On giving thanks (and catching up) – 11.16, 11.17, 11.18

On November 18, 2011, I am thankful for accountability.

I have people who keep me on track and kick my butt to make sure I accomplish my goals. A prime example – I said I wanted to write a post every day in November about what I am thankful for. I missed two days, and this appeared in my inbox:

I’ve been anxiously awaiting your posts from 11.16 and 11.17, and yet I don’t see them. I realize you’re all busy with silly things like presenting your practicum in front of a hundred people and writing a paper which constitutes a ridiculous portion of your grade, but really. Where are your priorities?

And:

What are you thankful for today? What were you thankful for yesterday? What were you thankful for the day before? Come on Farmer, I wanna know. You’re leaving us all hanging!

These were of course, a little bit in jest, but they illustrates my point. It is great to know that people are watching out for me and are willing to call me out when I’m not doing what I need to in order to succeed. Today, I’m thankful for that.

Though I’ve been slacking on blogging, I haven’t slacked on thankfulness. Here is what I’ve been thankful for the last couple of days:

On November 17, 2011 I was thankful for my experience in Honduras.

I’ve already written about it a lot on this blog, so I won’t say much. But this week, I had to put together a presentation for my Department on my practicum, and in the process of trying to boil it all down into a 10-minute powerpoint, I’ve been reminded of how much I learned and how powerful the experience was. In my job, I’m surrounded by people doing work in global health who are constantly jet-setting, and my own worldliness pales in comparison. I think as a result, I forget sometimes how special my own, albeit limited work abroad has been.

I’m thankful I went, I’m thankful I learned, and I’m thankful I got to share it this week – and that I got to hear about my classmate’s amazing adventures.

On November 16, 2011, I was thankful for books.

I carved out some me-time (meaning I couldn’t sleep) on Wednesday to read a few chapters of Amor en los Tiempos del Colera (Love in the Time of Cholera), one of my all-time favorite novels. I have loved to read since I was little – I was always one to hide under the covers with a flashlight and a book past bedtime, and sometimes, the most effective punishment my parents could enact was to ground me from reading. (Go ahead, point and laugh at the nerd. I’m over it.)

I’m thankful for books. I’m thankful that I am so moved by words and thankful for what those words have taught me. I’m thankful for the characters that have inspired me, the scenes that have arrested me, and the imagination and possibility books have made possible for me.

And I’m thankful for the shelf of un-read pages that wait for me.

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What are you thankful for?

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(See all posts on giving thanks here.)

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