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Wide Awake: Thanks Again
It’s November, so it’s time to stop for a minute

I’ve gotten into the habit of using this November column to list all I’m thankful for. It’s funny – there are times throughout the year when I think, “Oh, this is definitely going in my November list.” So I guess this practice has created a good side effect, because it’s easy to get so caught up in the business of life, you forget all the good.

Here’s some of my good:

At some events Joe and I go to, there are long tables filled with incredible desserts, and sometimes they have things like warm chocolate chip cookies with shot glasses filled with milk, mini-root beer floats and, last year, a few had waffles and ice cream with chocolate syrup. I’m thankful for dessert bars.

I’m thankful for headphones. And they don’t have to be wireless. I can deal with wires.

I’m thankful for Dropbox. We use it at work, but I also created one for my family, so now all our family pictures are in one place. I have to remind the girls to post their pictures (quite frequently), but I’m getting to see photos I probably never would otherwise.

I’m thankful my kids download music from Apple Music and create stored playlists. We have a shared account, so all the music downloads onto my phone. So far, that’s been a good thing.

I’m thankful for cinnamon – on anything.

I’m thankful Joe and I stumbled upon the National Book Festival when we were recently in Washington, D.C. We got to hear Condoleezza Rice speak, and we sat in on a panel of authors discussing their books about JFK. It was fascinating – and free.

I’m thankful I had the great idea to buy several phone chargers and place them at different spots in our house and in my office.

I’m thankful for First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream. It’s the best moisturizer I’ve ever used.

Still thankful for my heated blanket. That will never change. Joe is not thankful for my heated blanket. That also will never change.

Also still thankful for cherry Lifesavers.

Every year, I invite men and women to appear as panelists at our Women’s Empowerment Series. And every year, I am blown away by how these panelists speak so openly in front of the audience. They’re impressive, and their openness says a lot about them. I’m thankful for each one.

I’m thankful for “This is Us.”

I’m thankful for the massage chair when you get a pedicure.

I’m thankful for Camden Mayor Dana Redd, who steps down from her elected office at the end of this year. I’m eager to see what she does next, but I hope before she does anything, she takes a long, long vacation.

Joe and I have started visiting farmers markets on Saturday mornings, so I’m thankful we live near so many great markets. I’m also thankful for bread and butter pickles from Preservation Handcrafted Foods. We found them at the Burlington County farmers market. I’m pretty sure I ate the whole jar by myself.

I’m thankful for unsweetened iced tea.

I’m thankful for my backyard. It’s quiet there.

I’m thankful for Instagram. I like the format. (Find me at mariannealeardi.)

I’m thankful for the strong network of women in South Jersey.

I’m thankful for bartenders who make pink cosmopolitans, not red.

I’m thankful that some things I buy online come in large, plastic bags that actually seal – like a giant Ziploc bag. I save them for when I’m packing for a trip. You can completely enclose a regular-sized bottle of shampoo.

And as always, I’m thankful for the incredibly friendly, supportive and positive people I am with throughout the day – Joe and the girls, staff at SJ Magazine, business colleagues and especially the readers who stop me to say, “Hey, I read your magazine…” At a time when it seems there is ugliness everywhere, it’s nice to come in contact with some warmth, some civility, even if it’s just a little and for a short amount of time. I’ll take it, and I’ll be thankful.

November 2017
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