In early recovery, I learned that one tool to always keep in my toolbox is an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful is a simple attitude with a profound effect. It reminds me of the good in my life when days are full of chaos and tantrums. Being grateful begins with me, ends with me, and allows others to get the best version of me — the thankful one.

This year, I am thankful for many things. In no particular order, my gratitude list looks like this:

My family

My husband, my daughters, my dog, my cat, and beyond. We are far from perfect, but we are perfect together. I am thankful for the arguments, for the discussions, for the love, and for the support. I am even thankful for my 3-year-old’s tantrums, because they remind me that she is strong-willed, determined, and passionate.

My parents

They live upstairs from us, and they are essential to our daily lives. Nana and Pepere play a huge role in my daughters’ lives, and for that, I feel so much gratitude. The bond I see between my girls and my parents is amazing: 18-year-old me could have never imagined wanting to live with my parents as an adult; 38-year-old me can’t imagine living any other way.

My job

I often describe it as a 6-year-old’s dream come true, and that is completely accurate. While I may not enjoy every day, every class, or every student, I truly enjoy going to work and the career I am blessed with. I can’t imagine doing anything different with my life, and I’m so happy that my first grade teacher (and so many others) inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

My diabetes

Yes, I know this one sounds weird, but my type 1 diabetes has made me the woman I am today. I wouldn’t be so determined or resilient without having lived with diabetes for the past 27 years. It has taught me to get up and move when I have to, and to slow down and take care of myself when I need to. Diabetes has been with me for so long that I am not sure I would know how to live life without it (but I’ll definitely be willing to try as soon as they come up with a cure!).

My girlfriends

They are as near as another town and as far as Montreal and Los Angeles, and without them, my life would be incomplete. My friends help me stay grounded. They allow me to vent and to brag. They trust me to listen and advise. My friends are my family, and I am so very lucky to have them to accompany me on the journey of life.

It’s easy to have an attitude of gratitude during the month of November.

It’s when many begin to reflect on the past year and prepare for Thanksgiving. But feeling gratitude doesn’t have to begin and end in November — it can last throughout the year. You can keep a personal gratitude list, or you can start a group email with people you love and trust and commit to sending an email, either daily, weekly, or monthly — whatever works for you and your family or friends.

What are you grateful for today?


Sarah Casimiro
Sarah grew up in Rhode Island and now lives in West Bridgewater, making brief stops in Quincy, Fall River, and East Bridgewater, along the way. She made the leap from Rhode Island to Massachusetts way back in 1999 when she decided to pursue a teaching degree at Boston University. She chose her career in 1987 and is currently teaching high school English to 10th and 12th graders, fulfilling a 6-year-old’s dream at the age of 22, a proclamation that often brings forth snickers from her students. She became a mother for the first time in 2016 to her daughter Cecilia, then doubled down in late 2018 with the birth of her second daughter, Adelaide. She currently lives with her husband, Jason, their dog, Nanook, their cat, Moxie, and five chickens. They share a home with her parents, who live above them and also provide the most amazing childcare for Ceci and Addie. Sarah couldn’t live without her family, her insulin pump (shout out to other T1D mamas), and Starbucks iced chai lattes. She could live without angry people, essay grading, and diaper changing.