Thankful Things Thursday: For When We Really Need It

Ugh. This week.

It feels like it’s been one terrible, sad, tragic, heartbreaking news story after another.

And with every news story comes outrage, and by outrage I mostly mean rabid debates on social media. (Were people this mean and nasty before the internet came around? I honestly don’t know. But man…)

I am someone who, contrary to what Brian may say, does not always need to be right. But what I do need is to understand things. I don’t need to agree with your point, but I want to understand where you’re coming from and why you feel the way you feel.

PAUSE for sleepy Ali & Ellie photo. Creeper sleeper pic by Brian.
PAUSE for sleepy Ali & Ellie photo. Creeper sleeper pic by Brian.

But lately — this week in particular — I keep finding myself feeling like I’m taking crazy pills. I see things happening and hear people talking and follow discussions online and there’s so much I can’t grasp or rationalize. I feel like there’s so much in the world that I just can’t comprehend or understand right now, and that’s tough.

I can’t understand why someone needs to own a certain type of weapon. I can’t understand why people hunt animals with guns. I can’t understand why the government has some of the power it has, particularly over women’s bodies. I can’t understand violence. I can’t understand homophobia. I can’t understand internet trolls. I can’t wrap my head around why “influential people” on the internet give really, really poor advice and set bad examples, and why legions of fans proclaim their actions “inspiring” or “badass” instead of dangerous. I can’t figure out why people abuse, abandon, or neglect their pets. I don’t understand the vicious mommy wars that seem to exist every-f-ing-where. I don’t understand why someone would choose to live with so much hate instead of love.

Living with LOVE. Exhibit A.
Living with LOVE. Exhibit A.

I just want to understand. And since I can’t, I’ll go inward. Let’s throw it back to a little Thankful Things Thursday, yeah? Gratitude is something I can always grasp, and that’s enough heavy stuff for today.

Clearly having the best time ever at last week's Strava "Running Insights" event at Finish Line PT. (Photo by Stefania Curto)
Clearly having the best time ever at Strava‘s “Running Insights” event last week at Finish Line PT. (Photo by Stefania Curto)

I’m thankful for my health and safety, and the health and safety of my loved ones. Just had to get that one out there, in light of many recent events. I’m lucky to have all my people present, accounted for, and generally living happy, healthy lives.

I’m thankful my puppy is doing OK! Ellie had to have two little surgeries this week. She had to have a wart removed (a papillomavirus, potentially caused by “kissing too many other puppies”), and had to have two of her little underbitey teeth extracted because they were chipped. Her surgery went well, I like her new vet, and she’s still cute, even with a big gaping hole in her mouth.


I’m thankful for my job and for great clients. Freelancing can be hard and scary and unpredictable. It can also be amazing. Right now it’s in one of those amazing phases.

I’m thankful for comfy robes and puppy snuggles. I’m cheesy and basic. FINE.

Watching the Tony Awards! We were both really into it. BOTH OF US.
Watching the Tony Awards! We were both really into it. BOTH OF US.

I’m thankful for West New York, NJ, life. I like it here. I think I’ve mentioned that.

Hello, lover.

I’m also thankful for visits back to Central Park. Particularly running-related visits.

The ol' stomping running grounds!
The ol’ running grounds!

I’m thankful I get to see my family this weekend! My parents, brother, sister-in-law, Tyler, and Abby are all rolling through on Sunday on their way to the Jersey Shore for a vacation. (Must be nice, guys. I’ll think of you while I’m buried behind my laptop.) I’m excited for them to see our new apartment and to get a few hours of quality family time.

I’m thankful every time Pitch Perfect 2 is on TV. It’s one of those movies I will always watch, and I sob every time. See also Father of the Bride (parts one and two), Stepmom (crying just thinking about it), The Devil Wears Prada, and the Sex and the City movie, none of which are my favorite movies, but all of which I find oddly addicting.


I’m thankful to have a washer/dryer in the apartment. Life. Changing. I do so much laundry now. My workout stuff is always clean!

I’m also thankful to have two bathrooms. How Brian and I coexisted with just one bathroom through several Crohn’s flare-ups seems incomprehensible now.

I am thankful for my office! I have a desk! I don’t have a chair yet, and the desk is still surrounded by boxes, but we’re getting there. I’m already infinitely more productive.

Secret snaps by Brian. Ellie sits at my feet all day while I work and it's the best ever.
Secret snaps by Brian. Ellie sits at my feet all day while I work and it’s the best ever.

OMG I’m thankful for this

I’m thankful for kind people. Be a kind person. The world needs more kind people. There are a lot of them, but even more would be better.

WILL YOU PLAY, TOO? That would be nice. Share something you’re thankful for today. If you haven’t played in a while, jump back in. Let’s hear from you. Add some gratitude. 



16 Responses

  1. Ellie is even cuter after her surguries!! I would love to hear how you handle working at home with Ellie! I work at home sometimes and my dog will just stare at me and place toys in my lap until I playwith him. Any tips?!

    1. It’s definitely a challenge and was especially hard at first. Now we’re into a better routine: I take her for a three-mile walk in the morning, which is just long enough to wear her out for a few hours, so I have some uninterrupted time to get work done. She usually sleeps until 1 or 2 PM. Tiring her out in the morning is really key for us. There are definitely times in the afternoon when she has loads of energy and wants to play, but I try to keep her busy with treat toys and things she can chew to entertain her. Having a desk that she can’t reach has also been super helpful, so she’s not constantly jumping up on me (or my computer!). I take her out for short “potty walks” every two hours (or 90 minutes, depends on the day/how much water she’s been drinking), which also breaks up her energy spurts. I also take Ellie to daycare once or twice a week, which gets me TWO good working days, because she’s at “school” the entire day, then she’s totally exhausted most of the next day.

  2. Ooh I love the thankful game!
    I am super thankful for carbs. 🙂
    Always thankful for my dog but being in week 6 of a new (full time!) job I am even more thankful when I pull in the driveway and see his face in the living room window.
    I’m thankful that my boyfriend’s daughters love me and love spending time with me. They just invited me to see Finding Dory on Saturday night. And I’m grateful for the snowcaps and popcorn I’ll be eating during the movie.
    Oh and one more. Thankful that I get to run the Girls on the Run 5k on Sunday with them too.

  3. I’m thankful for running buddies, SUNSHINE, good passport photos, people for not taking the stuff out of my car when I accidentally leave the back windows mostly down, grills, char on grilled chicken, family that is visiting in a few weeks, that “Nashville” (the TV show) is being picked up by another network instead of being cancelled, audiobooks, and perhaps most importantly: being alive and well.

  4. I’m thankful for my daughter who always wears a smile and keeps me on my toes. I’m thankful I found a great job that lets me walk out at 4pm and stands by their commitment of a work life balance. After years of being in public accounting it’s nice to just walk away at the end of the day. I’m thankful for my husband who seems to never tire of pinching my butt when I walk by. I’m thankful for my two pups that always want to cuddle. I’m thankful that there are more good than bad people in this world and I’m hopeful that we can learn to be more open, accepting, loving, and less judgemental.

  5. I’m with you till you start talking about my second amendment rights.. I’ve needed a firearm to defend myself multiple times out on the ranch, and I’m very thankful I had one. I’m also grateful to currently be lunching on deer meat my husband shot/cleaned/processed himself to provide food for our family. We are all in different places in life. And while I can see it would be hard for city folk to understand the need for firearms, they’re essential to my daily life.

  6. I am thankful that my now ex-boyfriend but still roommate until Sept is still kind and respectful. Wasn’t quite sure how this whole “still in a lease post-breakup” thing would go, and am pleasantly surprised that it has not been miserable. For a tough situation, being able to do some #adulting has really helped. Also thankful that moving will mean i can be closer to my BFF! I’m also apparently thankful for the internets to overshare on regularly 😉

  7. Ugh. I hear you. This week has really brought me down in a lot of ways again (but in a strange way, I am also thankful to be reminded that despite there being so many things that I DON’T understand, there is a lot of goodness out there).

    (Things to be thankful for No.1 right up there ↑)

    I am definitely thankful for having a washer/dryer at our place now (after years of schlepping stuff to the laundromat!)

    I also love your office. So bright and spacious! 🙂 Is that an Ikea desk?

    And yay family time! (I miss mine.)

  8. I really love your work space. It is so bright and cheery. Doesn’t hurt having a cute puppy to hang out with by your desk either 🙂

    I am thankful that I get to go on a getaway this weekend with my husband. We’re not going anywhere far or fancy, but it will be a nice (mental)escape from this crazy mad world in which we live.

    Ellie, you are still a superstar!

  9. I’m thankful for my family! I get to see my sister who lives across the country (in Vegas!) this weekend. Headed there tonight for a 2 out of my 3 sister’s weekend. 🙂

    PS You’re great and I love this post.

  10. There was a moment during the Tonys when I was shedding all of the tears (because when Lin-Manuel Miranda cries, we all cry…who are we kidding, by his sonnet I had already cried like 18x) and I thought to myself how GRATEFUL I was to be sitting in the safety of my apartment on the UES with the sun setting and my pain in the ass pup curled up next to me, laugh-crying at a series of light-hearted oh so entertaining musical medleys when that morning we woke up to such a poignant reminder of how we live in a world with gut-wrenching amounts of confusion, heartbreak, anger, fear, pain, grief and devastation.

    Separately, in the spirit “be[ing] a kind person,” I was in Bethany’s SoulCycle class on Sunday and was going to come over and say how you ROCKED it up there on the podium but then I did that thing where I let my fear of looking like a crazy person outweigh a kind gesture. To that end (4 days after the fact), you crushed it up there; keep kicking ass and taking names!

    (Well this got embarrassingly long, especially for someone that never comments. Too many emotions this week.)

  11. TOO much HATE out there.

    Now I am thankful first that your brought back Thankful Things Thursday! Hope it will be a weekly post since these are one of my favorites! I’m sure I am not the only one.

    I am thankful for my part time job at the yoga studio allows me to take classes.. These have been life changing in just one month. Boy have I calmed down slightly.

    I am also thankful for my father’s love and support during these last two years. As rough as they were I believe they have helped and will continue to shape me and make me a stronger better person for myself!

    I plan to spread LOVE over HATE everyday as much as I can. Say “Please” and “Thank You” and “I Love You”

    Sorry for the rambling.

  12. I’m thankful for the healthy living/running/foodie blogger community! My life has changed for the better since discovering you wonderful bloggers. Thanks for all you do 🙂

  13. I’m thankful for my beautiful wife, carrying our first baby and being a total champ about everything. I’m thankful for the GOOD things on the internet – the communities of people I’ve found and my ability to keep in touch with far away friends easily (but I can’t stand the trolls and the endless political debates where no one listens to each other). I’m thankful for my co-workers, including the one who just brought me a coffee! For being healthy (in general) and for my family.

  14. It is amazing how much hate is out there. You have some pretty great things to be thankful for!
    Ellies missing teeth crack me up, she looks like a little kid with missing baby teeth!
    I am thankful for life in general. Everything about it, my job, my house, my kids, my boyfriend and my life. It is all so important and without one of them I don’t know where my happiness would be at. Each one has a critical role in me being me.
    Now if we can just get everyone to learn to wake up smiling! 🙂

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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