Today I turned 40 and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a birthday. Or ANY day for that matter. It strikes me as odd, because over the years I have heard such negative things from folks as they age. But lucky for me, my Moms was just the opposite. I remember how ‘big’ we did things when she turned 50. I recall her celebrating and bragging about every milestone saying “Some folks didn’t make it this far”, and after these past few years, I TOTALLY get the sentiment.
Fellow blogger BigRich had a birthday last month and I noticed he offered 30 days of thanks. Hmm, I asked him about that, when I did he explained how it had become a tradition and how it was life altering. I wasn’t convinced but I agreed to give it a shot. Yall also know I can never be an EXACT copy cat, so I Jai-lzyed it. I decided instead of the entire month of October, I would just give thanks every day up until my birthday. Upon surveying the calendar, I was about 24 days out…no fun in the number 24, so I opted for 21. There was nothing profound about the number, it just seemed more exciting.
So after about day 6 I hit a wall. I had had to really THINK about it. It forced me to look at all the small and simple things that I take for granted, like my eyesight and a funny joke. Somewhere around day 5 I picked up an audience and before I knew it, my daily Facebook post became the highlight of my day. I even noticed that the little cloud of depression that had been hovering went ‘poof’ around day 9. Hmmm, go figure….I took advice from a MAN! Well I will be dog gone, lil Jai Stone might just be growing up after all.
Here are my Statements of Thanks:
Today I started my 21 days of thanks. In EXACTLY 21 days I will turn 40. I will give thanks for something each day until then.
Day 1: I’m thankful for my friends that I can call in the middle of the night and wake out of a dead sleep, just to unburden my soul.
Day 2: I’m thankful for every OUNCE of pain that I have endured in my life. The physical and emotional. My pain is the source of my greatest personal, professional, social, spiritual and physical growth. The person I am is in large part due to what I have endured.
Day 3: I’m thankful to have a smile that does NOT look like a Gremlin (I know, funny right?). But I have found that having a pleasant smile is like an instant connection to the soul of strangers and a warm hug to the spirit of friends. I’m thankful to use something so small to spread great joy.
Day 4: I’m thankful the numerous gifts that have been bestowed upon me. I’m even more grateful to use those gifts in the service of others.
Day 5: I’m thankful for my voice. It means a great deal to me to stand for what I believe and be strong in my convictions. But its more important that those that come in contact with me are clear on my position. My voice is clear and unwaivering.
Day 6: I’m thankful to live in a country where freedom of religion is practiced.
Day 7: I am thankful for my family. Even on days when they tap dance all over my nerves like Gregory Hines (lol). I would rather have them hear tapping than dancing in the afterlife. R.I.P. to all those loved ones that we have lost.
Day 8: I’m thankful for Facebook. I have connected and re-connected with so many wonderful, wonderful folks. Can’t remember my life before the big FB! If you’re reading this lets thank Mr. Zuckerburg for bringing us all a little closer…MUAH!
Day 9: I’m thankful for side splitting laughter. Nothing rouses my soul better than a good laugh. I just love tummy cramping, tears rolling, foot stomping laughter. That is the good stuff that life is made of. No Botox for these laugh lines…they remind me that I have LIVED and lived well!!
Day 10: I am thankful for my eyesight. As I look out the window and see the trees swaying in the wind, I realize that some folks will never be able to revel in visual serenity. I worry about what I will miss by blinking, for many folks they know nothing but darkness. A sobering realization!
Day 11: I’m thankful for pink toe nail polish, purple peep toe pumps and super shiny lip gloss. For all the bling bling, sparkly rings, dangly earrings…and all the really funky girly things that help my inner diva shout “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!
Day 12: I’m thankful for odd balls, trendsetters, independent thinkers and thought provokers. Marching to the beat of your own drum while inspiring progress in others is the stuff LEGENDS are made of. What will YOU be legendary for? Stay tuned while my legend comes to fruition.
Day 13: I’m thankful for sleep, and I plan to do lots of that today. Zzzzzzz
Day 14: I’m thankful for weekends and this past one was a doozey!! I started my month long celebration for turning 40! Special thanks to Mocha Moore and Celest Turner for organizing and hosting a Girl’s Night In for me!!
Day 15: I’m thankful to have mentors in my life. The folks that take the time and energy to teach me how navigate this thing we call life. I have a number of them that teach me how to love, live and show up 100% me every day!
Day 16: I’m thankful for my smartphone that allows me to travel and stay plugged in to my peeps. What did we do before technology. Paper cups and string I suppose.
Day 17: I’m thankful the LEGACIES of the following: Steve Jobs (RIP) and Bill Gates. How many jobs have been created and maintained by the technology these men have shared with the world. Sojourna Truth & Michelle Obama for paving the way for Black women from slavery to the white house. Mahatma Ghandi & Martin Luther King, Jr. for the right to be treated equally and fairly based on humanity alone. And last by not least my parents Russell Wright Sr & Daisy Beckham Wright (RIP) for giving me the education, morality and dignity to recognize the ingenuity and sacrifice of the great folks that have gone before me. (sorry this one was so long, I was moved today)
Day 18: I’m thankful for babies…awww. I LOVE babies, their wonderful smell and the smile that is all gums and the look of wonderment in their eyes when they just can quite figure you out. I love when they crawl, then toddle, then run. I love when they babble, then talk then sing at you. I just love those little beings…until the little monsters turn about 5 and they realize they know more than you…lol
Day 19: I’m thankful for the male species and the patience they exercise with me as I continuously grind their nerves. My fellas are grand! If you’re a dude and you’re reading this…here’s to you!!!
Day 20: I’m thankful for my health and strength. Goodness knows that I haven’t taken the greatest care, yet it remains dependably strong.
Day 21: Made it! Honestly, I’m a little sad that its over. I’m finally hitting the big 4-0 tomorrow and I’m beyond thankful, I’m grateful! Many folks haven’t made it to this stage of their life’s journey. I’ve heard all kinds of tales of fear and dred for this milestone, but I’m so excited to pass this way! Pardon me while I do a little dance, cause girlfriend is TRULY THANKFUL!