I'm grateful to know how to budget. If this were a superpower, I'd be Wonder Woman, stretching dollars all over the town. The most amazing facet of my superpower is determining the difference between a want and a need. No idea how this came about (because my Dad, bless his heart, needs Double Stuff Oreos and Lemon Drops. But only whenever he's at the store. Or the gas station*) but I'm glad to have it.
I'm grateful to know how to cook. I love food. I love really good food above all. I dream about food. Japanese Soba noodles, last night. I've never actually eaten Japanese Soba noodles, but I read "Garlic and Sapphires" a few years ago, and that chapter absolutely hooked me. So in my dream, I was on a noodle quest. Don't judge. Also I love white flour. I know that's not chic. It's not fashionable to like it, but hot, white, buttered starch is my kind of nirvana. Pardon me while I dream of pasta. Pretzels. Popcorn. Rice. Crusty, rich artisan bread.
Okay, I'm back (she says, wiping drool from the keyboard). And while we're on the subject of good things I can cook, I sort of dare you to name it. There are some things I choose not to make (anything deep-fried and Chinese - I do it, and I do it well, but I can't eat it after I see how the oil reserve sinks. I'll take my Sesame Chicken from Shoots or PF Chang's.) But the only thing I've ever tried to make that totally flopped? Mozzarella sticks (we were newlyweds, and too poor to hit Denny's to satisfy a craving. That was the last time I ever even craved mozzarella sticks. Just don't even try to imagine the damage.) I love food, and I'm grateful that I can make myself whatever I want to eat.
I'm thankful to be able to prioritize the little things. One load of laundry every day makes me able to handle my life a lot easier than being a slave to Mr. Maytag all day every Thursday. Multi-tasking is a great blessing (ironing while I watch "Guys and Dolls" or painting my toenails while I read to the Kids or letting the Lysol disinfect the toilets while I reread "Guernsey" in the bathtub).
I'm thankful for a decent sense of organization. I've got several things to arrange and deal with, when I think about my 4 Kids on their 4 school schedules, plus practices and lessons, homework, chores, and music practicing, and sometimes the thought of it makes me roll up in a ball. You moms who work? I don't know how you do it. I'm thankful that I stay home (that's code for "run around for everyone else") so I can keep myself and my family in order. Which brings me to:
I'm grateful for my newfound ability to say the word No. This came in my middle thirties. And it is a gift, let me tell you. I'd heard of it before, but I'd never dared try it. But now? I'm a No pro. Want a free sample?
Becca, can you...? NO.
Becca, would you like to...? No.
Pardon me, miss, could I have a moment of your time? NO.
Mom, may I please...? No.
Honey, could I...? No.
Becca, would you...? No.
Do you want to...? No.
Wait. Maybe I'll rethink that last one.
*Oh, come on. He also taught me the fine art of exaggeration. He should be proud.