Ten Things of Thankful – Back to School Edition

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It’s been kind of a crazy week.

Clearly, I was in absolutely no condition to start school. I cannot remember being this tired during the first week of school. I suspect part of it was the near-90s temps coupled with like 98% humidity. Horrible. And a definite part of the struggle for me was that Kidzilla and the Fab Hub got to be home together while I was hauling my tuchus out into the big bad world without them. I missed them. A lot.

While I was attempting to get back into the swing of things, Kidzilla and her Fab Dad held down the fort at home. Overall, we survived my first week and are spending the long weekend getting ready for Kidzilla’s first week in big kid school.

Here are the things I am thankful for at the moment…

I am thankful that Kidzilla has grasped good eating habits so young. The other evening, I thought I’d help ease my caffeine withdrawal headache with a diet soda. My daughter told me, “Soda isn’t good for you, Mom. Drink water.”

I am thankful for Kidzilla’s sense of humor. Each day this week, I left a Zilla-Daddy Do List with chores for them to accomplish. The Fab Hub prefers the list method and he’s way more productive with a checklist. Remember, this is the house that ADHD built – we live by lists here. Anyway, one day they had a particularly long list and they tackled it well. As they finished their last chore, the Fab Hub told Zilla that they could now check off the last item on the list. “What list?” she asked.

“Mom left us a list of chores to do today,” he told her, “and we just finished the last one.”

Zilla looked at him in disbelief and said, “I’d like to see that list.”

As always, her delivery is impeccable.

I am thankful that the Fab Hub is so willing to be the Dad on Duty while we continue to work through this job search-role reversal thing. I know for a fact that not every man in the world has dealt with a layoff and unemployment scenario with as much fortitude.

I am thankful that I have a job. Period. Too many people don’t. I can count at least ten people in my immediate circle who have been affected by the lousy economy and job losses over the last few years. Something tells me that’s ridiculous.

I am thankful for good colleagues at work who make the bad days more tolerable, the good days a blessing, and pretty much every day more entertaining than most people probably experience at work.

I am thankful that I don’t have to travel to different classrooms to teach this year after all. It’s a mild inconvenience, I know, but in some ways it becomes a major one. It also displaces other people, so I am happy that we can all work comfortably in our own spaces.

I am thankful for cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Temps and humidity both over ninety equals miserable in my book. I am so glad that will break this weekend and the weather stays below 80 in the forecast for the next week or so.

At this precise moment, I am thankful that the carpet and padding in the downstairs family room is not glued to the floor. That will make removal of said carpet and installation of new floor much simpler.

I am thankful that our family has a strong support network of good friends and family nearby. I can’t imagine not

I am thankful for a good hot cup of coffee in my hand right now. The Fab Hub makes the best coffee on the planet. Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

What are you thankful for this week?


Ten Things of Thankful


Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

28 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful – Back to School Edition

  1. Love your thankfuls, Lisa! We’re a family with “reversed” roles as well, have been for the last 5 years. Hubby left the military in 2008 after our daughter was born, and couldn’t find a job, as in those months, the economy completely tanked. I got a job that allowed me to support the family, and here we are now.

    A good support network is so important, I’m glad you and your family have it!

    All the best for you and your family, Lisa, and have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

    1. Ah, good to meet someone else from the Mr. Mom trenches! It’s rotten out there, isn’t it? But we’re concentrating on seeing the benefits to our situation – not always easy. That’s for sure! Have a great second half of the weekend, too, Stephanie!

  2. Lisa this list is absolutely gorgeous. I love the way you describe your daughter, and the way you’ve clearly raised her to be articulate, caring and a great helper. What a boon!

    I hope you feel better soon, so that your next week back goes more easily. I’m glad you have great colleagues and good family and friends around you for support.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful list with us.

    1. Thanks, Lizzi. She really is a wonderful little girl – we couldn’t have hoped for better. She has her moments, for sure, but don’t we all?

      And yes, having good people around makes all loads easier to bear.

      Thanks for coming over! 🙂

      1. Ohhh everyone has their moments! The good ones count most though, right? 🙂

        Having just posted about some of the Good People in my life, I can do nothing but agree wholeheartedly – they make life not only bearable, but a joy.

        And thank YOU for bringing your list to share with us this weekend 🙂

  3. My husband was laid off in late 2010, and it took him 9 months to find a job, and it’s one that pays less than half what he made before. So I know what you’re going through. And still, there are silver linings to be thankful for. Like the way he takes care of your daughter while you have to go back to work.

    And I have never checked everything off a list in my life. Especially because I usually lose my list pretty early on in the process.

    1. Thanks, Dyanne. So many people sharing their layoff and unemployment stories has been so helpful. We are definitely looking for the silver linings – like you said, the time the Hub and Kidzilla have had together is irreplaceable. And he’s had more time to write, play, record, and publish his own music. So yes, there are benefits.

      I never finish lists. Maybe that’s why Kidzilla was so unbelieving when the Fab Hub said they had finished one! 😉

  4. Love the Zilla-Daddy Do Lists.
    We have several friends who have chosen the stay-at-home dad situation. It was quite fun watching them. Dads certainly do things differently than moms, yet just as good.
    Hope all goes well with Kidzilla’s start of school!

    1. Wish I could say we chose this scenario, but sadly not so. We are all, however, working to keep sight of what’s been positive about it. Here’s where the Ten Things of Thankful is really good for me right now – keeps the mind on what’s good in life rather than what’s not so good.

      And yes, Dads definitely do things differently, but Kidzilla wins either way! 🙂

  5. I am thankful for air conditioning, which we haven’t had to use here much this summer, but which has been going for about a week straight.

    I am also thankful that the economy is turning around and full-time employment might be in my (and many other people’s) future soon.

  6. First, thank YOU for visiting my blog yesterday. 😀
    Second, your list is awesome. I completely understand the teaching part, too. Ohhhh, I understand. And role-reversal? I understand that, too. My own husby is a victim of the economy (he’s an engineer in the manufacturing industry and those jobs have gone the way of POOF) so I’m trying to put myself through grad school and teach my way through. Shew! I hope you have a great week. 🙂

  7. The economy has been a sore spot for quite a few families over the last few years. It’s taken my college-grad daughter 8 months, but she just secured a full-time job. It seems like recently newly-found jobs have made other TToT lists, so maybe the economy is finally turning around?

  8. I love that your daughter told you that soda’s not healthy – way to go, Kidzilla! And I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s no-work situation, this economy has been tough on so many of us, for sure. Glad to read that he’s at home and that you’re thankful for the things that you’re thankful for. A beautiful list, for sure!

  9. The lists my husband always left the kids are famous around these parts. They may have daily been greeted with sighs and eye rolls, but they got the job done.

  10. What I love most of all from this great list is the relationship you have with your husband, it sounds like you’ve found ways to work things out to make the best of it, and there is genuine love and respect.. win, win! I am a list maker too, and nothing feels better than crossing off that last item as done! Have a great school year ahead!

    1. Thanks, Josie! Yes, the Fab Hub is definitely a keeper. We keep learning as we go, but so far everyone’s come out alive. 🙂 Thanks for the back to school wishes…I’d be so much more excited if it wasn’t so darn hot and humid. Something about that weather just does not go with back to school.

  11. So many things to be thankful for. I love the “eat right” smackdown from Zilla. What is it about lessons we teach our children coming back to stare us down? It’s an example of good parenting, I think. 🙂

  12. I love the things you’re thankful for. I think it can really make you feel good to list them out like that. I’m thankful that I have a loving wife. Marrying her was probably the best thing I ever did.

    I’m glad you have a job. That’s something you definitely should be thankful for. I know too many people who are searching and searching for one with no luck. We might not currently be in a recession anymore, but that doesn’t mean the job market has come around. Anyone who has one should be thankful.

    1. That’s so sweet, Steve. 🙂

      Yeah, the job thing is frustrating. Doing these thankful lists has been a good thing – stumbled upon them on someone else’s blog and I’m so glad. It’s far too easy to focus on what’s not going well. This forces me to keep my mind on the positive, on the “do have’s” rather than the other side.

    1. It really is – and making these lists is good for my mindset. So easy to focus on what’s negative, but harder to remember that we do have much to be grateful for.

      Zilla is definitely full of personality – thanks! We think she’s pretty cute, too. 🙂

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