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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > 2009 Thanks

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Nine Things I'm Grateful For in 2009

During difficult times, it's sometimes difficult to be reminded of our daily blessings and the true treasures of life. 

Unemployment is rampant, the government is plagued by mismanagement, budgetary deficits, and chaos, and far too many kids are being killed on city streets and school play grounds. Not to mentions, folks are losing their homes in the millions while losing their sense of hope and peace.

Still, there are many things to be thankful for.

For me personally, 2009 has been a demanding and challenging year.

Like many folks, I've suffered financial woes and suffered a few set backs.  Truth be told, I'm looking forward to 2010, where I'm committed to a more enlightened, successful, romantic, progressive year!

The current year has definitely been a doozie!

As I reflectively look back, however, there was just as much sunshine as rain.

With this in mind, here are nine things I'm grateful for in 2009, (not necessarily in order of importance).

  1. I'm grateful for work that I enjoy.  I love being a writer! I love the creativity it allows, I dig the fact that it has the ability to transform people's minds and their lives. I have been blessed this year to cultivate new reading audiences and to also celebrate four years as a columnist for Online Dating Magazine. Yeah!
  1. I'm grateful for great friends.  Friendship is important. If you've ever doubted it, try living without them! Even the Bible has numerous references to friendship and how we are to govern ourselves in the context of these relationships. I even had a dear friend of former years relocate and resurface in my life; which has really been cool.  My pals range in all shapes, colors, religions, and sizes and greatly enrich my world and my perspective. I also learned some valuable lessons regarding severing friendships that we sometimes out grow.
  1. I'm grateful for inner peace.  In many ways, I live a very simplistic live. I'm not bitter, I'm not jealous, I'm not unrealistic in my expectations, I don't live in the fast lane, and I don't have sleepless nights brought on by treating folks wrong and creating enemies. With the exception of sometimes fretting over my bills, I'm in a pretty peaceful state most times.
  1. I'm grateful for rich experiences.  My professional and personal experiences have run the gamut.  I have held positions in different industries, have the benefit of college and the related rewards, have dated men of different ages, intellect, and socio-economic backgrounds, have varied interests, and most importantly, (for the most part) have an open mind that allows me to be receptive to new adventures and people who are not my carbon copy.   
  1. I'm grateful for a relationship with God.  Though opinions may differ, for me it's a must have for quality of life. And in these times, I wouldn't want to do without it.
  1. I'm grateful for a fun and supportive family that keeps me grounded and keeps me laughing. I'm grateful for a mom who gifted me with a good sense of self esteem and a sense of who I am in this world.
  1. I'm grateful for a year in which I was romanced by a special guy who made me feel special in big and small ways. I was pampered, spoiled, cooked for, coddled, complimented. Now, I don't know if 2010 will be a year of the same, or if we'll go our separate ways, but he will be fondly remembered either way.;-)
  1. I'm grateful for simple pleasures---like blueberry muffins, herbal tea, poetry, movies with John Cusack, good students, good food, good friends, good spirits, clean quarters, classical music, nature, back yard barbecues, karaoke, and quiet times.
  1. I'm grateful for an abundant life---not in “traditional terms” per se. I don't have a big car, or a bunch of money. But I do have clammed closets that allow me to get lost looking for stuff because of the varied pieces, I do have a modest home that serves as a sanctuary from the world's madness, I do have laugher and love, and an optimistic outlook on what tomorrow may bring. And that ain't too shabby in my book!

What do you have to celebrate for 2009? What are you most grateful for? Share your story and your victories at

And I'll be grateful.;-)


Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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