Friday, November 23, 2012

The Thanksgiving Post

101 Things I Have Been Thankful For This Year (in no particular order, don't whine once I start stream-of-consciousness-thanking and you're not at the top of the list)

1. Life, which has taught me amazing and beautiful and terrifying things this year. That's the best kind of year there is.

2. Crisis and strength, which combined made me make some good decisions about my life, career path, and health that I might not have otherwise made without them.

3. Travis, because I terrify him and drive him absolutely NUTS, and he's still here, and still supports me, and is still his awesome self.

4. The house we moved into a year ago this month and, without ever fully unpacking, made into a home. This has also taught us how little we need the stuff that's still in boxes in the garage.

5. Anna, who dragged me quite against my will into New Experiences this year, without which this year would have been VERY different.

6. The new friends who have become a solid part of my life this year - especially Bob and Kat, I'm so happy to have grown close to you both.

7. Having a job - the three months of unemployment last year nearly drove me insane.

8. Caroline Reck and Glass Half Full Theater for giving me the chance to light "The Orchid Flotilla" - what a beautiful, amazing piece that was.

9. Michael, Abby, and 600 HIGHWAYMEN - and everyone else involved in "This Great Country." 

10. UNH, Deb Kinghorn, and all of my old mentors and professors with whom I got to work again during "Macbeth."

11. Hidden Room Theater and Beth Burns, for the upcoming 2013 adventures that are already in the works.

12. The Fusebox Festival - still my absolute favorite thing about Austin.

13. Becky and Erica, my two oldest and closest friends, who are always willing to jump on the "Sleep No More" bus with me...we will do it again, too.

14. Heather - you've been a GREAT friend this year and such an awesome force for good in my life! Thank you for helping me get to the gym regularly!!

15. Amanda - I am so glad that we've had the opportunity to grow closer this year. Margaritas rule.

16. Will, for always being around, for being another awesome mouth to feed and for giving me the chance to work on "Messenger No. 4" with Cambiare and Travis, too.

17. The cast of "Messenger No. 4," especially those with whom I've become close.

18. Everyone behind "Tis Pity She's a Whore," "Rose Rage," "Faustus," and "Quills," for giving my husband one of the most creative and fruitful years yet.

19. My family, for being my family - in the awesome way that families are there exactly when you need them in the way that you expect.

20. Our Cape Cod trip, which is becoming a tradition in my family that I love.

21. My nieces Cassie and Lexii, and nephew Kavan.

22. My new niece Athena.

23. My OTHER family, the Bedards, for always accepting me and loving me.

24. My cats, who should perhaps be much further up on this list - they really make our home a home, and try real hard to keep us in bed in the mornings. Unless they need to be fed. They're actually quite communicative.

25. My health, for which I've worked so hard off this year. And all of that work on diet and exercise is so completely and totally worth it in the end (or middle, since I'm still in progress).

26. Knowing when to take a break, and actually doing so.

27. Neal Stephenson's "Reamde," which was the one book I read this year that I totally loved, that made me want to spend hours just READING. I had forgotten how great that could feel.

28. Katie Pearl, who continues to support me and our FORESTS project, even when I've been pulled away for an extended period of time.

29. The people in this country who supported Obama in the presidential election. The amount I have been disappointed in many parts of the population in the past year can't be overstated, neither can the fear I truly had for my rights as a woman. Thank you for not putting the other guy in charge of my body.

30. Maura - for reminding me that there are people out there who have always known me and always understood what I was trying to say. You did more for me over one cup of tea than you can even know.

31. Stacy - for pointing out that we now HAVE to have an annual reunion in October (and next year you're flying to me!).

32. Katie (again), David, and Susan, for your awesome support while I embark on a new path in my career.

33. Daphne - you are AWESOME, and seriously an inspiration, and my fingers are crossed that you'll be here to assist in January.

34. For people and experiences that challenge me. For the things this year that have pushed me as an individual, physically and psychologically and emotionally. I hope that there are more of you to come in 2013.

35. Bob, for the experiences you've shared with me this year.

36. My lack of faith in superstition, magic, or religion of any kind. I know that to many this might seem like something that would make one sad, but I truly believe that the most beautiful way to experience the world and life is for exactly what it is and what it presents, for the meaning and truth that exists because we choose for it to exist, for the love that I feel for people and places knowing that every moment I spend with them is important and special, knowing that I need to treasure them for who and what they are now, because there is nothing else.

37. Erica (again) - for pushing me and never ceasing to believe in me, and for being my biggest cheerleader while I lost weight and got healthy.

38. Johnson's Backyard Garden - we are having so much vegetable-filled fun shaping our meals around what's local and seasonal and given to us in our CSA box each week. It's constantly an adventure.

39. The Wachowskis and Tom Twyker, for taking one of my favorite novels and doing it serious justice and beauty on screen. It really could easily have been a train wreck, and I'm grateful that it was brilliant instead.

40. Punchdrunk and "Sleep No More," for continuing to show me that there is theater out there that truly creates wonder for me, art that actually changes my life.

41. Utopia, TX, for a MUCH needed escape weekend.

42. The back porch and frame that sits under my studio window, for supporting me while I did a stupid thing and tried to hang lights from our backyard tree for Travis's birthday. The lights look gorgeous, and I didn't die.

43. Running. Couch 2 5K. The amount of awesome stress relief I get from it is incredible.

44. Libby, whose Sunday morning Vinyasa class has been the best yogic thing to happen to me in years.

45. Yoga, for being a touchstone in my life for 11 years.

46. The people and states that have come out in strong support of marriage equality this year.

47. The sounds of Travis and Will playing video games downstairs while I listen to Sufjan Stevens upstairs, knowing it's my favorite time of year and I love my life more than ever.

48. My financial state - it's still a nightmare, but one I continue to work through, and one I will happily choose over what most of the world experiences every day.

49. The knowledge that Jason deCaires Taylor's work is out there, under the sea, waiting for me to visit it someday soon.

50. Flowers sent to me on opening nights in another state.

51. The fact that this list is halfway done, and there is more pie to be eaten downstairs.

52. My marriage, which is arguably the most important thing in my life, and the knowledge that I will never stop working to make it a happy and long one.

53. Kathryn Yu, for curating the definitive "Sleep No More" playlist.

54. Scorched the Snake, for feeding my obsession daily.

55. Careena Melia, for making my day anytime I knew she'd read something I tweeted. And without whom this year might not have happened in the way it did at all. And for making me Hecate's bitch, now and forever.

56. Going from 196 to 155 in a way that is healthy, sustainable, and a hell of a lot of work.

57. Walking downstairs to hear the following sentence: "Travis just did an AMAZING ribbon routine!"

58. CHRISTMAS. God I love Christmas. There is really not a better way to end any year.

59. People who bring me rocks from Norway.

60. Beckie0, who probably doesn't want to be referred to in that way, but who continues to remain a source of inspiration to me.

61. New and old friends who stay. I had the misfortune to invest a lot of time and energy in a friendship this year, only to have it inexplicably taken from me. This is the kind of thing that has kept me in the past from forming close friendships with new people I meet, but I have (so far) had far more stay than leave this year, and that renews my belief that there are people who care and who are willing to put in the time and effort to get to know me, even when I make it difficult.

62. My sister, for (almost) always following my book recommendations, and for being a great friend this year.

63. My brother-in-law, for some of the funniest memories of the year (Allen, if you need a reminder of those memories, find me and we'll talk).

64. My dad, for always being my dad, even when I don't do the things that he knows would lead to a more stable, happy life.

65. Ziplining. I mean, seriously. That was one of the BEST nights of the year.

66. Enchanted Rock, which I finally hiked this summer!

67. The Exchange Artists for an absolutely beautiful piece in "The Man Who Planted Trees."

68. Jon Stewart, for helping me intake the news without going insane.

69. Apple pie.

70. Oreo milkshakes.

71. Gob Squad, for giving me a night of theater that was pure unadulterated child-like JOY.

72. Ice cream, especially mint chocolate chip, peanut butter cup, Cherry Garcia, and Amy's white chocolate. And, of course, watermelon sherbet.

73. Game and waffle night with friends. Cards Against Humanity. Pictionary played on the Wii.

74. Cold mornings when I wake up with Asha curled up next to me, Travis asleep on the other side, and the knowledge that I don't have to get up. This is even better if I took Advil PM the night before. 

75. Coffee. You came into my life in a time of crisis when I took on too much work in 2008, and I can't imagine my life without you today.

76. Really, really good grapefruit.

77. Indian food with good friends.

78. Swimming in the Sabinal River at sunset with Travis.

79. Being off the ridiculous medication I was on for most of last year, and seeing how unhealthy it was making me.

80. Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.

81. Everyone who turned out to keep Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and other rape apologists out of Congress this year.

82. My NYC friends, who made it through Sandy mostly unscathed.

83. The Bottle Babies at APA - I'll be back in the spring.

84. The Get Fit program at UT, for getting me in the habit of going to the gym three days a week (including one day spent in the dreaded weight room).

85. The week and a half break I have coming up in December as a UT employee - seriously, the BEST thing about working for the University.

86. The turtle pond on campus, for giving me a daily mental break.

87. Kay, for being the amazing friend she is and keeping me connected to my mom.

88. Long hot baths on Friday nights while listening to Beth Orton. 

89. Finally having a grown-up bed!

90. The morning routine of checking my email while Sansa purrs on my lap.

91. Brie cheese.

92. Content, and the nights when we go out for drinks together.

93. Rosie Thomas's "Kite Song." 

94. Watching Travis grill for a group of his friends on his birthday.

95. Becky - because I don't think you're on this list by yourself yet, and you have no idea how much you mean to me.

96. Watching Travis and Allen grilling my family dinner in the pouring rain - one of the best meals I've ever had.

97. Paula, who has helped me through a LOT this year.

98. People who update their amazon wishlists before the Christmas season starts (hint, hint).

99. My love for books, even when I have a year where I read very few good ones - loving reading has always been something I've treasured and I hope I never lose it.

100. Loving adventure, and being willing to do the things that scare me - the ability to recognize that these things are an integral part of a life well-lived.

101. Life, in all its uncertainty about what the next year holds - I can't wait for more.

Notes from Dublin: Rambling, Emotional, Barely Coherent.

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