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Thankful Thursday | And I’m 45!

Today is my birthday! I’m halfway to 90 years old, so I think I will now identify as middle-aged. 😉

This week I am thankful:

for 45 years

Every year is a privilege and a gift, and I know that not everyone has the privilege of accumulating 45 birthdays.



The only alternative to getting older is to…not have the opportunity to get older!

So, I am thankful.

for the fullness of these 45 years

I’m sure I’ve said something like this in previous birthday posts, but I often reflect back on my life and feel appreciative of and amazed at how much I have gotten to experience in these 45 years.

I have had the opportunity to learn so many skills, I’ve had several different careers already, I’ve visited lots of this country, I’ve built so many relationships, I’ve raised children, I’ve almost finished a solid 19 years of homeschooling, I’ve cooked a million or so meals…and so much more.

I know sometimes people look back on their years and feel a sense of regret, like, “Man, I wish I’d done more stuff.” but I really feel like my years have been jam-packed.

I hope I get another 45 years, of course, but I feel like I’ve packed a lifetime into the last 45 years.

for the way the hard things in my life have shaped me

I would not actively choose any of the hurtful, scarring things that have happened to me, most especially the ones that have involved people hurting me in order to achieve their own ends.

But I can see that there are ways in which these things have shaped me into who I am today; I think these things have given me gifts of empathy, kindness, and strength that I may not have had otherwise.

Occasionally Lisey has met people who have had extremely easy lives, and almost every time, those people have been seriously lacking in empathy, humility, and kindness. She and I say to each other, “This person has not had enough hard times.” 😉

(And of course, I would not actively wish suffering on anyone. I want to become a nurse in order to alleviate suffering! I’m just saying that suffering often results in character growth.)

for ways of healing from hard things

I am so thankful for my support group, for my therapist, and for friends who have walked some of these same hard roads as me.

I am thankful for tears and walks in the woods and new beginnings.

for independence

Last Saturday, I finally tackled my overgrown yard, and as I was looping around the yard on the riding mower, Lisey was busy changing her brakes in the driveway.

oil-changing supplies.

I thought what a beautiful thing it is that we, as women, are capable of doing these things for ourselves.

I’ve been supporting myself this whole last year, and Lisey’s about to launch into being entirely self-supporting too; it’s such a good feeling to know you can provide for yourself!

I don’t think either Lisey or I want to be single for the rest of our days, but I think it’s a lovely thing to be in a place where you can enter a relationship not out of necessity but out of desire.

for dependence

The riding mower? I borrowed it from my neighbor Donna; she’d rescued it from someone else and rehabbed it.

And before Lisey started working on her car that day, she had a little consultation with Donna.

We get by with a little help from Donna. 🙂

And I recognize that my independent abilities are at least partly a result of other people pouring into me over the course of my life.

for the pine needles in my yard

As I was mowing over the fallen needles, the pine scent filled the air and oh, I love that smell!

pine needles.

I’ve never had a yard with pine trees before and I really like this experience.

for ivy help from a neighbor

One of my neighbors is on a mission to save the local trees from the English ivy that’s killing them, so she came over yesterday and we removed ivy from a bunch of trees in my yard.

I was happy for the help, and she was just thrilled that I was willing to help the trees even though I am a renter.

that Lisey graduated this week!

She’s all done aviation mechanic school now and I AM SO PROUD.

LIsey and Kristen

that Zoe and I could cheer up my friend

One of my friends from my support group has an ex that is just…ugh. I am sorry to say that he is really quite a terrible human being.

My friend was talking to me the other day about some of his antics, and the things he was doing were just so ridiculous, Zoe and I were just rolling our eyes SO HARD.

Zoe said something funny about it and I told my friend, and then my friend went from crying to laughing. Since Zoe and I were able to see his behavior as ridiculous and over-the-top, she was able to stop taking it so seriously too.

And I felt so thankful that Zoe was able to bless my friend that way.

for beautiful weather today

Earlier in the week, the forecast for my birthday was full of rain.

But it changed, and now my weather app says, “times of clouds and sun; nicest day of the week.”

weather forecast screenshot.

And I feel like this is very happy news for my birthday!

for birthday freebies

You know I will be getting my free Starbucks drink this morning. And I probably will snag another few birthday freebies as well. 🙂

for my cat

She is terrible at taking selfies with me but I still always try. 😉

Kristen and her cat.

What are you thankful for this week?


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Monday 1st of May 2023

I'm late to the party, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I am thankful for YOU - reading your blog is a ray of sunshine in my day. Thank you for being cheerfully optimistic even in the darkest of days. You help my brain either look for the positive or realize that the hard times won't last forever. You are a gift.

Susan Daugherty

Friday 28th of April 2023

Happy birthday.


Friday 28th of April 2023

Happy Birthday!

Anita Isaac

Friday 28th of April 2023

Please. You look like a teenager. You help so many people. I am a baby boomer. We did not trust anyone over 30 and now I am twice that and then some. Two things beside marriage and kids changed my life. Cataract surgery at 57. And my primary doctor making me go to a diabetic specialist. It took 8 months to get an appointment with the specialist. I was so bummed. Thought she would make me test my blood. I never test my blood ever. I was taught by nurses how to eat when I was first diagnosed. But after 20 years it got really hard. My primary said there are new meds out there and I am not familiar with them. That was the best.

Look how well your kids turned out. YOU ARE A HUGE SUCCESS. To use a very trite expression "the best is yet to come."

PS Happy Birthday


Friday 28th of April 2023

Happy Birthday Kristen! Sorry to hear about your hardships though I agree that they lead to growth. I love to read about your humble and honest voice coming through your blog posts.

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