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For years, I have written this annual list that fits perfectly with November. But in most of those years, I dreaded the task. I think my mind was so cluttered with things to do, it was difficult to stop and dwell on reasons to give thanks. Funny how things change as I get older.

I know you’re with me on this one: I’m thankful the election will soon be over.

I’m thankful for eyeglasses. For years I owned glasses but I didn’t wear them, because I didn’t think I needed them. But earlier this year I put them on while watching TV, and oh my, I had no idea how crisp and clear the world is.

For years, people have stopped me to talk about the magazine, and I’ve always appreciated their kindness. But now they ask about our TV show (This is South Jersey), wanting to know when it’s on again or telling me how much they enjoy watching. I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for flats. I used to be thankful for cute flats, but lately, I don’t even care if they’re cute.

I’m thankful for allergy shots.

I’m thankful for the “Hamilton” soundtrack. I was lucky enough to see the show, and now I listen to the soundtrack over and over. I see it as the epitome of art and the epitome of smart, creative writing. Plus, it’s fun to inject a Hamilton lyric into a conversation with someone who also knows the soundtrack by atart.

I’m thankful for Udderly Smooth body cream.

I’m thankful for cabanas right on the beach. I’m also thankful for beach umbrellas. Let’s put it this way: I love the sand and water, but I also love shade.

I’m thankful for makeup brushes.

I’m thankful for headphones.

I’m thankful for old friends. They really are the best kind. I’m grateful I can see someone I haven’t talked to for a while and still know they are my friend, and we have a bond.

I’m thankful for Netflix.

Still thankful for cherry LifeSavers.

I recently discovered an Italian aperitif called Aperol. I didn’t know what an aperitif was, but it’s a drink you have before a meal. I don’t necessarily do that. I like it at any time, and I like it added to a mixed drink. So I’m thankful for Aperol.

I will always, always be thankful for my heated blanket. Joe will never be thankful for that.
Also thankful for my car’s heated seats.

I’ve written every year that I’m thankful for pancakes. But I’m not anymore, and that is so disappointing. I read the sugar content in pancakes (and French toast and waffles) is a really bad way to start the day, so I stopped starting my day that way. And I went down a dress size. It’s so disappointing. I really loved pancakes.

I’m thankful for orange/burnt-red leaves.

I’m thankful for the cloud. Being able to access files wherever you are really is incredible.

I’m thankful I can return an online purchase by keeping the box in my car, pulling over when I happen to see a UPS truck and handing the box to the driver.

I’m thankful for S’mores Quest Bars.

I’m thankful for red roses.

I’m thankful for Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish. It stays on as long as gel, but you don’t have to use the UV light.

I’m thankful to be alive. Last month, I attended the funeral of Rhonda Costello, an executive at Republic Bank. I was always aware of how happy Rhonda was, how much she enjoyed her life. She and her husband traveled a lot, she loved her job and talked often about her granddaughter. So while I felt badly for her family when she died, I kept thinking about how disappointed she would be if she knew she would die at 59. Rhonda was grateful for her life. Me too.

Follow Marianne Aleardi on Twitter.

November 2016
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