I think I've finally discovered the perfect way to do just that: Make every birthday a Thanksgiving Day. Every year, before blowing out your candles and making a wish, why not make a list of everything you have to be grateful for, with as many entries as your years on earth? By doing this, every year you'll have one more reason to celebrate than you did on your previous birthday, and just cause to look forward to the list-worthy developments that the coming year might bring.
On the eve of my birthday (May 7), here's everything I'm thankful for, plus one.
1. My health
2. All my rowdy friends -- and the ones who've settled down
3. A mother who never made me feel like a disappointment because I like boys instead of girls
4. An amazing big brother who helped pave my way
5. All of the stamps in my passport
6. The ability to express myself via the written word, if not always the spoken one
7. Five senses that are all in working order
8. Shoes that are big enough and wide enough to fit my size-12 feet
9. A roof over my head to protect me from the scorching Bangkok heat
10. A vertical advantage -- The view from 1.86 meters is just right.
11. A well-functioning bullshit detector
13. Oscar season
14. My driver's license
15. The iPod shuffle
17. Moderation, and an apparent immunity to addiction
18. A first name that's neither too common nor too weird, and a middle name that's not my first name
19. That there are still four U.S. daytime soaps left
20. Tend Skin, because of which I've been wining the battle against razor bumps and ingrown hairs for years now
21. Pilates -- if only I could afford to take classes outside of Buenos Aires!
22. Antihistamines and decongestants
23. Thai food
24. A supermarket close to home that sells fat-free yogurt and unsalted cashew nuts
25. Lumphini Park -- It's not as good as the wide-open spaces in Buenos Aires, or the Royal Botanic Garden in Melbourne, but it sure beats the treadmill.
26. Guys with more than one thing on their minds -- They're hard to find, but they're out there.
27. Kiehl's Facial Fuel
28. My Panasonic ER154 electric shaver
29. My HP Mini
30. Facebook -- Yes, the invitations are annoying, and the "timeline" design is clunky, but it's truly revolutionized the way we keep in touch.
31. That some people still look at me and think I was born when Ronald Reagan was president.
32. Jetstar business class
33. That 40 is the new 30, and perhaps 50 will be too by the time I get there
34. That nothing cures my writer's block like running and working out
35. Air-conditioned taxis
36. My Kindle Reader, which I don't use as often as I should
38. Songs about rain -- The sadder they are, the happier I am when I'm listening to them.
39. Bangkok and Melbourne -- my homes away from home for the last 14 months
40. Babies and toddlers
41. Elephants and monkeys
42. King-sized beds
43. That there are people out there who actually are interested in what I have to say -- Thanks for reading!