There is Christmas stuff everywhere and Christmas commercials and music are already playing...
Why? Seriously, why? It's only the beginning of November! Why can't you all just wait until after Thanksgiving and then you can celebrate Christmas to your hearts content...
So, a facebook associate of mine decided to post something she's grateful for every day in the month of November until Thanksgiving. I think that's an awesome plan and a good way to celebrate Thanksgiving in its season.
So... having just decided this I'm 10 days behind. I guess I'll just start off by listing 10 things that I'm grateful for.
1) I know that I always say this, but I'm really grateful for indoor heating, particularly here in U:AFWTD where it's already sort of kind of snowed ish and the weather likes to drop 20 degrees in 24 hours. As a warm blooded member of the human race I find this highly unacceptable but since I haven't yet learned to control the weather, I have to rely on indoor heating to keep me warm and I am highly grateful for its existence.
2) I'm grateful for temples. I went with my roommates on Tuesday and it was the first time I've been in like 1,000 years. Yes, I am mildly ashamed to admit that it took me about 5 months of living in Utah to finally get my sorry self to the temple but I finally did and I plan to go much more regularly. Especially since soon there are going to be 2 here in Provo, both within walking distance. Then I really won't have any excuse. Anyway, I'm grateful that temples are on the earth today and that I have one and soon two that are so close to me.
3) In the same train of thought, I'm grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation. I know a lot of people who are afraid of death because they don't know what comes next or because they think that death is the end. Honestly, I can't imagine what it would be like to live thinking that after you died that was it. It would be terrifying I suppose. I'm thankful for the knowledge that I have and the comfort I can take in knowing that death is not the end and that families can be together forever.
4) Alright, so clearly I'm in somewhat of a religious mood because the next thing that I want to say that I'm thankful for is missionaries. Those guys are the greatest. I always used to think that missionaries were so much older than I was but now that my brother and some of my friends are starting to leave on theirs I kind of just realized that they really aren't that old at all, in fact, they're my age! These boys (and girls) are willing to take two years of their young lives and dedicate themselves entirely to their religion and their loving Heavenly Father. That is a huge sacrifice, one that honestly if I was faced with myself I might not be able to make. I'm proud of all of the missionaries serving, especially those that I know and I'm thankful for their sacrifice and dedication.
5) I'm grateful for fire. This is probably only on my mind because I just got back from a bonfire but fire is great stuff. It keeps you warm, you can cook with it, you can play with it (although I would never ever do that ^_^) and it's awesomely entertaining to watch. Fire also, although not as much as it used to, fuels countless other things. You can also make some pretty awesome analogies with fire. If I was a bender I would totally be a fire bender.
6) I'm grateful for music. I know this is something that I bring up a lot too but I can't stop appreciating it. Music has something about it that is just special and listening to it, playing it, singing to it, or dancing to it, you can just feel it. I wish that everyone could be musically talented and know how amazing it is. While I wouldn't call myself musically gifted I'm glad for my chance to learn to play different instruments and for the influence music has played in my life. I'm grateful too that while I'm not gifted, I have at least some degree of musical ability. I have a friend who literally does not know how to play a kazoo and I know other people who are tone deaf. I would hate to be like that.
7) I'm glad that we have so many fantastic modes of transportation. At the beginning of last month I traveled home for my grandmother's funeral. The distance from Provo to my home is just under 1,000 miles. I was able to drive there in about 17 hours and this was even considered a moderately slow method of transportation. Had a taken a plane, I could have traveled that distance in about an hour and a half. Had I needed to make that same trip 100 years or so ago it would have taken days. Hey, cars were around in 1911 right? Cars have been around for over 100 years! Cool! Congrats cars, you've darned old now.
8) I'm thankful for modern day methods of communication. I can share something with someone thousands of miles away in seconds. I can use the camera on my laptop (another thing I'm grateful for) to give my associates a virtual tour of my apartment even though we're in different time zones. I can share something with the entire world if I want to in a matter of seconds! Communication has never been easier and I love it!
9) I'm grateful that I grew up in the northwest. There's nothing like living in a desert wasteland to make you realize how much you truly miss the color green, rain, and sea level. A lot of my associates here are from Nevada and have never had a real Christmas tree. Never! I almost feel like that's a crime against humanity. Over the summer I hiked the treacherous "Y" (and stupidly forgot my camera, now I'll have to do it again). The view from the top of the mountain at night was the closes thing to home I've seen since I've been here. Looking out over Provo from the top of the mountain you can see the rather large Provo lake and the city below and you can pretend that you're looking out over the Seattle waterfront. I honestly don't remember the last time it rained here, I think it was some time in September. Next time in rains at home (so tomorrow) all of you who are there go out and walk around in it. Sure, since it's November you'll probably catch hypothermia and freeze to death, but just take a moment to appreciate that hypothermia before you go to the hospital.
10) The last thing that I'm grateful for today is human willpower. My roommates and I recently started doing this 30 day work out challenge thing. So far we're only on day three and I'm about to die, but I know that I'll finish it because I possess the willpower. Every morning when I wake up after having stayed up studying or working all night, all I want to do is roll over and sleep for another three hours, but I don't because I have the willpower to overcome the natural man (or the id or whatever you want to call it). On days when I have 6 tests, 3 papers, and 7 assignments all due at the end of the week I just want to drop out of school, run away to Canada, and become a world famous hockey player but I don't. Mostly because I'm a horrible hockey player and I don't think they even do anything else in Canada, but also because I posses the human willpower to overcome the occasional horrific week of work and set my sights on the greater goal. Humans are fantastic, they have the ability to overcome just about any obstacle with the right amount of perseverance and persistence. Thinking about willpower reminds me of the story about the guy who said that he could out dig a machine. He ended up working so hard that he died of exhaustion but he ended up beating the machine. While literally working yourself to death might not exactly be the best story to inspire or motivate, I still think it's pretty darn impressive and shows just how much people can accomplish. In the words of Brandi's favorite person, "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."
So, there's 10 thing. On a totally unrelated and actually somewhat ungrateful side note, why is there school tomorrow? It's Veteran's day! Why????
Also, Happy Birthday Scott! I hope it was awesome.
And that's all I have to say today so... the end.