I began my year with a freak household accident that gave me my third concussion. I couldn't walk straight, slurred my speech, had vision issues and experienced blinding headaches. Good friends once again showed up to drive my kids to their practices, to tease me about my "dizziness" and to make sure I knew I wasn't alone. The gratitude for people who "show up" without being asked is immense.
In February, I reconnected with an old boyfriend from 24 years ago--yeah, I'm getting old, I know. Facebook reunited us, even though I almost ignored him (and sometimes think I should have). But after all is said and done, I am grateful that I allowed him back into my life. Knowing him again--even briefly--unlocked my heart.
March meant passport renewal...another ending, another closing of a chapter. The stamps in my old passport represented more than places visited; it represented a life lived with my deceased husband. Getting that new passport in the mail, though, renewed my sense of possibilities. I was grateful for the clean slate. As the Dr. Seuss book says, "Oh, the places you'll go"!
April, my birthday month, brought to the forefront of my mind how lucky I am to be healthy. I know too many people my age who are dealing with heart problems, cancer or other grave illnesses. I am grateful to be healthy...a little banged up and still trying to shed a few pounds...but overall I am healthy.
When I think of May, I remember an insanely busy schedule. Lacrosse, swim team, work, friends, and staining my deck. Thank God I have a deck to stain, healthy kids who can run and swim, creativity that won't let a concussion stop it, and places to be.
I spent two weeks in June in my home state of South Dakota. I found myself cramming too many people and events into my schedule. The result was...well, not so good...but I am grateful that I have a problem of too many people in my life that I love and enjoy.
The kids and I traveled to San Jose, California in July. I love traveling with my children, especially when we're visiting wonderful friends and experiencing new things. It is incredibly gratifying to watch my children discover a new place. It's like I am seeing it all again through fresh eyes.
By the time August rolled around I was simply thankful that the kids were returning to school!
Quite honestly, I got down on myself, my writing and my life in general in September. Thanks to Kasey, a good friend and salon owner, I shook the cobwebs from my brain and took her advice. I started this blog, ventured into the world of social media marketing, and injected some much needed mojo back into my life. Shout out to Kasey!
Wow, did I get sick in October. Influenza led to pneumonia. Thankfully, my parents drove out to Colorado from South Dakota to help with the kids because I could barely get out of bed. I am eternally grateful that my parents are healthy enough to travel and are active grandparents.
Here it is in November. My productivity is in overdrive. I am writing, resurfacing the cabinets in my house, painting walls, preparing for my brother's visit and getting healthier every day. I am grateful that I have the energy to get it all done.
Gratitude is a way of life. I try to think about what I am grateful for every day, but admittedly there are days when that's a challenge. I know there are a hundred things I could have listed, a hundred people who have touched my life in ways they can't imagine, and a hundred ways I have grown because of each of them.
I lift my glass in a toast. Thank you, thank you, thank you!