I've been thinking about it, and I have so very much to be thankful for this year!

I'm truly fortunate to be a successful doctoral student who is currently ABD (All But Dissertation). This year is the one where I finish both comprehensive essays (I have two weeks left on the second one), which I was warned repeatedly would be a terror of overwork and anxious reading and writing. I haven't found it so, though — I've deeply enjoyed reading about some extraordinarily fascinating research, while writing seems to come more and more easily for me. My sole regret is that I had to skim some of the wonderful books, and even then I've promised myself some leisurely reading time during the upcoming summer — my scholastic off time — so I may linger and more fully savor those books I had to rush through.

This has also been the year where I celebrated my 25th anniversary of togetherness with the kindest, most encouraging, and most patient man I've ever met! I know he is all of these things because let's face it: he's successfully put up with me for the past 25 years. :) Love you, Bob; I couldn't have made it this far both scholastically and intellectually, and through my emotional development, were it not for your calm and steadfast encouragement.

On a more pragmatic level, I am so very grateful that I am a citizen of a relatively prosperous country that is predominantly at peace. I live in paradise! California is warm and beautiful and tolerant, and I am very fortunate to be here. My home is a nice house with wonderful housemates who care about me and who I care for; I have friends and family who I also care for, and who are healthy and prosperous as well. I can eat food that is good for me, go to school and learn fascinating things, live in a fashion that is not the social norm without fear of violent reprisal, and indulge my growing enjoyment of cooking — and not only can I do all these delightful things with relative ease, but I also do not have to fear for my life on a daily basis.

I am so glad that I live in good health on this beautiful, ancient, breathtakingly balanced planet, as an integral part of Her miraculous ecosystem! I am grateful that Mother Earth freely grants me, each day, Her life-giving gifts of air to breath, water to drink, food to eat. Most of all, I am profoundly grateful that I have the opportunity and ability to say thank you to Her, and to work towards a world where She is perceived with gratitude and respect by all.

I am truly blessed on this beautiful, calm Thanksgiving.

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