As thanksgiving approaches, I have found myself thinking long and hard about things that I am grateful and thankful for. Obviously, I have a list of big things that I usually take for granted but am very happy that I have - two loving families, my health, houses and food (always surplus food, too), my extended family, my faith and my life - and not-so-essential but appreciated things - my car, my phone, my pets, people with Christmas lights out already and my grades, to name a few. But I have also compiled a list of ten major things that are not as important but still often overlooked and definitely worth thanking something for this holiday - remember to count your blessings.

1. Plumbing - especially indoor

Could you actually imagine showering once a month using buckets? Or having to walk outside in the middle of the night to squat in a hole and use the restroom? Or drawing water from a well to get a drink? Indoor plumbing is such a blessing - and so rarely do we realize it is so.

2. Traffic lights

If you thought Black Friday and holiday travel traffic was bad before, imagine doing all of it without traffic lights? Stop signs are a pain and take a long time - how would this even work? Next time, thank the traffic light for helping avoid accidents instead of swearing at it for turning yellow on you as you speed past.

3. The ability to cook

This sounds crazy, but, Ratatouille aside, humans are the only creatures that can combine foods together to make others. Cooking makes eating fun and interesting; we would have no Thanksgiving without this ability.

4. The Internet and mobile data connections

Both allow us to connect with people all over the world and learn about things that we never would have had access to before - and data lets us do this whenever we want. This freedom is crazy and deserves appreciation in more than just monetary form.

5. Sanitation workers

These people are angels on earth. No exceptions.

6. Memories

Have you ever really considered how much life would suck if we couldn't remember anything? Obviously we wouldn't learn anything but even assuming that we were fully functioning humans just without a long term memory.... how sad would that be?

7. Shoes

Literally life savers.

8. The right to an education

We - me included - talk a lot about improving our educational system, making America competitive again, etc., which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But wow, it is actually just amazing that we can receive an education and that it is a right in this country.

9. Eyelashes

The amount of junk and bacteria that would enter your eye.... disgusting. Thank you, eyelashes, and I'm sorry for always putting goop on you to try to make you prettier. You're doing great, sweetie.

10. Lack of state border security

I think fairly often about how easy it is to go from one state to another - which is logical, since we are all one country - but imagine if you were driving to Maine or California from Atlanta to visit family and you had to stop at every... single... state's checkpoints.