Day 800 of thankfuls, 800 days of change

wpid-20150525_140935.jpgI cannot believe my thankful project reached day 800 a few days ago. Day. 800. That’s a lot of living!

My journey with posting thankfuls on my personal Facebook account began in November 2013 — almost three years ago. I started it, like many of my Facebook friends, during the month of Thanksgiving and I only intended to do it for those 30 days.

Halfway through that month, my mother had a house fire and we lost our dad in that fire. I decided to keep going — to not only find something good about those terrible days, but to also honor him. Eight hundred-plus posts later, here I am.

This journey, more than anything, has been unexpected. I didn’t expect to keep the posts going so long (but I’m glad I have) and I didn’t expect many of the life changes/surprises along the day.

During the past few years I’ve loved and lost. I’ve had my amazing days, my so-so days and my downright painful days. I had major surgery. I am changing careers in a week. So many changes, so much growth.

What I’ve learned about this life is that one thing is certain: it is ever-changing. And most of the time you don’t see those changes coming. Sometimes they show up wrapped up in a pretty bow in a box full of joy. Other times they blindside you and cut you to your knees.

I can say, with honesty, that I’m grateful for every change. I’ve learned something from every one. I’m learning to enjoy life in the moment. I’m learning to embrace change no matter what the change is.

Here’s to the next 800 days!

 

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600 days of gratitude

wpid-20150805_065052.jpgA couple of days ago I hit day 600 in my personal Facebook gratitude posts. SIX HUNDRED. Six hundred days of posting what I’m grateful for. Six hundred days. That’s a lot of days and it blows me away that I’ve kept it up this long. Call it dedicated, compulsive, whatever, but I’ve never been sorry I’ve kept it going this long.

The only break I’ve taken since I started these some 600 days ago is when I had surgery last month and once I was back online, I simply started where I left off.

Every 100 days or so, I try to explain how I got started and why I do this. I started this nearly two years ago as part of a 30-day Thanksgiving challenge. I had attempted it before but it never stuck — it never became a habit to me. A couple weeks into the challenge, my father was killed in a house fire. Those were dark days for our family and throughout the days of aftermath, I found things to be thankful for — even in the darkness.

December rolled around and I wasn’t ready to stop. So I kept going. Thirty days turned into 60. Sixty turned int0 100 and now I’m past 600. For me it’s a daily time to reflect on one thing I’m thankful for. Sure there are days I put more effort into it than others. And sure, some days I post just to get my daily thankful in. After 600 days, you’re going to have days where you do it just to get it done. But, it’s a part of my daily life now and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Continuing these thankfuls have kept me centered on gratitude. You can find gratitude in the darkest of situations — and yes, sometimes you have to really flipping work for it. For me, gratitude doesn’t just happen. Just this morning I was driving to work with a lot on my mind and feeling very ungrateful and disgruntled. Between surgery recovery and some other challenges, I’ve been exhausted and overwhelmed, especially this week. These words from another blog came to mind: “Fulfillment and happiness in everyday life doesn’t just happen.  We have to work for it.  We have to make choices.  Part of that is choosing to be positive and not feed the fear and anger.”

Pretty much sums it up. Credit for blog above: I Got A Dumpster Family. I’ve been a reader of this blog for years. You should too, you won’t be sorry. You can find the complete post from her blog here.

Thirty-eight

Tomorrow is my final day of being 38 years old.

After tomorrow, I’ll never be 38 again.

Ever.

I realized that fact tonight as I was thinking about things. And what I figured out is this: while I’ll never be 38 again after tomorrow, I’m not even promised 39. If I’m lucky, I’ll have 365 days of being 39 — like I’ve had each year of my life.

I look back at the last several years of my life. Am I happy with every single moment? No. Am I happy with most of them? I’m lucky enough to say yes, especially the past few years.

Each and every day is a gift — because not one of us are promised we’ll be here the next day. It’s not morbid, it’s a fact. This life is never predictable.

Tonight i posted this question on my personal Facebook account: “Tomorrow is my final day of being 38. How shall I celebrate?”

I got several answers from pampering myself to getting myself a treat.

After much thought here is what I plan on doing tomorrow.

I’m going to go to work like I normally do. I’m going to laugh and smile and spend my day with some of the most amazing, dedicated and hard-working co-workers I’ve ever had the honor of working with. We’ll laugh. We’ll get the job done. We’ll all go home.

Then I plan on going home and spending time with those I love. Living this amazing life I’ve been given with the amazing people I have the true honor of spending my time with.

That’s what I shall do tomorrow. On the eve of my 39th birthday I shall celebrate this life — celebrate another day on this Earth — another day I was gifted.

Because another one is never promised us.

Magical snow

wpid-20150217_162601.jpgSo it snowed today. Beautiful fat, fluffy flakes. The snow came down quick and fast, coating the ground in a matter of minutes.

I was at an interview for work — I walked over since the interview was only a block away. When I came out, it was nearly a blizzard out. It was breathtaking. I trekked back to work, and was quickly cwpid-img_20150217_154033.jpgovered by snow. It was glorious.

There is something magical about snow. Even though, as a journalist, it usually means a lot of extra work, I can’t help but feel excited and energized when those flakes fall from the sky and cling to every tree, blade of grass and the ground. I find it incredible how the earth can go from one color to a brilliant white in a matter of a few minutes.

Here’s to a snowy Tuesday evening. Here’s to the wonders of this world.

A creative place

So I’ve been a little stagnant in my writing lately. So, today I decided to make myself a “place” to write. I cleared off a library desk in the house and set wpid-20150131_222403.jpgit up for the perfect little writing hideaway. After all, my novel isn’t going to finish itself and I truly do want to finish it.

I’ve been a bit uninspired lately for one reason or another — work is stressful. I’ve been sick. Just been plain busy. But I realize that many authors out there have full-time jobs and they still find the time to write. It’s all in where your priorities lie — or don’t lie depending on how you look at it.

I’m excited for my new writing space. At this very moment I’m typing with two candles on each side. Earlier I wrote today’s journal entry by candlelight. And now I’m making my first real blog post in over a week. So, score!

Now, let’s hope I am inspired by this time tomorrow to write my printed column…at this point I don’t really have any great idea. But, something will creep in my head I’m sure.

Cheers!