We wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for joining us in 2010. And especially to our guests. We hope you continue to practice and that 2011 fills you with joy and gratitude.
I think it’s perfectly apt that on this very last day of the year and on my very last gratitude art for 2010, I should make it about my favorite place in the world.
New York City.
I spent all of my twenties in New York. I moved there at 22 and moved away at 29. And I loved every single moment of it. I love New York with all my heart. It feels more like home than anywhere else I’ve ever lived and anywhere I will live.
To me, it embodies everything I love. Authenticity, culture, arts, literature, working hard, and, most of all, amazingly interesting people. It has the best bookstores I’ve ever seen. The best opera. The most amazing museums. I even love the dirt and the subway. And while I think it’s not the best place to live with kids, I do hope that one day I’ll get to live there again.
I am grateful for my time in the city. For all the opportunities it gave me. For everything I learned while I lived there. For the friends I made and the jobs I had. For me, NYC is unparalleled in its magnificence.
It feels strange to write this knowing it will be my last entry. I knew when I started this year-long journey that it came at a much needed time in my life. I needed to learn to embrace gratitude, to instantly reach for the positive and not the negative. I wanted this to begin a lifetime habit.
To say that this was easy for me would be an untruth. There were times when it felt forced and I really struggled. There were several times I didn’t post. What I realized was I cannot practice gratitude once a week. It always ended up being a last minute thought, one I had to remember to do. It never became a routine or a true habit.
It wasn’t until I started writing in a journal every night, that practicing gratitude started to become easier. Since I began that a few months ago, I truly started to change my way of thinking. I will continue to write three things I’m grateful for, each night in my journal. It’s amazing how much this little act has benefited me.
I am truly grateful for this journey, for all the ups and downs, because it’s lead me to where I wanted to go. I want to thank everyone who took this journey with Karen and me. I want to thank Karen for taking this journey with me, for her patience when I missed posts, and for her understanding that this was a process of learning for me. You, Karen, are a dear friend and a soul sister. I am grateful for our friendship.
I am grateful for this process more than I can say. It has changed so much in my life and helped me at a time when I needed it most this summer. I hope for those of you that followed along, that this was something positive for your lives, that you got out of it what you intended. I hope that you will continue to practice in your own way in 2011 and beyond.
Happy New Year and much love,
If it weren’t for my friend Lori, I would have never started this project. She was the one who messaged me and asked me if I’d like to join her in a year-long gratitude project. Lori’s a great friend and I loved the idea so I agreed without hesitation.
During the course of this year, I made 52 posts with my thoughts on gratitude-related subjects and 52 pieces of gratitude art. I’ve also written 3 things I’m grateful for every single day this past year. That’s 1,095 things. For the last six months or so, my six-year-old son has also been telling me three things he’s grateful for each day. And since November, he’s also been keeping a gratitude journal:
I cannot put into words the impact all this has had in my life.
The practice of gratitude is very powerful. Especially having to write down three things on those hard days when the world seems mostly black. During those times of illness and fear and tiredness. The practice of gratitude is what reminds you that there’s a flicker of light every single day. Every single moment of every day. It gives you the opportunity to pause and look and listen and pay attention to the good in your life.
Because there’s always some kind of good.
We take so much for granted. It’s human nature. And this project gives you the room and opportunity to take a moment to appreciate, to give thanks, to pay attention.
I’ve learned it’s important to pause and take a moment to be grateful each day.
I’ve learned that it makes my heart grow. It makes me realize how very much I have to be thankful for. How little it takes to make someone else’s day better. How many people impact my day. How much good there is out there.
It restores your faith in your life. In other people. And in the world.
All it takes is this one little project.
So I hope that, in 2011, you will take the time to write down things you’re grateful for. I will be continuing my 3 things in my blog along with my son’s list and his journal. I will never ever forget this year and how it started me on this very amazing path.
Thank you, Lori. More than words can say.
I am so very grateful.
We have a great camp ground close to us and is perfect for little boys. There is easy hiking, rivers to play in and a lot of trails to bike and ride on.
I’m grateful my children enjoy the adventure and look forward to the day we can take them to larger, more remote camp grounds.
We lived in San Diego from 2003 to 2006. We didn’t live in Pacific Beach but, for me, PB will always be the quintessential San Diego. It is the perfect example of the breathtaking beauty and nature that city has.
At the time we were there, I remember missing New York. Not appreciating most of what I had. But now, when I look back, I am immensely grateful for our time in San Diego.
We recently took a family vacation to Pacific Beach. We stayed right on the pier and got to watch the sun set every night. We got to smell the fresh sea air. We got to play in the sand. We heard the waves crashing and saw fish being caught and the surfers. Of course the surfers.
There are many reasons why we left San Diego and many reasons why I wouldn’t want to live there again. But I am so very grateful for the time we spent there. Grateful that we got to call this breathtaking city our home, even if for a short while. And I am really grateful that we live a reasonable drive from there because I plan to visit many, many times.
It’s such a wonderful time of year. We celebrate Christmas and it’s the day before Christmas Eve. We are home cleaning, cooking, watching Christmas shows and there is no where else we’d rather be. I would say that our hearts are in the perfect places, right now. My children are surprising me with their generosity. They have come up with wonderful ideas for things to give or do and I’m just so proud of them. Christmas can be reduced to consumerism, certainly, but I know better. While I know my children are dreaming of Santa and the presents may receive, they are, also, showing their “community spirits” with their huge hearts and creative ideas. The greater purpose of Christmas has not been lost amongst the presents. It’s alive and well in two tiny, innocent bodies and for that I’m am grateful! I intend to keep it that way for every Christmas and my hope is they teach theirs the same message.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season.