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Some people say it’s a good idea to write down a few things you are thankful for every day. That may be a good idea, but I have established my own kind of gratitude ritual. Here is my annual list of all that I’m thankful for. It’s a list that gets easier to write as the years go by.

 I’m thankful this is the last year someone in my house will complete a college application.

I’m thankful I’ll never go to back-to-school night again. I’m not a fan of the yearly event, but I always felt not attending meant I was a bad mother.

I’m thankful for Mozzarella cheese. Doesn’t have to be on pizza either.

I’m thankful Klein bought a bed from IKEA – on her own. And even better, she assembled it – on her own.

I’m thankful for Eagles games, but not for the reason you may you think. When the game is on, I can sit next to Joe and work for a few hours while he watches. It’s a way for me to have no guilt about working on the weekend.

I’m thankful for Prosecco.

Still thankful for pancakes.

Don’t tell anyone this, but I’m thankful for “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” I know it’s absolutely terrible and against much of what I stand for, but sitting with Marirose and watching the crazy drama gives me great pleasure. I will actually text her during the day and say, “Guess what’s on tonight!”

Still thankful for my heated blanket. Joe is not.

I’m thankful for my latest discovery – wine slushies.

I’m thankful for electricity and light. This is odd, I know. But I never really thought about how vital light is until the lampposts on our lawn were out for days, including the evening we hosted a fundraiser at our house and our guests walked to our front door in complete darkness.

I’m thankful for electricians (see above).

I’m thankful Maura calls pumpkin picking at Johnson’s Farm our family tradition.

I’m thankful for cider doughnuts (again, see above).

I’m thankful for nail polish that doesn’t chip after four days, which is almost impossible to find.

I’m thankful for opaque tights.

I’m thankful an executive from WHYY called and said, “Could we air your show?” So I’m also thankful that six episodes of “This is South Jersey with Marianne Aleardi” – including three new episodes – will air this month on WHYY and NJTV.

I’m thankful I don’t have to sleep on a soft fluffy pillow, the kind that your head just sinks into. How do people stand that? I’m thankful for firm pillows that provide support for your head and neck. (That isn’t a joke – I really am thankful for that.)

I’m thankful for readers who stop me to say they love the magazine. It happens all the time, and it’s so very nice.

I’m thankful for good old-fashioned copybooks. I have several on my desk, and I use different ones for notes on different projects. It keeps me organized.

I’m thankful technology allows you to binge watch TV programs like “Homeland” and “House of Cards.” I imagine someday we’ll forget what it was like to wait a week to see what happens next on a show. (I think my kids already forget.)

I’m thankful for soft pretzels, yellow mustard and Diet Coke, especially all three together at the same time.

 I’m thankful I have had one more year to enjoy all that is good in my life. I wish my dad was here to enjoy it all with me. He had many good things in his life, too. I’m thankful for that.

November 2015
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