Thanksgiving, a few months early

My dear bloggy friend Faiza has a blog that she calls a "gratitude journal," which is just as lovely as it sounds. I get so excited when I see a new blog post from her; inevitably, I feel better after I read her posts, no matter what my mood was prior. Faiza recently did a guest post at The Perfect Compilation Tape in which she highlighted five things she's grateful for, and encouraged everyone to play along. Here is Faiza's original post (read it, seriously, this woman inspires me!), and here is my own version:

Five Things I'm Grateful For:

5. Summer is Here!
I've always loved summer, and living in California has only nurtured my love for beach season. Being a teacher (and a teacher with a second job, at that!), I'm so busy during the school year that I rarely have time for relaxation in the months between September and May. Thus, June, July, and August are all about languor, and I love it! Plus, my birthday's in August. I share a birthday with this legend:

So far my summer's been about visiting family and friends, lounging by the pool, waking up slow, and drinking good coffee (plus ambushing City Hall to give me my job back, but that's circumstantial!). On the horizon: days at the beach, drinking beer on patios with friends, summer playlists, reading & writing.

4. Blog Friends
When I started this blog on January 1, it never occurred to me that anyone I didn't know would read it, or that I'd become attached to girls across the country (and the world!) whose blogs I love to read. It's pretty amazing how that happens, and some of the connections with lovely women I've made are incredible! Here are some of my very favorite blogs to read . . . with the disclaimer that you already know that I love my long-time-friends-from-childhood, Lesley at Homemade Grits and Christina at Down & Out Chic:

Micaela at Dolce Vita
Marianne at Royal Mail
Hope at Hope Chella
and you know who is so nice? Jeanette at Everton Terrace

There are plenty more that I will continue to share with you, but that's a pretty good preliminary list. Please go check out those blogs! They're all wonderful, entertaining, and beautiful.

3. Music
My current obsession?

I love summertime playlists! More to come on that front.

2. Forgiveness
I'm really not talking about any one specific situation here, but I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness--how we forgive others, and perhaps most importantly, how we forgive ourselves. This is one area in which I'm definitely working on myself . . . trying to be all about compassion, understand why others (and I) behave the way they/we do, and forgiving. I think it leads to happiness! I've spent far too much of my life feeling hurt by others--seems if I can just cloak myself in compassion and understanding, I'll be able to breathe, forgive, and be happy and peaceful. Maybe all this is coming from working with prisoners--a population who, sometimes, society neglects to forgive.

1. Family & Friends
(There's too much cross-over for these to be two separate categories)! At the beginning of the summer, I got to visit my family in Georgia (and some of my oldest friends), and there's just nothing like that feeling of being home. No sooner had I gotten back to San Francisco was I down in southern California visiting my dear friend Amy!

Newport Beach, y'all

And on that note, I'm off to meet another bff for a champagne brunch in Berkeley. Big toast to gratitude!!