jolt to start the day.
  11. The hard times. Although I try to avoid them as much as possible. I can handle a few minor inconveniences, but not earth-shattering life changing events. And that’s where my faith in God comes in. He is there with me throughout all of it, and I go through the “refiner’s fire” and get stronger emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  12. The Earth and nature. Beaches, mountains, forests, especially.
  13. My talents as a designer, photographer and writer.
  14. A pop of bold lipstick to make me feel confident and badass.
  15. Music of all kinds (except for country). I love both secular and Christian music.
  16. Day offs from work, especially holidays or when I can get a day off to do my Cytoxan treatment.
  17. Despite growing up as an ethnic minority here in the US, I’ve never experienced discrimination for my race or skin color. Living in Northern California helps a lot, especially living in cities where there’s a lot of diversity (Daly City, Elk Grove, Sacramento)
  18. Waking up to another day. As we close the 2010s, I reflect on the amount of loved ones I lost: my dad, both of my grandmas, Kay, my sister’s friends, and everyone who had a tragic ending that I hear about on the news. Life is short, so it’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest as much as possible.
  19. Amazing, feel-good massages from Cecilio or Massage Envy.
  20. This blog, and YOU who reads it. I may not have the highest amount of readers, but I appreciate every single person who reads my blog and hears what I have to say.

What are you thankful for?

Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.

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