On my last blog, I wrote about my sobriety experience. I touched a bit on my relationship with my fiancé, and a few people had mentioned they’d be interested in hearing more about that. My experience finding Jeremy was a bit unique. I hadn’t had a serious boyfriend in a long while, and I hadn’t had a healthy relationship in much longer than that. For a while, I put the idea of a romantic relationship on the back burner while I focused on getting healthy and trying to figure out who I was. When I re-emerged, I decided I was going to do it my way. If it worked, fantastic! If not, that would be fine too.

2.74 years, 1,000 days, 1,440,000 minutes. That’s how long it’s been since I made the decision to quit drinking permanently.

Okay, yeah, “made the decision” is a bit disingenuous. After all, there was an intervention with friends and family and they outright asked me to stop drinking. I definitely didn’t wake up one day and decide it was go-time, so I can’t pat myself on the back for that one. However, no one remains sober unless they decide to do it for themselves. I have endless gratitude for the people in my life who helped me start this journey, but make no mistake, I made the decision to get here.

I don’t know the pain of becoming a divorcee or a widow. I’ve never dealt with custody issues, dividing up a household, or burying my spouse, and I can’t fathom that sort of pain. The only noteworthy break-up I’ve ever experienced was with my high school sweetheart, and I think that’s something most everyone goes through. In fact, I think that break-up was a rite of passage, and now I can look back on that drama and laugh.

I lost my dad when I was a 17-year-old senior in high school. The director of the Indiana University Cancer Center succumbed to melanoma, a morbid bit of irony that makes people’s eyes widen. No, no one’s immune to cancer, not even a man who spent his professional life curing it.

So… almost a month after the incident, I decided it was time to write about the little hiccup we had with our blind, anxious rescue dog, Henry. If you’re curious about what exactly happened and why he’s still sleeping in our bed every night, look no further! I’ll warn you, this is a long post because I’m a) a dog lover and b) a rambler. I really wanted to talk about what I learned from the incident. Was a dog bite to the face life-changing? I mean, it sounds melodramatic… but it kind of was.

We’ve established the fact that I’m a quote hoarder, and I’m forever saving motivating quotes. In one of my Pinterest binges (Pinges?) I saw a print that simply said, “You can do hard things.”

I like that. I love that. Because it’s So. Dang. True. I can do hard things, and you can do hard things, and 2017 should be the year of doing hard things.

Today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking a lot about everything I’m grateful for. I’m unpacking my suitcase from one amazing trip just to fill it back up for a trip to Indiana. I think a lot of people might agree that 2016 was a rough year that came to a head on November 8th*. I’m not going to minimize the things that have gone wrong, but I think it’s so refreshing to reflect on all of the things that have gone right. This year, I’m thankful for so, so, so many things. I’ll save you the generic ones – I could, and do, write entire blog posts about how thankful I am for my family, dear friends, and dog. Instead, here are the more personal things I am thankful for (in no particular order).