My 30th birthday was last week. It was an amazing day–I got everything I wanted out of it and more. So, in celebration, I’m sharing

30 Things I’m Crazy Grateful For (+ 1 Surprise for you!)


Now, onto the gratitude:

  1. My family/friends/people. They are the mirror I hold up to see my highest self reflected in–they are compassion, vulgarity, humor, strength, wisdom, resilience, play, irreverence, love, brilliance, insight, zest, and adventure personified. There are too many to name, but you all know who you are. When people ask me how I know them, I say they’re my family and/or that we “we grew up together.” It is truly a miracle to find a group of people who don’t find my questionable taste and offensive humor off-putting.
  2. Doing things just for the hell of it. No mission statement, no plan, just playing around.
  3. That bone-tired feeling at the end of a really amazing day.
  4. Stories. My favorite ones are: the ones that always end “We could have died that day,” the ones about baby carrots, the ones that have magic and someone who is hopefully up to the task but it’s going to be a struggle and who can say?
  5. The smell of pies baking, sandalwood, rain on asphalt, figs, Alex’s neck, burnt sugar, the beach, incense, wood smoke, my friends’ perfumes.
  6. Getting to explore places I thought I would only read about.
  7. Writing–all the writing! In books, on the internet, on television, in songs, tagged on buildings, tucked in lunchboxes, wherever it is. Reading what others have written and writing to people is my favorite way to feel connected to them and to myself. (Bonus: this book about writing.)
  8. My teachers. There are too many to name individually, but my fifth grade teachers, Karen Bolton and Barbara Hall, were the first of many teachers who totally cracked my world open. Cindy Reardon was not far behind.
  9. Sweatpants and sequins. My wardrobe would be totally incomplete without both sides of this spectrum.
  10. Tickle fights.
  11. Being able to go on a drive, on backcountry roads, listening to my favorite music with my arm out the window and the sun shining.
  12. How sweet the air smells in the spring.
  13. That I always get so excited when I get into bed at night. I do a little shimmy, I can’t help it. I am just so damn grateful for beds and sheets and sleep. Every night, it’s a new thing to get totally excited about.
  14. Dancing to Junebug in the middle of the night.
  15. I’m alive here and now–it seems like such a strange thing to be born when and where you are. I feel so incredibly lucky that I am alive in the early 21st century–that I get to see all that we have accomplished and all that we are moving towards. It’s just amazing.
  16. Car naps.
  17. Having a childhood centered around dirt hills, and back woods, and catching things in jars.
  18. Beach trips
  19. Being American–not because I think we’re better (we’re so not), but for all the uniquely American things about us. I love that we (strive to) all get a say. I love that we have a sarcastic sense of humor. I love that we have thing for innovation. I love that you can get almost any kind of food from around the world there. I love that most of us come from parents or grandparents or grea-trandparents that come from somewhere else. (There are all sorts of things I don’t love but this is not a “bullshit I am sick of” list today, so.)
  20. The Blue Ridge Mountains, especially during spring and autumn.
  21. Fires—wood fires, bonfires, fireworks, sparklers.
  22. All the people who do unseen work that lets my life run incredibly smoothly–state employees, customer service people, restaurant folk, IT people, whoever keeps the internet running. It’s really easy for me to notice all the times an airline (Delta, always Delta) fucks up our travel plans, but the truth is that there are so many people working on all these intricate systems, without which I wouldn’t even have hot running water let alone get out of the house.
  23. Leaving my job, finding my tribe, and learning that I can do whatever the hell I want.
  24. Thunderstorms (and virtual ones, too).
  25. Being at the American Academy this year. My meals are made, my room is cleaned, my backyard/garden/orchard is tended, and my social calendar is filled by an incredible group of talented, conscientious, award winning people. All of which makes it possible for me to devote almost of my time and energy to building my coaching and creative practices. There was a time when I would have felt very guilty about all of this, but now I just say thank you thank you thank you and hope that I can pass it on someday.
  26. Getting to play with small kids–whether it’s the children here, or my nephew at home, I love playing with kids. Eight year old girls are my spirit animal and we have the best time.
  27. Live music.
  28. Finally learning how to trust my instinct that it’s okay to leave some things behind.
  29. Coupled with this belief: Nothing good [truly] gets away.
  30. All the traditions and rituals I’ve accumulated thus far. For birthdays, New Year’s, weddings, mornings, noons and nights. Adding this one to the list.

Through sheer coincidence, there is an awesome #30daysofgratitude thing on facebook and twitter, so I’ll be posting these day by day, too.

What are you grateful for?