Gratitude List and the Giving of Thanks

Hot on the heels of Halloween is another holiday American expats have to improvise over here. I like this celebrating of traditions in new ways.

I’ll be heading to a Thanksgiving “apero” on Friday (hey, it’s a cultural melange!), but in the meantime, here is an abbreviated gratitude list. I’ve been incorporating this practice of recognizing life’s bounty into my regular routine anyway; the holiday is just a more formalized chance to say thanks!

I’m thankful that my close friend came through his heart procedure successfully today. I’m thankful for my own open heart.

I’m thankful I can sit with uncertainty, though it can feel scary and hard.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do,” artist Georgia O’Keeffe once said.

I’m thankful for inspiring quotes. Inspring stories. Inspiring people and lives.

I’m thankful for the proverbs on each sachet of Yogi tea.

I’m thankful for silly status updates from friends far and wide – though I really shouldn’t spend quite so much time online.

I’m thankful I’m learning to be more kind to myself about my shortcomings (see last statement). But thankful I know when to give myself a good kick in the butt, too.

I’m thankful for the guardian of my building who cleans the hallways and the garbagemen who collect our trash.

I’m thankful I can dance, even as my body accumulates pains. “Come on, Grandma,” a chiropractor cajoled me recently, marveling at the back issues I have for my age.

I’m thankful for health care and that I can get help when I need it.

Caught mid-laugh!

I’m thankful for my loud laugh that emanates from deep inside. That I didn’t lose it even after enduring many a withering look from people more “reserved” than I.

I’m thankful to have the most amazing mother in the world; I know how it feels to be unconditionally loved.

I’m thankful I’m safe and warm and sheltered; I have access to healthy food and clean water.

“I have everything I need.” I’m thankful I know incredible writers who pen poems such as these: (“I Have” by Andrew Nurkin).

I’m thankful for books and beautiful sentences that take my breath away.

I’m thankful I know how to be alone.

I’m thankful for the familiar comfort and unabashed joy when talking with real friends.

I’m thankful for the sun. For light. For day and night.

I’m thankful that there is no end in sight to the list of things for which I’m thankful; off the top of my head I could keep going on forever.

And of course, I’m thankful for you.

Et vous? What are you thankful for? Keep the list going!

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16 Responses to “Gratitude List and the Giving of Thanks”


  1. 1 Karene November 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Sion, your list echos mine in almost every, single way! I guess what I would add (and not knowing where you are “religiously”) is that I am so grateful to God for all of the gifts I am enjoying, especially the new “friends” I have made on facebook (like you). Through their pages, blogs, and websites, I feel connected to the France I love (and other countries) and to enjoying life for all its pleasures, big and small..

    • 2 paris (im)perfect November 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      Thanks for adding to the gratitude list, Karene! Isn’t it amazing how many sentiments we all share? Goes to show there are universals we can all agree upon, love chief among them. It’s always so wonderful to connect with others who recognize life’s riches, big and small. Very grateful for you!

  2. 3 Tanya in Transition November 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I second Karene’s motion; so many things on your list match mine. I have to repeat one however. I am ever so thankful for my wonderful mother who I love so much it can make me cry just thinking about her.

    I am thankful for my husband who is my rock and my support and who continues to suprise and wow me.

    I could write so much more but then I’d be a puddle in the séjour. I’ll close by saying that I’m thankful that you’re sharing a thankful list. We should do so more often. It’s not bragging; it’s putting some positive energy out there for everyone to enjoy/share. Peace out.

    • 4 paris (im)perfect November 21, 2012 at 11:50 pm

      Thank you, Tanya – always a huge helping of positive energy from you. I agree…I could have gone on and on. I actually HAD gone on and on then cut back. Thought y’all are kind, but maybe you wouldn’t want to read a thousand lines on the subject :)

      Also…moms. MOM! I *do* cry thinking about how much I love her. Really overpowering.

      So happy for you and your hubby and grateful for your amazing shining spirit.

  3. 5 Katia (@AbsolutelyKatia) November 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I’m thankful for a life filled with interesting people who challenge me creatively.
    And for being able to laugh at myself. ;)
    And thank YOU for such a thoughtful post.

  4. 8 Karin P November 22, 2012 at 3:00 am

    This is an amazing list, Sion! I loved reading it — LOVED. So, I am grateful for this list, lol.

    I got a laugh out of this one: “I’m thankful for the proverbs on each sachet of Yogi tea.”

    I just bought a couple boxes Monday, my first boxes of Yogi in the US (since I used up the stash I brought with me from Paris). I had to be sure to look at the tea tags on the first cups of tea I had. :) Sometimes I even like to save those things. :D

    Sion, I am thankful that you blog, and thankful I got to know you in Paris. You are an amazing person, and I feel so privileged that we could hang out.

    Giant, American-style virtual hug to you,
    Karin

    • 9 Karin P November 22, 2012 at 3:21 am

      Oh and DUH: Happy Thanksgiving. :)

      • 10 paris (im)perfect November 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        Thank you for the virtual hug, Karin! I am thankful for YOU.

        That’s funny about the Yogi tea. Sometimes the sayings are like proverbs and sometimes they seem like they’re suffering from a sort of mistranslation or something – which then amuses me. So no matter what it says, I like the ritual.

        Isn’t it great to get such pleasure in the smallest of things? :)

        Happy Thanksgiving, bella!

  5. 11 Linda aka L.M. November 22, 2012 at 4:31 am

    The internet is a strange place, Sion. Though we’ve never met, I feel like you’ve granted me a glimpse of your inner life, for which I am grateful. When we share out authentic selves, I think we all grow. So, thanks for sharing your thoughts and your heart. Have a great Thanksgiving and know that though we are far away, you are one of the blessings we count as we celebrate here in the States.

    • 12 paris (im)perfect November 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Thank you so much, Linda. Indeed, the Internet is a strange – and often wonderful! – place. Thank you for your kind words and I totally agree about our authentic selves.

      And same goes for me – though I haven’t met lots of people who regularly comment here, I am very grateful for their presence in my life. It’s truly a gift to have such warm, supportive people leaving messages for me! THANK YOU!

  6. 13 milsters November 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I’ve just been going through my favourite bogs and reading some of the gratitude lists that people have put up. It’s really an inspiring way to start the day. I loved yours. It’s full of poetry and light.

    We should remember to feel like this more often every day.

    x Milsters

    (http://littlepiecesoflight.blogspot.fr/)

  7. 15 Buffy November 23, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I am thankful for my kids even if they drive me crazy most days. I am thankful my parents are still here in my life. I am thankful I have very special friends, and coworkers who are like family. I am thankful for being able to do a job I love. Happy Thanksgiving!!! Thank you for sharing.


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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