10 Things Thankful, Even Without Donuts

stormtrooper apple fritter
I try not to fritter away my time these days.

I’m thankful to have a chance to reverse the hands of time a little.

I’m not bringing back disco or even Boy George. It’s my smile. My pearly white smile. It used to be pearly-er. But time and Coke Zero have taken a bite or two out of the wattage.

EnterSmile Brilliant. They’ve sent me a kit to whiten my teeth at home. I overcame my struggles actually making my own dental impressions (I’m a pro now) and I’m set to take the first step.

I’m writing about my journey to getting that beacon in my mouth beacon-y again. I’m so serious about this. I’m even giving up Coke Zero while I whiten. You know that’s serious.

I’ll keep you updated. Look for an “after” post soon.

Like, when girls would tell me in my teens “you’re a nice guy, but …” they’d always at least add “you’re a nice guy with great teeth, but …” It always softened the blow!

Even my mom once said, “It’s not fair.” What, I asked? “You have such white teeth.” Why is that not fair? “Is it like having a great restaurant in a bad neighborhood?”

(I laughed at that one.)

This’ll be fun.

10 things thankful

footsteps san jose
Accidentally took this in San Jose. At the airport, I think. (I’m almost out of San Jose pics.)

1. That my girl is okay. She had a fall yesterday. Broke my heart. But she’s strong and resilient and loved.

2. Productivity. It doesn’t show yet in the blogging world, but I’m getting lots done. I take comfort in that.

3. Quick recovery time. I mentioned it before. When I work these long days, it’s nice not to feel like Von Miller sacked me.

snickers awkward
One was calling to me. Can you guess which?

4. Comfortable shoes. They’re the Nikes Madison bought me a while back. They’re like walking with your feet suspended in Twinkie stuffing.

5. Compassion. I visited a dermatologist the other day. She was so understanding of me letting general health go by the wayside lately. It was finally my turn for my attention.

6. Ability to make extra money. Every penny counts. I’m grateful to be able to make some of it with words.

madison gifts panthers fitness
Madison gave me this fitness guide. I have written in it. I will live by it. As my gift back to her. Also, this plaque of football cards. D’Angelo and J-Stew were such a formidable force. I love this and have it on my desk.

7. Thoughts to purge more. Not my thoughts. My things. Camdyn and I are selling a lot of my stuff. Football cards, Star Wars figures. I’m keeping the sentimental parts, and selling the rest.

8. My girls’ messages. I have a unique relationship with each of them. The frequency varies. The sentiment does not. And they’re a lot more like me than they’d like to admit!

9. Challenges to overcome. They used to make me itchy. Now, I see if you take on one at a time … you can knock them out like Rhonda Rousey. Or at least Hong Kong Phooey.

headphones airplane phoenix
Badass, aren’t they? I think I’d rather have goat horns or maybe even viking horns on mine.

10. Writing. I want to do more. Here. In my books. In marketing. Creative stuff at work. Stuff I haven’t even thought of yet.

What about you? What has you feeling that gratitude this week? I am feeling it full-force, even without the free donuts. (There are cupcakes in the breakroom from yesterday, so there’s that.)

quote waitley gratitude


  1. Beth says:

    Oh I’m glad your girl is ok too! A fall is so scary! Comfy shoes are the best. And it’s obviously the Princess one that called to you right? Ha 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks. I hate I wasn’t there, it is always worse when you feel helpless. Awkward Princess maybe (with the Meh tossed in for good measure.)

  2. The biggest one for me in 2018 is finding the ease again and that makes me grateful as well as brings me joy and happiness 🙂 Keep It Real My Friend! I agree on the headphones – horns would be badarse. Happy Weekend – Enjoy

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s a beautiful cycle if you keep faith in it, right? Trying my best to keep it real and it feels as if doing that a minute at a time is the best way. Maybe by Christmas headphones with horns will be a thing!

  3. cricketmuse says:

    I’m thankful for air conditioning. I remember when we moved in and didn’t have any.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I would say it’s the little things – but that’s a big one! I can’t imagine not having it here in Carolina. We use it 12 months a year!

      1. cricketmuse says:

        Today it’s 90 with haze from forest fires. The Augh in August is being felt.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        That’s not a bit pleasant. We’ve got the 90s but no haze if you need a getaway.

      3. cricketmuse says:

        Ha—my idea of adventure right now is watering the lawn. Too hot to go anywhere😎😝

      4. Rebecca Douglass says:

        Funny… I was thinking this morning when the heat came on that we must be about the only people in the country running the heater instead of AC. #lovethefog

  4. There is so much to be grateful for, dear Eli. I need only look around in any given moment to appreciate even the most simple and seemingly mundane. I’m always grateful for the sun, nature and good health. Yoga and healthy eating help with that! Blessings to you. Great post!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Loads and loads, CC. Loads and loads. I think yoga and healthy eating (well, I can attest to the yoga!) contribute to your fine-tuned appreciation, Carrie. Blessings to you too and I’m so glad you like the post.

      They’re the only ones I’m getting published lately!

  5. Today I’m grateful for memories of my Dad’s August 10 birthday parties we had at our summer cottage overlooking the ocean in Maine. A long deck in front of the house filled with friends of my father’s who’ve known me my entire life, and a few newer ones. He made friends wherever he went. Cocktails and appetizers. Gag gifts, laughs and memories. The last few birthday parties I attended were when Dad was in his eighties and he gave me his camera to be the party photographer. Usually he loved doing this. I loved doing it for him.

    Also grateful that the second medicine my son is trying, for debilitating anxiety, so far has no bad side effects. We’re still working up the dose, so it may be several weeks until we see a change. Fingers (and everything else) crossed this one works for him. His education and future depend on it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Here’s sending our best to your sweet son! I love those memories you’ve shared. They make us remember how we hope to be just like our parents in some ways. To pass on something like that, including the memories.

  6. Kathy G says:

    This week I’m grateful that the tooth that might have needed a root canal doesn’t. A regular filling and cap is on the horizon for me next week.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      A root canal averted is certainly reason to celebrate, Kathy. Here’s hoping for a quick and smooth procedure this week!

  7. ksbeth says:

    i am happy when my daughters and sons in law and grandies are happy, and i’m grateful for the whole crazy clan. and for flamin’ hot cheetos.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I remember your flamin’ hot cheetos appreciation! I like them old-school. Either way, cheers to orange fingers, my friend.

      1. ksbeth says:

        yes, here’s to the orange! (in cheetos only)

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        … and Broncos. (Not the Flyers. WAit, what about the Tigers?)

      3. ksbeth says:

        When with the blue

  8. Akaleistar says:

    I really liked Smile Brilliant, but all I can think about now is how much I want to eat a fritter 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s good to know you give the thumbs up, Ash – let’s celebrate by splitting a giant fritter.

  9. How i hope you end up writing books i can buy soon. Love the list.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You make me want to get it down on paper sooner, meems. Glad you enjoyed the list!

  10. Susan says:

    I’m grateful that my extra weight is spread out everywhere, not all in the middle, not all in the backside…it makes my actual weight quite a deceptive thing.
    On a serious note- two parents married 57 years and crazy in live with each other!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel the same way, Susan – I fit into better clothes, so maybe things are just being more efficiently distributed? I’m not going to argue!

      Love that about your parents. #goals, right? I look forward to reading your Hemingway post, by the way!

  11. my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/ says:

    Seriously, how cool are those headphones!
    I’m glad your Dermatologist was understanding – going to one is on my to-do list and I keep putting it off.
    That happiness quote is lovely. So true and thank you for the reminder!
    Hope you are having a great weekend so far.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Those headphones made it through security, too! I hope you’ll make an appointment soon. Even for something minor, it’s good to get it knocked out.

      I love how quotes can swing us back where we want to be. I definitely was missing grace a lot this weekend. But I was mindful of it – and intend to do better starting today. I hope to do a post on random quotes, make it a regular stop here – I add one to each post so there are lots to choose from.

      The weekend was packed but loaded with good stuff, too. Hope yours was!

  12. I hear you on the teeth stains. Mine come from all the tea I drink. Apparently all teas – not just black tea – leave residue on one’s pearly whites if you don’t brush your teeth immediately afterward. :/ Luckily I’ve been able to keep mine control the past couple years with a better toothpaste (Arm & Hammer with baking soda) and a better toothbrush (rechargeable Phillps SonicCare).

    This is a sweet post, Eli. Just like the other gratitude post. For me, I’m grateful for my friend and for sharing with them the most recent problem I’ve been having with my writing. (A blog post on it is coming soon, but the short version is, I recently lost the vision and passion for the manuscript I’d been working on since last year.) Their sympathy and feedback has been my saving grace; they’ve reminded me to not be too hard on myself, that it’s OK to take my time with deciding what to work on next fiction-wise… and that maybe the project was meant to be cathartic for me when I needed it most and perhaps, now, it has served its purpose until I’m inspired to tackle it again.

    So the Snickers bar… I’m guessing you went with the Princess one? And most importantly, I hope the daughter who fell is doing OK.

  13. Eli Pacheco says:

    Those SonicCare toothbrushes are pretty cool, Sara. I should put one on the birthday list! I just need a bit of a touchup on these chompers.

    Glad you saw sweetness in this post. There’s probably repetition, which I’m okay with. My journal certainly has this, but repeated gratitude is almost as good as a second enchilada.

    And I love what you’re grateful for. It’s all true. We need that kind eye on us at times, someone who can see who we are and what we do from an appreciative perspective.

    I wish I’d gone with princess! Awkward just called out to me like a beacon.

    She’s doing well, thanks for asking about my girl. She’s so resilient! These girls are my heroes.

  14. Jennwith2ns says:

    I’m grateful for blogger friends, and hopeful for reconnections even when I’ve been away for a long while…

    In other news, tried to email you today from two different accounts. Apparently your email thinks mine are scary.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Reconnections are a great thing, Jenn. My email is ornery, that’s all. Try elipacheco.ejp@gmail.com.

      1. Jennwith2ns says:

        awesome. Thanks, Eli.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Got it! I’ll answer soon.

  15. Thankful for a whole week with my guys…all getting along, doing stuff that doesn’t involve the Internet! There was a time in my life that some semblance of wholeness in my family seemed unlikely and we would forever blend like oil and vinegar! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Don’t you love when that calm comes over everyone and there aren’t even little screens lighting up faces? So glad you’ve reached that slice of Nirvana, Jenn.

  16. Lindsay says:

    You’ll LOVE the results from SmileBrilliant. I used them late last year and was so happy with the results… which reminds me, must find those trays and do a touch up….

    Glad your girl is okay, Eli. I’m also glad that as the kids mature and come into their own, they still have that special relationship with their dad that loves them to absolute pieces. It’s heartwarming…

    Hope you’re well my friend…


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Can’t wait to find out! I need to get back to it.

      Thanks about my glrl, Linds. She hurt her knee in a game on Saturday. Scary moment, but it’s just a sprain, luckily.

      I am quite grateful that things manifest at times to demonstrate just how lucky I am.

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