This year, despite many, many trying times and a huge amount of on-going stress, I truly do have much for which to be thankful. My daughter is in a safe place, getting the help she needs to deal with her demons resulting from a traumatic childhood in Russia. I have just closed on a fabulous house in New Mexico, and I am looking forward to moving to that beautiful state permanently in about 7 months. I am very disappointed that I can't move at the end of this year as originally planned, but the move is in sight.
Unlike millions of Americans, I have weathered the current economic recession in pretty good shape. My investments have increased by more than 4.5% this year, my job with the federal government is secure, and I have good benefits, including health insurance, which so many Americans don't have. And unlike many others, I have no debt other than two mortgages -- and that's only a temporary situation until I sell my house in California in a few months.
I am healthy, and just today I ran my 600th mile of 2009. My hips have been hurting, so I will probably rest for the remainder of the year and then resume running on January 1. In the meantime, I can enjoy walking, bicycling and hiking. I have lost 8-9 pounds this year simply by cutting back on the carbs in my diet. My blood pressure and resting pulse are excellent, and I am not afflicted with any of the problems that beset so many people of my age.
I have been given the opportunity to co-author a book, which allows me to pursue one of my favorite activities, non-fiction writing. I have set up a Web site featuring some of my best Southwest photographs for sale. I haven't sold anything yet, but I remain hopeful. An exciting volunteer opportunity is on the near horizon for me as well.
This has been a very difficult year for me. But I have learned a lot about myself in the process, and I am optimistic that what I have learned will make me a better mother and a better person overall.
So when I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this year, I will be more mindful than ever of the many blessings in my life.