Salutations dearest readers! I’m so happy you’re here and so happy I get to share another Thankful Top Ten Tuesday with all of you! Truly, I love doing this post every year because I enjoy the time this post allows me, to sit and pause, to appreciate all the little things and the things in my life that I may not have given thanks to recently. I usually see this post as a time to allow myself to stop and reflect on a lot of things.
This Thursday in the US is Thanksgiving! I know many people in the US celebrate this holiday and I hope you all have a marvelous time. As I’ve mentioned before, things are a bit different with my family. I’m very open about my heritage and being half Apache, but I’m not as vocal about beliefs and other personal details with my heritage, but I thought I’d share a little bit. Usually, we do and don’t participate in this holiday. It’s something I’ve had conflictions with for a long time and it’s something I’m still trying to find peace with. Usually, my family, my spouse, and I will hold a vigil early Thanksgiving morning (I’m talking before dawn), followed by the feast that takes place throughout the entire day, but we try to have down time by late afternoon to catch up with family, share stories, etc… However, my spouse’s family tends to be more more split between locations (starting with meeting up my in-laws and then going to my spouse aunt and uncle’s home for drinks, food, and documentary watching) and how the holiday is celebrated. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag and we alternate each year. However, with everything that has happened in 2020, with quarantine, and things happening with both my spouse’s family and my family, we won’t be having our traditions with them this year. However, we’re still hoping to video call one another and try to participate as much as we can with our families while social distancing.
I also wanted to make this post a little different this year. Last year’s post was all about books and looking back on it, I feel like I need to tweak and modify it due to my own personal feelings changing, as I learn and grow, about some of the books listed. However, this post isn’t going to be only about books. This post going to show glimpses into my life of things that have been keeping me happy, helping me heal, and just things that have made 2020 less prickly to my soul. I’m super thankful for each of these things because 2020 has been a hard year, on everyone, and I think taking a moment to be thankful and appreciate those things that have helped make that time brighter is important, rewarding, and just a great way to heal from some of the pain this year has caused. So grab some tea, maybe a snack, and I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my life of things I’m really thankful for!
🍂 Emzotic 🍂
For those who don’t know this about me; I’ve spent a large portion of my life (still spending my life) rescuing animals, working with shelters, rescues, rehabilitation centers, and even sought out a degree in working and studying animals. Even right now as we speak, I’ve been taking a few classes to maintain my knowledge despite everything in the world. In my opinion, my biggest strength is the bonds I establish with animals I work with. With all of this in mind, Emzotic has played a huge portion in bringing joy to my morning routine and even my winding down in the evenings. If you’re an animal lover like I am and someone who has devoted large portions of their life to their love of animals like I have, then I can’t recommend checking out Emzotic enough!
🍂 Chillout Deer 🍂
I do a lot of studying, I write a lot of in depth reviews, and I do a lot of morning/late evening meditating. Chillout Deer has been one of my go to channels for relaxing music to help with focusing on these things. They’ve also become a prime channel for music when I’m cleaning, decorating, or organizing. If you haven’t check out their channel, I definitely recommend giving them a chance, they’ve been a big help!
Though I haven’t updated my GoodReads (let’s be honest, I’m slacking hard with GoodReads), but I’m really enjoying my time reading the arc of this book. So far, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried (a lot), and I’ve really been loving this book. This might be the book that helps push me to ending my reading for 2020 on a good note. And this might be my next top favorite book of 2020?! I try not to over-hype books, but I think many readers are going to fall in love with this book and I’m so excited to read the reviews that come out!
🍂 Squishables 🍂
I don’t know why I’m so nervous to share this part of myself… anyway, STORY TIME! A couple of years ago, I actually had quite a few Squishables (they made me really happy and they helped with some of my anxiety hardships especially when my spouse was deployed), but after I started getting more involved with the book community, I actually closed off that part of myself really tightly and got rid of all of them. As of recently, with a lot of my healing, I realized how much harm I caused to myself by closing that part of me off and keeping it so suppressed. Since realizing this, I’ve gotten a couple and it’s been really helpful. Some of them I use as pillows, two of them I use as an improvised “stress ball” (this usually involves a lot of squishing and rubbing the different textures), and some are just snuggle buddies for night time. But I’m really happy, I can’t even begin to talk about how easier it feels to breathe, and I didn’t realize how much I needed to reopen that part of myself until I did.
🍂 Ukiuq Designs 🍂
I always say how important it is to support small businesses and I really try to push that as it approaches the holidays. More recently, I’ve really been pushing small Indigenous businesses especially this small shop, Ukiuq Designs. I have bought a couple of pairs of earrings from this shop and I absolutely love them. One pair has sunflowers on it and if you’ve been here a while, you know sunflowers have a huge sentimental story behind them and why I use them so often on my blog. My most recent pair I purchased, I actually used a little of the graduation money from my aunt to buy the pair. They are absolutely stunning and when they arrive, you better believe I’m going to be sharing them in my IG stories! But I really love this shop with my whole heart and each purchase I’ve made has contributed to some portion of my own healing. And I really love the energy that Michele brings to her business and she’s just has such a warm, kind personality. So as the holidays approach, I’d like to push you in the direction of Michele and her shop because I think she deserves more attention than she gets and it would make my heart so full if more people supported her small business.
🍂 Notion 🍂
I mentioned this in my ‘How I Take Reading Notes’ post, but I had to talk about it here as well. Notion has been a complete changer for me. It’s really allowed me to get organized, I mean really organized. From my note taking, to organizing the arcs I’ve been getting approved for, all the way to the chores I do in my every day life (like cleaning, scrubbing the bathroom, etc…), Notion has been making things so much easier to keep track of everything and being thoroughly organized. Now, I’m not saying this is a solve all because I still cause giant messes and stray from the path, but it’s helped make things easier and as someone who needs some form of structure or routine in their life, Notion has really helped with getting some of my chaos in order. Maybe I’ll do a whole post dedicated to Notion. Hmm… Anyway! It’s been a really big help and personally, this has helped with some of the every day stress I carry on my shoulders. As I said in my note taking post, I definitely recommend checking this site out. It combines a wide plethora of elements that can really help with getting organized especially in the book community, it’s been taking the book community by storm! So check it out and see if it help you because it’s definitely helped me.
🍂 Games 🍂
That’s it, this is my default photo I’m using for anytime I reference my gaming habits! Gaming is something that has been with me my entire life. If someone asked me to name a time where games weren’t in my life, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. However, games have made a big difference for me this year and I didn’t realize how much until two nights ago, where my spouse and I played for early evening to 4 a.m. Not to mention it was Civ. and I hadn’t played that game in a year because the weight of life prevented me from wanting to take on strategy games. So being able to take a dive into strategy games now has been so invigorating. I was on such a good high that I wanted to do another round the next day, but in light of how exhausted we both were, my spouse and I agreed to keep this game specifically for the weekend. Still, it was a really fun time.
And speaking of games, I’ve recently been playing Animal Crossing again. I took a long break from it because I couldn’t focus on the joy the game brought me due to every thing happening in my personal life. So I’m really happy that I started playing it again. I’m excited for the upcoming updates and I’m just really grateful a game like Animal Crossing exists!
🍂 Friends 🍂
I had to include this because my friends mean so, so damn much to me. Many of them have been friends for 6+ years and some are newer friendships. They have been wonderful souls who rallied when I needed them the most this year and I’m so thankful they’re in my life. Just like I would for my family, for my friends, I would move Earth and sky for them. So I’m really lucky they’re here in my life and they love me for me.
🍂 My Spouse 🍂
This goes without saying, but they have been my lighthouse, my safe harbor through this whole year. They have seen me hit some really deep, dark rock bottoms this year and they’ve been such a safe place that’s pulled me out of those moments. And of course, they’ve had a huge role of my blog with a lot of the designs you see on the blog posts and they’ve been so encouraging, and supportive of every thing I do book wise. I’m truly lucky to be married to them and that out of all the people in the world, we found each other. And I just love them a whole, whole lot.
🍂 The Furbabies 🍂
If you’ve been on my IG then you know my four chaotic beans make appearances from time to time. They always steal my heart, but since quarantine they have been rock stars. They give all the snuggles, they’ve been getting into ridiculous shenanigans, and they just warm my heart so much. And though all four of them get all the snuggles, kisses, and all the play time, I still think they deserved to have their own little section on this list because they play such a huge roll in my every day life.
As a little side note, three of my pets are rescues and I want to put an extra bit of love of how grateful I am that each one survived long enough so they could become part of my family. Each one of them is such a blessing and I’m really grateful that each of them came into my life.
Okay, I got sappy for some of those parts, but I’m so thankful for each of of the person/people, pets, and things I listed in this post. These are all chunks of my life, of my every day that means something to me and have allowed me to heal in my own way. And as always, I have to acknowledge the history of this month and the events on the 26th of this month. I know a lot of people in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving by having a big celebration, having a large dinner with family and friends, but I want to take this moment to remind everyone that one of the main genocides of the United States was the genocide of the Indigenous people. I don’t want to get into details on the stories that have been passed down through my family members that they pass down to me each year, as a reminder. Also, November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States. I have tried to read Indigenous books this month, but my reading this month has been panning out the way I was hoping. However, I do have a review for Ancestor Approved coming soon to my blog and GoodReads. So keep your eyes peeled for that. Until next time friends, I hope this holiday you stay safe, that you feel the love of your friends and family, and maybe you finish a five star book before this month ends! I love you! 💛