My Patented Pity Party Panacea

Rachel Birdsell

Rachel Birdsell

Like thousands of other people, this time of year has me following the tradition of making a “things I’m thankful for” list. Sure, it’s cliché, but it’s one that is beneficial. While I try to remind myself of things I have to be thankful about on a daily basis, it’s always good to take a yearly inventory. It may not keep me from throwing a pity party, but if I pull out my list it’ll remind me that I need to leave the party early.

My list isn’t filled with only hugely important things; some are quite frivolous, but it doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for them. So, without further rambling, here is my “2014 List of Things I’m Thankful For”.

1. That I have children who make me laugh more than anyone else can, and who constantly impress me with the way they handle life’s problems.

2. I have a boyfriend who loves me in spite of my bad moods, quirks and general nonsense.

3. That my family supports me in my endeavors even if they aren’t entirely convinced of their potential success.

4. My heating pad. The older I get, the more I love it.

5. Obamacare. Without it, I’d still be without insurance. In the past year, I was able to get medical tests that I’ve been postponing for 10 years.

6. Weekend Netflix binges.

7. Shoes, shoes and more shoes, and then one more pair.

8. The ability to laugh at myself.

9. The ability to keep from laughing at others when it’s not appropriate.

10. The past with all its flaws, mistakes and heartaches. It’s brought me where I am today.

11. Having an imagination that allows me to be a Victorian undertaker, a ‘20s bootlegger or a ‘40s lounge singer, even if it’s only in my head for a short time.

12. Knowing my way around the kitchen.

13. Books which were my first love and they’ve remained my most enduring.

14. Dark chocolate with chili pepper.

15. The cool side of the pillow.

16. Good music being played much too loudly.

17. Outdoor art, whether it’s a commissioned sculpture or non-commissioned graffiti.

18. All of the travelers who have taken photos of places I’ve yet to go.

19. Coffee, without which I’m not nearly as pleasant.

20. Hot showers on a cold day.

21. Full-length mirrors that lie to me.

22. All of the strange people, random bits of creativity, and the unexpected beauty in everyday objects that inspire me.

23. Each one of you.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and graphic artist. You can reach her at

Categories: Commentary