49 Things I’m Grateful For as I Turn 49

Earlier this month, I entered my final year of being in my 40’s and it has me thinking about my life and the adventures I’ve had. As I contemplated, the one word that came to mind over and over was the word “grateful’, I have been so fortunate and I’ve learned so much from the good stuff and the challenging stuff so I decided to celebrate my 49th year by creating a list (one of my favourite things to do! 🙂 ) of 49 things I am grateful to have experienced.

Here goes!!!!

  1. I’m grateful that I get to spend my days building a beautiful life with my husband and best friend in the world. We both appreciate having a life that we don’t require a vacation to escape from.
  2. I’m grateful to have the gift of vision so that I can enjoy the exquisite beauty of sunrises and sunsets, both of which make my heart happy.
  3. I am grateful for loving parents who are willing to go camping in rustic places in the middle of nowhere with us. So many amazing memories from these camping adventures.
  4. I have the blessing of friendship with my sisters and brother. We have such weird and amazing conversations and I can’t imagine life without them. (Lucky to have amazing sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law too.)
  5. Having the privilege of becoming a mother is one of the things that I am most grateful for in my life. I will never forget how excited (and terrified) I was the moment his little squirming body was placed on my belly and I got to meet him for the first time. I discovered at that moment what it means to truly love. (I’m also grateful that I’ve been able to spend my last two birthdays camping with my son and his fiance.)
  6. I love that I’ve had the opportunity to work in the optical industry and build a career that spanned 14 years before deciding it was time to make a change. There were so many changes and innovations in that time that were very exciting for my math/science/nerd tendencies. I also got to meet and work with some amazing people, many of whom have become very close friends. (#317 Represent!!!)
  7. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the indescribable beauty of the Northern Lights twice in my lifetime. Once in LaLoche, Saskatchewan, and once as I drove through Northern Ontario.
  8. I am grateful for the delightful collection of interesting, fun, smart, and fabulous humans that I am proud to call my nieces and nephews.
  9. BOOKS!!! Life without books would be empty and meaningless. 😉
  10. I am so fortunate to have had 6 great-grandparents and all of my grandparents alive at the time I was born.  I’m so glad that I have memories of all of them but two, some of whom we were lucky to have with us until quite recently. I’ll always treasure the stories, memories, and time with them. Knowing where you come from is quite an amazing gift.
  11. I am so grateful every day that I have built a business that I love and that I can get up every morning feeling excited about what the day will bring. I’m grateful to my clients for being the wonderful people they are and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.
  12. I’m grateful for the friendships that I have made with former co-workers. These relationships have been wonderful souvenirs of past experiences and shared memories.
  13. I’m excited that I have had the chance to drive almost all the way across Canada five times. I’ve been lucky enough to be in 9 of the 10 Canadian provinces (a visit to Newfoundland is on the Bucket List!)  I have lived in 4 of our beautiful provinces too. Maybe someday I’ll get to visit the territories too.
  14. I am grateful to have a friendship that is nearly as old as I am! My best friend from childhood and I like to describe ourselves as friends “pretty much since birth”. No matter how many weeks, months or years pass, when we get together, it’s like we just saw each other yesterday. That’s such a gift.
  15. I truly appreciate the friendships I have where time and distance don’t seem to affect the strength of our bonds. We can pick up where we left off at anytime, reach out to say hi, or be there as needed and it’s like no time has passed. That depth of feeling is rare and beautiful and I am lucky to have several people in my life with whom I share this special relationship.
  16. Chocolate, peanuts, caramel, and ice cream. Any combination. Alone. All together. Anytime. These are a few of my favourite things. 😉
  17. I am grateful that I celebrated turning 45 by getting 2 tattoos and that I haven’t regretted that decision. (Thinking ahead to 50 with maybe one more. We’ll see…)
  18. I’m grateful that I failed my driver’s test the first time. (Weird one…right?) I wasn’t ready and I was too nervous so I am glad that I had a do-over, even though at the time I was quite focused on the failing bit. I was stuck on the fact that I always pass tests and get really good marks (except for one test in grade 11 math. Hey, I’m not perfect). Failing was a nice little lesson in humility.
  19. Pens and highlighters make me very happy. In many different colours, preferably. (They aren’t highlighters, but coloured sticky tabs are pretty awesome too. :-))
  20. I am so grateful for our home and the community in which we live. Our house is cozy chaos, but there is love in it and there’s nowhere else I’d rather call home.
  21. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to live and work in Northern Canada. There is so much rugged beauty above the 50th parallel and I feel blessed to have been exposed to the beautiful culture and traditions of our First Nations people in the North.
  22. I’m grateful that I had the chance to learn about and try yoga at a pre-natal class and that yoga has become a constant in my life. I’m also grateful that I had the chance to become a yoga teacher in 2015 and that I now can share my love of yoga with others.
  23. I’m very grateful that I’ve had a couple of short stories published over the years and that I will have my first non-fiction book published this Winter.
  24. Music is AMAZING! (Almost as good as books. LOL) Singing, listening to music, writing songs, and making music with others are all wonderful ways to feed a lyrical soul like mine. Some of my favourite memories involve music.
  25. I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for a few years and despite the awful experience that it was (and the occasional attempt it makes to creep back in), I am grateful for the patience, and self-reliance that it fostered in me. It reminded me that I am stronger than I think, and that I don’t always have to be strong. The experience also brought me closer to some people who helped me through the darker bits, reminding me to simply breathe.
  26. I am grateful for my creativity! I love creating, painting, and making! I also love sharing those activities with others.
  27. I’m appreciate that my husband indulges my penchant for creative pursuits when they extend to things like painting walls and staircases in our home. A recent wall project gave me the chance to paint with my niece, a very talented artist.
  28. Notebooks are the most awesome toy, ever! For a list person, a notebook (or 100 ;-)) is a necessity to fuel creativity, keep you organized, make plans to take over the world, or other cool stuff.
  29. I’m very grateful for the fact that my husband loves to cook and that he’s very good at it. Our favourite “date nights” are the ones where we stay in and cook together.
  30. I love baking and cooking too! Grateful for my creative brain that lets me experiment with ingredients and flavours to create new dishes. (Spoiler: There’s a cookbook coming next year in collaboration with The Spoonery!!) I love making old favourites and comfort food, especially on stormy or rainy days.
  31. In 2015, I ruptured a disk in my back and I struggled to do simple tasks for a really long time. I actually had to take time off work for nearly six months. I’d always worked and that was devastating to me. I was in so much pain that simple tasks like making a sandwich, picking something up off the floor, or putting on pants were really challenging. Forget about driving or getting out of bed quickly. This was quite possibly the most humbling experience of my adult life. I needed help to do nearly EVERYTHING. It was a lesson in humility, patience, and so much gratitude. I had to adapt and make changes to how I did things and many of those changes should probably have happened years before. When I could start getting back to “normal”, it was with intense gratitude.
  32. In 2018, we hiked the Kenomee Canyon trail for the first time. It was an amazing experience for so many reasons. We had trained for months before and I had come a long way since injuring my back. Watching the sun rising up through the trees on that September morning, spreading rays of warmth and light, while I stood wrapped in a blanket, drinking a cup of terrible instant coffee was practically a spiritual experience. (We’ve upped our hiking coffee game since then, thank goodness.) When we reached the end of the trail on day two, after nearly 30km of hiking, I cried with gratitude that my body had been able to carry me on this incredible journey.
  33. I’m very grateful for the outside spaces that we have at our home. Reading on the front deck and yoga on the back deck are two of my favourite activities and places to do them.
  34. I’m grateful to have Games Nights with close friends and also with our son and his fiance. These nights are so relaxing, fun, and awesome, filled with laughter, memories, and healthy competition.
  35. Despite the fact that my first marriage ended in divorce, I feel gratitude for the experience. I learned a lot about myself and not all of it was good. The relationship gave me my son and, introduced me to the young man who years later became my second husband.
  36. I’m grateful for a home that I can decorate and move the furniture around in. My husband LOVES it when I move stuff around. (Please feel all of the sarcasm intended. LOL)
  37. I’m grateful for the amazing Christmas memories that I have from growing up. Homemade Christmas concerts with my siblings, our mom showing us the fun of making Christmas last and be celebrated long before the actual day by decorating, making treats and sweets, and sharing the joy that is the Elvis Christmas album. Christmas Eve turkey dinners and moonlight walks after supper or driving around to see the Christmas lights are some of my favourite traditions. Tree Trek Day is still a tradition with my parents to this day.
  38. This summer I had the opportunity to go hiking for 4 days at Cape Chignecto with my husband and my closest friend, the woman who is the nearest thing to a sister without being a blood relation. Both of these people know me better than I know myself at times. The hike was challenging, beautiful, Mucky (yes, Mucky with a capital M), absolutely amazing, and I can’t imagine this adventure without these two amazing people by my side. I’m so grateful that we had that time together in such a beautiful place.
  39. I am grateful for the really unique color of my eyes. Depending on my mood they can range from a bluish green, hazel, gray, or pale blue and they have this wonderful little golden ring encircling the centres that I find fascinating.
  40. The year that I turned 40, in addition to taking yoga teacher training I also took the course to get my motorcycle license. Even though I haven’t actually bought a motorcycle or driven one since, I’m grateful for the fact that I have the option and it allows me to dream of a time when maybe I take the plunge and buy that Ryker I’ve been looking at.
  41. I cannot say enough things about how much I adore the moon. I love her beauty when she’s full and bright and how pretty the stars look around her, no matter the phase she’s in.
  42. I’m very grateful to have a family doctor, especially when there are thousands of people in our province who don’t.
  43. I appreciate storm days because they remind me to relax and take time to do cozy things that I enjoy but wouldn’t necessarily take the time to do otherwise.
  44. I’m very grateful for beaches. In Nova Scotia we’re so fortunate to have so many beautiful beaches to explore. The smell of the sand and the salt, the sound of the waves kissing along the shore and the gentle call of birds make my heart sing, and my body relax like nothing else does.
  45. I’m super grateful for knee supports and hiking poles. These two products mean that I can continue hiking for years to come despite some wear and tear on this ole body.
  46. I love and appreciate that I have the opportunity to feel so much gratitude. It’s amazing to have had such wonderful people, circumstances and experiences in this life. I am blessed.
  47. I’m so grateful that I have learned to love coffee!! I didn’t drink my first cup of coffee until I was 30!!! Can you imagine? Before that, I couldn’t stand the smell of it or the taste. My husband talked me into trying fresh ground coffee which smelled quite nice and I was hooked. Can’t imagine mornings without coffee.
  48. I truly enjoy walks in the rain. There’s something peaceful, and calming about the feel of the rain and the smell in the air,  which feels fresh and clean,  like it’s washing away any tension or worries you began your meander carrying.
  49. If you have managed to stay with me to the end of this list, I’m very grateful for you and that you took the time to share my gratitude list. There’s always so much to appreciate.

Published by The Artsy Nerd

My name is Tanya Dondale and I live in rural Nova Scotia with my best friend and husband, Matt. I am a Holistic Wellness Coach and Yoga Teacher. My wellness and coaching business is called The Artsy Nerd Holistic Wellness Company. I am passionate about helping people to feel less stressed and more relaxed, facilitating ways to help my clients have more time with family and make time to do the things that they love.

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