Making gratitude lists are popular during this time of year. Not just because we have a national holiday with the word thanks in it, but because the days are shorter, the nights colder, and bundling up with a cup of hot chocolate on a comfy couch watching your favorite movie is always a reminder that we have plenty of reasons to give thanks.
I’m thankful that when I get home at the end of each work day that I can say I just got home at the end of a long work day. Not everyone I know can say that.
I’m thankful my coworker knows my favorite brand of coffee, and she buys it to restock the break room whenever she knows the supply is running low. Each morning after the first sip, I feel thankfulness.
I’m thankful for the little square radio that sits at the top of my microwave in one corner of my kitchen. Whenever I want to, I can click a tiny button and listen to the news, country hits of yesteryear, or cumbias on La Tremenda 98.5 FM, a station my grandma used to listen to when she had a little radio in her kitchen. It was always on.
I’m thankful for the church I attend, located across the street from my town’s central park, in a block called Church Square. There’s a church building, each a different denomination, on every corner of the block. The one I go to is made up of a small congregation of believers that love each other, send each other encouraging messages, and pray for each other.
I’m thankful that I live only a quick drive from the international border, where I can go back and forth for my favorite meals and hangout locations, see old friends and make new ones. I do it a lot, and I always feel a sense of thankfulness when I cross from one side to the other.
I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned each time I speak to the students in my class. They remind me that sometimes I’m out of touch. That I can’t make assumptions about their generation.
I’m thankful every time I cook a meal at the migrant center. Sometimes the salsa doesn’t turn out as spicy as I would like it, and the mashed potatoes a little too lumpy. Then someone on the other side of the serving window reminds me that their thankfulness is far greater than mine.