As far as the other things that make my heart swell, most of them happen to fall under one of four F's: friends, family, faith and Facebook.
Yep, Facebook. I'm grateful that there's a place, flawed though it may be, where I can connect with people I didn't even realize I'd missed (but I did). It's great having grown-up exchanges (most of the time) with people I knew before I was a grown-up and re-connecting with friends I haven't seen in years. As a substitute for human interaction - well, it isn't. As a supplement, a starter, a means of staying in touch? It's pretty useful.
Closer to home, I'm grateful for the family and friends who put up with me on an up-close-and-personal level. We can choose the personae we portray on Facebook, but face-to-face is an entirely different matter. Daily, I am grateful for my husband and daughter, whom I adore, but who are also living proof that God has a wicked sense of humor. And I love that, after spending much of our adult lives apart, my sister (and her family) and I are in close enough proximity to see each other regularly. Finally, I'm incredibly grateful that though I'm past the age of 50, I still have both of my parents to talk to, confide in, complain to and hang out with. Even better, they are still married - to each other! - and after more than 50 years together they're still the loves of each other's lives.
Finally, but far from least important, I'm thankful for my faith, and grateful that when I was making one of the most difficult decisions of my adult life, I could clearly see the path I was supposed to follow. I wish I could say my faith has always been strong enough to allow me to discern these things, but that wouldn't be true. I guess that's why God put people in my path who nudged me in the right direction. My friends Lee and Cheryl often talk about "a God thing." And when that shows up in your life, it's pretty amazing indeed.
Almost as amazing is the fact that not only was I given the opportunity to do a job I loved for 27 years, I was gifted with enough good sense to know when it was time to leave that place and move on to something else that I might end up loving just as much. And who knows? Maybe by next Thanksgiving, I'll have figured out what I want to be when I grow up.