This (American) Thanksgiving: Recent Awesome Things

Does anyone else remember the hype surrounding Neil Pasricha’s string of bestsellers that started with The Book of Awesome?

If you’re not familiar, Pasricha writes about everyday things that, when you stop to think, are really awesome, like: finding cash in an old coat pocket, when cashiers open up new checkout lanes at the grocery store, popping bubble wrap, managing to move clothes from the washer to the dryer without dropping anything (harder than you think!), and when you get the milk-to-cereal ratio just right. Not only are these all awesome experiences he wrote about in his first book – each and every one of them has happened to me in the last month. To be fair, I specifically planted a $20 bill in my winter coat last spring…but when I went to put it on for the first time this fall, I couldn’t remember if I had left money hidden in one of the lesser-used pockets. I had – and pulling out a crisp $20 (along with a few BandAids and an unused Kleenex stash) felt awesome!

In honour of American Thanksgiving, I thought I’d list some things that have happened to me in the last few months that I would categorize as That Was Awesome moments. Because labeling something as a That Was Awesome moment requires us to pay attention, change our perspective, and choose to appreciate the little things in life. Basically, it’s gratitude gussied up in party clothes.


recent awesome moments

  • Having a table open up at my favourite cafe the moment I walked in the door. This was awesome. Waiting sucks – and, at the cafe I frequent, people tend to stay for the long haul, so a full house can stay full for a loooonnnnggg time. It felt doubly satisfying because my heart sank when I walked into the cafe with not a single open seat and then – suddenly and fortuitously – I had a space to call my own.
  • Being able to pull through a parking space. Any day is instantly better if I don’t have to back up in a crowded parking lot. This happened the same day a free table opened up in that crowded cafe. It was basically just one big Awesome Fest.
  • Getting the very last one of an item I need at the store. We managed to nab the last two PAX wardrobe kits in stock at our local IKEA. We needed two, they had exactly two left. Awesome. I also remember a Christmas several years ago when another few minutes and our cheesecake would likely have been missing the cream cheese (so it would have just been a cake, I suppose?), but I managed to nab the last few packages on the shelf. What a thrill! There was a rush of adrenaline from how close I came to catastrophe (because no Unbaked Cherry Cheesecake at Christmas would be catastrophic for my taste buds) + a rush of gratitude for sourcing the required item.
  • Going to bed tired – content, not utterly exhausted – and falling asleep immediately. This feels awesome every single time it happens. No tossing and turning. Just blissful, immediate sleep.
  • When something I didn’t want to do (but felt obliged to say yes to) gets canceled. I recently had a meeting scheduled for first thing in the morning and I was dreading the prep and pressure – then, the other person canceled. How awesome!
  • When a package arrives early. I ordered photocards and custom calendars and they were set to arrive today; instead, they arrived over a week ago! Awesome.
  • Measuring correctly. Too often I get something home and it doesn’t fit. When we built and installed those IKEA PAX wardrobes in our new entryway, we had taken all sorts of measurements and, on paper at least, it was “supposed” to fit. But when we were in the middle of building it, I wasn’t feeling very confident. It was a tight squeeze, but it fits perfectly. Awesome.
  • When I’m hungry and open the fridge and there is something I want to eat ready and available – no prep required. Leftover casserole. Mini Naan bread dippers and hummus. COLD sparkling water. All awesome.
  • Discovering an item is cheaper than advertised. This happened to me earlier in the week. I needed to replace/update a lightbulb in our 1970’s kitchen – a small, old-school fluorescent tube. On the shelf, the bulb was listed as $16.99. A steep price tag for a single bulb, but it said it would last for 5,000 hours and we haven’t been able to use this particular under-cabinet lighting for over a year (#DemeritAlert). At the cash register, it rang in as $8.99. Awesome.
Practically levitating out of the store after discovering my lightbulb was much cheaper than I expected (also known as: You Know You’re An Adult When…some aspect of buying a new lightbulb is a highlight in your day).
  • Finding a BandAid at the moment one is needed. Last week when we were away from home, a child needed a BandAid for a bad hangnail. Voilà – I found one (the very last one, mind you) in a side pocket of my purse. A week or two earlier someone needed a BandAid for some other finger malady and I found one in my coat (again, it was the last one; so double Awesome points for that).

Note to self: it’s time to restock my on-the-go supply of BandAids everywhere – purse, car, coats!

Your turn. Have you had any That Was Awesome moments lately? If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today, what are three things you’re most thankful for in 2022? Of the awesome moments I describe above, which is your favourite and/or which one has happened to you recently? Did it feel awesome at the time, or only in retrospect?

Header photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

18 thoughts on “This (American) Thanksgiving: Recent Awesome Things”

  1. I do park and ride to get to work (ride the bus) and getting the last spot at the park and ride or getting there and also arriving and the bus coming right away both make my day and happen almost weekly. There may be days I arrive and the bus is just pulling a way and I miss it so I do appreciate those days when it is like clock work.

    I work in the culinary and hospitality building for our college and having a great student made breakfast yesterday with some coworkers and also nabbing some delicious pumpkin bread and chocolate chip cookies that the baking students made.

    Having moments of laughter with my kids. As they are now tween almost teenager age, they don’t laugh so easily at my jokes anymore. It makes those moments where we all find something funny more special. My daughter is playing in a volleyball game against another school for a first time this week and we joked about brining pom poms for cheering for her. At the thought of that everyone was laughing and then my daughter made it clear she would disown us if we did that.

    And the last one for me is putting up our Christmas tree this past weekend. I like to do it together as a family, play Christmas music, have hot chocolate and enjoy the time and this year did not disappoint.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all your American readers!

    1. Putting up a Christmas tree is awesome!

      You raise an interesting point; when you mention how you arrive just as the bus is pulling away, it highlights the fact that having things go wrong occasionally (or even often, I suppose) helps bring in to sharp relief how awesome it is when everything falls into place!!

  2. Yes, I love focusing on the awesome moments- because when you put your attention on them, you realize that in spite of the challenges, life overall is good.
    This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that my son is home, that we can go to the store and buy all the food we want, whatever we want, and I’m thankful to be able to run a 5K. My husband’s friend with ALS is now using a motorized wheelchair- that could just as easily have been me, and instead I’m out running. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow, or how hot it is, I’m just lucky to be doing it at all- that’s what I was thinking about during the race today.

    1. The food one is huge – like how awesome is it if we a) can afford to buy food (sadly, for so many people, they have to think long and hard about getting enough food), b) food is plentiful (sure, lettuce might be hard to come by these days, but we can get basic necessities and so much more).
      Seeing someone else’s reality – like your husband’s friend with ALS – highlights your blessings and how the sheer fact you could swing your legs out of bed this morning and just move through your day self-propelled is a tremendous blessing.

      I hope YOU have an awesome Thanksgiving, Jenny <3

  3. Oh I love when packages arrive early! I have ordered some things from the States lately and they have been taking forever to get here – so long that I have been worriedly refreshing the “track package” page to make sure they weren’t delivered somewhere else!

    1. We recently sent a baby gift to Australia and issues with local customs and hangups with the shipment were incredibly anxiety-producing. Things didn’t budge for WEEKS and then, suddenly, things were cleared and delivered and the package was delivered. It was such a relief!
      Hope your packages get to you soon!

  4. Wonderful post, Elisabeth. It’s so worthwhile to recognize the little awesome things that can make someone’s day just a bit brighter.

    Being reminded this morning when I went out for my Turkey Trot how much a smile from a stranger lifts my spirits, so tried to smile a lot at EVERYBODY this morning 🙂

    Grabbing my keys (out of habit) yesterday when I left my office suite to use the restroom at work because I’ve been locked out of my suite before and lo and behold, someone had locked the door to the suite while I was gone. What are the odds (as there was hardly anybody at the office yesterday)?

    Having just enough ground coffee left to make a full pot this morning before having to grind again.

    Opening the front door just when the mail man walks up to deliver a handwritten card from a friend.

    1. Getting locked out (without keys) is the opposite of awesome. So hooray that you had your keys…just in case!
      I can relate to the “just enough” left. It’s awesome when I have just enough brown sugar, or just enough butter, or just enough milk left to complete a recipe!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Ha! This was fun! My “That Was Awesome” moment from today was that the turkey was ready exactly when it was supposed to be! Usually it takes a million years but today it was three hours right on the button.

    1. Turkey cook times are highly variable! Every year it always seems to be cooked faster than I expect, but then one year it took like 2 hours longer? I can’t figure it out?!

      So it is VERY awesome the turkey was done exactly when you needed it to be. I hope it was delicious and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving <3

  6. I would agree with all these… those are moments that give me instant joy when they happen.
    The last one from me: going through immigration without a line when arriving after an overnight flight.

    1. Best wishes on your eye surgery and getting through any step at an airport without a lineup is TRULY awesome!
      Safe travels.

  7. The most awesome moment is when you don’t have any books to read on your Kindle and there’s a book that you’ve been meaning to read that’s available immediately for loan. What an absolutely magical moment.

    1. That is magical (I don’t have a Kindle, but have the same experience with a holds list – in fact, it happened to me just this week)!

  8. I love the finding unexpected money moment the best!! That is so fun when it happens. That just never seems to happen to me!

    Three things I’m thankful for are my healthy/the health of my family, that my parents are able and willing to watch the boys so we can take a vacation, and for my job which I really like.

    1. To be fair, I did plant my $20 bill…so it’s not quite as spontaneous/magical as when that happens naturally, but I really couldn’t remember if I had done it, so it still felt exciting.

  9. You know I love a good list of things to celebrate – things that are awesome. All yours are amazing. I love it. I also love that you intentionally left money in the pockets.
    In my family we have this thing when we go for walk around Christmas or easter we always take some candy from our christmas candy stash or the easter nests so eat along the way.
    Best feeling ever if you pull out your winter coat and there is Christmas candy in there. Just happened to me and made me smile big. We talked about it on Friendsgiving and only my sister could grasp this awesomeness. She never managed to find candy as she admitted.

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