21 Things I’m Thankful for in 2021

As Thanksgiving approaches, I reflecting on all the things I am thankful for. While 2021 was certainly better than 2020 for the world, we still haven’t fully recovered from the global pandemic. Nonetheless, I have so many things to be thankful for, so here’s my 21 things I’m thankful for in 2021.

  • My husband. We got married last fall, and we just celebrated our first year of marriage. It’s been wild and I am forever thankful to have him by my side. 
  • Bullwinkle! Our new puppy came to us on Dec. 26, 2020, so 2021 was our first year with him. He’s caused a lot of chaos in our house, but I still adore him. 
  • Rocky! While I’m at it, I can’t forget about my first dog, Rocky, who will always be my best friend. 
  • My health. With the pandemic looming over all of us, I am thankful that I have not caught the coronavirus or any other serious illness. 
  • Flavored coffee. Sometimes it’s the little things that make us happy and having a different flavor coffee with the seasons makes me very happy. 
  • My family. Last year I lost some of my family members to COVID, so I am especially thankful for all my family who are still here. I cherish them. 
  • My new Stretto! This year I was blessed with a new power wheelchair, the Quantum Rehab Edge 3 Stretto which is the narrowest power wheelchair I’ve ever used. I can fit in tight spaces and it’s been life changing! 
  • Disability EmpowHer Network. I am so thankful to have been appointed as the Executive Director of this incredible organization. Empowering girls and women with disabilities is my passion and I am lucky to have this be my job!
  • My new eating habits. This summer, my husband and I decided to try out the Mediterranean eating lifestyle, which limits red meats and sweets, and emphasizes veggies, fruits, nuts, and grains. It wasn’t an easy switch, but I really enjoy it now and can feel the difference in my body and mind!
  • My cats. They are four perfect angels. What more can I say?
  • Growth. I have grown so much over the past year, from taking on new roles to learning new skills. I am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to grow. 
  • New friends. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to make so many new friends this year. Specifically, during EmpowHer Camp, we had nine disabled women camp with us to become mentors for girls with disabilities. It was my first time meeting four of the nine women, and now we’re close friends. 
  • Old friends. As much as I am grateful for new friends, I am just as grateful for the old friends. I am especially grateful that I reconnected with many of them in person this year!
  • Sleepovers with my nieces and nephews! We usually host some grand sleepovers with our nieces and nephews that include candy, late night movies, and lots of activities. In 2020, we couldn’t host any sleepovers, but we’ve had a few in 2021 and I am so happy to be connecting with these kiddos again!
  • Stability. I know that the pandemic has caused a lot of changes and difficult situations for many people. Right now, I have stable work, a roof over my head, and a family that loves me. I am thankful for this stability. This is enough for me. 
  • Sunday mornings. I spent most of 2020 cooped up in my house. Even now, I am still at home most of the time because I continue to work from home. Our church, however, has begun to host in-person services again and my husband and I grab a coffee or breakfast before church. I love this time together and getting out of the house on Sundays!
  • Kindness of others. Over the past year, I’ve noticed that people are incredibly kind. From close friends to complete strangers, I have noticed acts of kindness from others. I’m not sure if we’re all more kind because we’re going through this pandemic together or if it’s all in my head, but I appreciate it either way. 
  • Auto save. I am notorious for forgetting to save my documents. Auto save has saved me more times than I can count! 
  • Our honeymoon! We got married last year but had to postpone our honeymoon because of the pandemic. We’re finally going to South Africa this month to enjoy our honeymoon and I am so excited!

About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.

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