The Tragic Optimist

little and not so little things

I’ve been thinking about thankfulness (not too surprisingly, given that today is Thanksgiving).  I keep getting caught in the big things to be thankful for – the family / health / friends / house / job / food things.  It’s not that I’m not thankful for these, just the opposite, I’m extremely thankful for them, and know that I’m so lucky to have all these things in my life, that it’s hard to look past them.  But I know that there’s so much more to be thankful for.  So here, are some of the little things that I’m thankful for.

  • My vanpool.  That I can zone out on the ride in and back from work, that I’ve been able to meet and make friends that I might not otherwise have gotten to know.
  • Yeast.  Such little guys.  So essential for bread, beer, wine, and other alcohols.  Our Thanksgiving dinner would be far poorer without yeast.
  • Which reminds me: wine and beer.  And coffee for that matter.  And all that goes in to bringing them to me.  Coffee and wine, especially, use ingredients that do not normally grow in Minnesota, and while I’m a fan of eating local, I make exceptions.  I’ll admit, I’d happily give these up for a while if I were pregnant, but since I’m not, I will thankfully enjoy these.
  • Chocolate.  Not much to add here, but it bears repeating.  Chocolate.  Choc. O. Late.  Yeah.
  • The Internet.  All right, this once isn’t small.  Still, the fact that we can be connected with friends and family regardless of geography, that we can meet and talk with others in similar situations, no matter how far away they are, is awesome.  I’m thankful for that.
  • The universe.  Ok, this is also not small, in fact, the opposite of small, but I had to include it.  How cool is it that we live in a universe with billions of stars, planets, nebula, and other wonders?  How cool that there is so much out there to explore and learn about.  And on that note, I’ll end with this tribute to the universe (and Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking).


  1. You are so right! People tend to get so caught up in the obvious – family, job, home, etc, etc other extremely important things get forgotten. Like yeast! And the internet! And who could forget the universe?!?!

  2. I am thankful for central heating. Seriously. Japan made me appreciate this. Seems like a little thing -but it’s not!

    And I’m also very thankful for coffee. I try not to be a coffee snob, but there are some pretty amazing coffees in Seattle….Still, of late, I am more than happy to indulge in an occasional cup of joe from Dunkin’ Donuts. *sigh* Caffeine – such sweet nectar.

    Oh, and spices for cooking. Living in Japan introduced me to lots of broths and subtle styles of cooking, but I still like and am thankful for all the spices in Moroccan, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, etc.

  3. I am thankful for underwear that doesn’t ride up! Nothing worse than doing that uncomfortable shimmy all day long. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving, belated!

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