Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Time for "Grateful"

Thanksgiving is and has ALWAYS been one of my favorite times of year. Why? Because is a simple holiday where you get dedicated time off with family and friends to just be together, share a good meal and talk. There are no gift expectations - though many start their shopping over that long weekend. Again, a choice. You can choose to stay home or visit relatives near or far. You can make the holiday however simple or elaborate you choose, and I use choose simple. Very simple.

First for the recap of yesterday. This year, we stayed home and shared Thanksgiving with Bob, my Mom and Emily. We made turkey, dressing, gravy, roasted veggies, rolls, Ambrosia salad, and au grautin potatoes. We forgot all about the sweet potatoes until - too late. Ah well, maybe we'll whip some up today (the day after). We also had Pumpkin pie. Then after we ate, we took a big plate over to Grammy at the nursing home and spent some time visiting and catching up with her.

Perhaps the best part, the very best part, of Thanksgiving is the opportunity for reflection. Opposite of rushing out and raiding the malls. Instead of Black Friday, I do Quiet Friday - Look Within Weekend. Starting with Gratitude. Being grateful, and for starting to wrap up the year that has just passed and to focus on the one ahead. What has happened in 2009? And soon I will focus on how I wish to shape 2010.

Now a 2009 recap: It's been a very unusual year - there have been many highs and lows, but it is definitely a significant year. I started off hoping that the recession wouldn't be as prolonged and as severe as it has proven to be. Changing jobs in the midst of a recession was scary, even for me, a job hopper. It was a temp-to-perm position, but I was excited about it enough, that I took it. I do indeed love the job and the people I work with. It does seem like a great fit. For the most part, instead of dreading each work day, I look forward to it. It's been huge growth experience. So that has been an unexpected GREAT thing that I didn't even envision this time last Fall.

What I expected: My word for the year was "priorities" and for the most part, it helped guide me to keep my top priorities but I've also learned the lesson that priorities tend to SHIFT and need to shift when life events throw you a curve. So I've been pretty darn good at being flexible and going with the flow without letting go of my intentions. I've still met my intentions, but sometimes the route to them has been a winding one rather than a straight shot! So the Word was "Priorities" and it was achieved by another word "Flexible."

Grateful: I am grateful for many things including:

My Job - this has to be my number one gratitude this year because it was truly unexpected, needed, and a prosperity blessing at a time of great need. I feel it was God directly giving me a hand that I needed to pull me up during a difficult time.

My Husband - Bob. He's always my rock in life. My best friend. The one who knows me best and loves me in spite of my worst. I also have more fun with him than anyone else.

My daughter Emily. Our relationship has improved this year. Mainly because we've both been trying more to overcome the bumps in the road by reaching out to one another. Also because I learned that I've probably been overparenting and need to transform my role to one of Mentor because she truly is going to be an adult soon and next year is college. I will be here when asked, but stepping back has been a painful step.

My Mom - grateful she retired this year and will be spending more time with me and our family. Yay! She's a wonderful grandmother to Emmy and she's always been a friend to me. I can tell her everything.

My Friends. This is a BIG one. Both my real and my online friends. The friends in my knitting group. The friends on Ravelry - though they are an online community, they sometimes get me through my worst days and make my best days brighter.

Finding my retreat place, St. Scholastica. The Sisters there and their whole monastery - my discovery of their community was a HUGE blessing to me this year. Whenever I get stressed out, all I have to do is close my eyes and regain that serene feeling I experienced on their campus, and I'm back to my spiritual center again. They are a profound blessing to me, and I hope to retreat at their monastery whenever I feel a spiritual thirst like I've been feeling all through 2009. It's been truly a transforming year. St. Scholastica and their community of nuns is a gift of Serenity. I am THERE Sisters more often than you know. Not always physically, but my spirit is with you.


Rebecca said...

Beautiful <3
started my day off right coming to the peaceful environnement you've transmitted through cyberspace
have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a heartwarming and wonderful blog.