Saturday, December 31st, 2011
I’m thankful for the moments that have brought me to this moment.
Thankful for being raised by my parents, loved by my grandparents, befriended by my friends, taught by my teachers. Thankful for Latin homework and choir practice and going to skating-rink birthday parties and playing on the tennis team. For vibrant, giggly college dorm life and a lonely grad school apartment. For moving trucks and paychecks and bosses and co-workers and battles and working with ideas. For fresh starts and faithful churches and bumbling breakups. For tension and tears and prayers and acceptance and commitment and the settling of married life.
For a job that led me to a friend. For seeing that friend’s listing of things she was thankful for. For the prompting to try it myself and the glimpse of joy that propelled me to commit to 365 days. For the money to buy a domain name. For my husband’s help in booting up this blog. For God’s whisperings and opening my eyes to all of these posts and more.
For the changes this exercise has caused in my outlook and the days when others have voiced their thankfulness. For the friends and family members I’ve written about and those I haven’t. For the challenge of trying not to repeat a post, and looking that much harder for something new each day.
For the winter day on which I write this final post in the Year of Yay. And for the year of opportunities to come.
May every year be lived thankfully.
Friday, December 30th, 2011
It’s been a quiet week. I generally don’t enjoy the cultural “New Year’s Resolutions” push – so much pressure! We Must All Look Perfect and Smell Lovely and Eat Quinoa in 2012!
I’m putting together more of a to-do list for 2012. It includes: 1) hike more, 2) find at least one new way to fix potatoes, 3) use prayer cards, and 4) write more handwritten notes. These are all things I want to do, rather than resolutions that feel like horrid punishments (“Lose 47 pounds by eating only birdseed!!”).
And if I don’t do them, that’s okay, too.
Instead of reflecting only on what I need to change (which my critical mind tends to do on a daily basis), it’s been nice to reflect on simple blessings as well. I fear that by ending the Year of Yay, I will cease to notice those little things. Also on my to-do list: Keep noticing every blessing, no matter how tiny it may seem.
Monday, December 26th, 2011
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
Last night was the Christmas – er, “holiday” – party for my husband’s office. The boss and his wife host it, and I am not exaggerating when I say they are some of the most gracious hosts I have seen. They do a tremendous job of making the spouses and significant others feel welcome at these events. Which, when you consider the potential awkwardness of making conversation with people you see only once a year, is saying a lot. I want to host like them when I grow up.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
I proved to myself yesterday that I’m not too old to take a 3-hour (one-way) Friday night road trip to see my favorite band and get home at 2 a.m. Not exactly something I can do every weekend. I’m thankful my intrepid friend EG was up for being my partner in crime on this one.
Sunday, November 27th, 2011
We decided to come home from our Thanksgiving trip last night instead of today, and I’m very thankful we did. Today I’m resting, doing laundry, and generally recuperating from travel (and overeating) to prepare for the work week.
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
I am totally cheating and being thankful again for my nephews (ages 9 and 1). I am so blessed to have married into a family with lots of siblings so that I can be an aunt! It’s a very cool relationship.
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Today is a special day in the Year of Yay, as it is Thanksgiving! ‘Twas the Month of Thanksgiving last year that started it all.
I didn’t have to learn to be pessimistic. That has always come naturally. For me, living more thankfully has been a work in progress – a learned habit.
Obviously, some days it’s easier than others. It doesn’t mean I put on my thankfulness glasses and turn every circumstance all rosy. Instead, I would say, I see things I didn’t notice before. They were there – most of them had been there for years. But I wasn’t acknowledging them, or wasn’t thinking of them as gifts from God, not to be taken for granted.
If I had to describe it in one word, I think that word would be “reversal.” Finding things to be thankful for is a reversal of the way my brain wants to work. It wants to find everything that’s wrong, everything that can be improved, everything that hasn’t happened. I’m forcing it to do the opposite.
The old way takes the world around us as a baseline and sets expectations from there. The new way takes nothing as a baseline and adds to it… well, everything in the world.
Perceptions can shift. Thoughts can be directed. I can change.
This gives me great hope.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Sometimes things get more stressful than they’re worth, and it’s better to say no. You know you’ve made the right decision when a wave of relief follows your “No.” Ahhhh.
Monday, November 14th, 2011
Having guests is the perfect opportunity to hit up some restaurants that we love but rarely visit. After dining at the Cheesecake Factory and a great hibachi place with my parents over the weekend, I’m already disappointed in whatever I’m going to eat this week!