“Gratitude opens to the door to the power, the wisdom, and the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.”
– Deepak Chopra
There’s no smell of turkey and cranberry cornbread stuffing wafting through our house on this day, but we’re filled with gratitude nonetheless.
I look back over the last year and my heart swells with appreciate for all the things life has gifted us. What an incredible year! Perhaps the most significant, that recommitment as a family to put joy and happiness back at the top of our priority list.
Because without it, really what’s the point?
So from my desk to yours, here’s my gratitude list this year.
1. First, that you are here reading these words and thereby supporting us on this wild journey to follow our curiosity and chase our biggest dreams.
2. The ability and time to explore this vast world of ours once again. Nothing brings me into the present moment like being in an unfamiliar place with new smells, sounds, flavors landscapes and people.
3. Reigniting my romance with creativity. In the last year, I’ve realized you don’t have to be best at something–you can just enjoy creating things. Full stop.
There’s a satisfaction that comes with making something out of nothing, despite if anyone else notices or acknowledges the finished product. This year I’ve started playing around with photography, writing for the sheer fun of it, and connecting with other writers, artists and creatives–life feels quite full of magic thanks to that!
4. My husband. For loving me flaws and all. For believing in my dreams, and holding my hand as we tumble toward them.
5. My sweet little girl. She’s four this year and I think it might be my favorite year yet. Her sense of humor and full belly laugh. Melts me…every time. Her trust in me and unshakeable love even when I’m not sure what the hell I’m doing.
6. My beautiful boy. At six years old this year, he’s full of curiosity for how things work, why we do what we do, and exploring new combinations and possibilities.
7. My mom and dad and their continued belief in us, even when we squeezed our family of four into their not so spare bedroom this summer.
8. My husband’s family, my family, for loving us through all our crazy schemes and ideas. For always being the ones to come to wherever we are and celebrate life with us.
9. The Gilbert family for showing us a different way of life is possible, then rallying around us to make it happen. Without their example and encouragement this last year would have looked much different.
10. My partner on the Mama Said Project–Michelle Beaman and all of our lovely contributors. Thank you for birthing this baby with joy and enthusiasm, can’t wait for us to share it with the world!
11. The incredible outpouring of generosity from friends this year wether it was simply kind words, a meal shared or a laugh when I needed one.
Special thanks goes out to the following team who was there when we needed a place to call home. Your kindness is what kept us afloat. Scott & Suzanne Stirling, Lisa Hatzell & Michelle Fulton, Mom & Dad, Katie Bagby and the all of Plumas County. (And Kelly and Doreen Conner Hall, who believed in us from the very beginning.)
12. This opportunity to live life and contribute. To leave things better than we found them. To make stuff that matters to me and to others. To love fiercely, forgive easily, to be alive in this moment giving our best to each other and the world. Wow life. Sometimes you take my breath away.
If you need a little piece of hope amidst all the bad news, take six minutes and let this video (below) from the refugees camps remind you of the resilience of the human heart.
We need each other, and the only thing that can solve the challenges we face today in our communities and on the global scale is to turn to one another. To meet fear with kindness, anger with softness, and one another with open hearts and minds. I don’t care what you believe, if you are reading this I believe in your goodness and your compassion.
So much to be grateful for.