Tag Archives: gratitude

On reminiscing, milestones, and gratitude.

As we head into Thanksgiving, I love reading friends’ blogs, Facebook, and instagram posts about giving thanks, and gratitude and pending excitement over the kick off to the holiday season, but I tend not to write posts during this time of year about what I am thankful for…partially in line with a post Lindsay wrote once, about being thankful daily, not just once a year (so true!).

But as I looked through some past posts I  had written about the holidays, I realized something. Thanksgiving has been a hugely symbolic part of my journey, starting five years ago, to today.

Five years ago was my first Thanksgiving alone. It was a very raw and emotional time as my separation was just weeks prior, and as hard as it was, having my sister Jen by my side that day made all the difference in the world, and was probably one of the most selfless things she could have done for me that day, and to this day, those memories sit in my heart warmly and is a time I will never forget.

Four years ago was my first Thanksgiving (and set of holidays) that I truly and 100% looked forward to. I adored being able to take these holidays as MINE and to go whereever I wanted, spend time with family that cared about me, and not have to split my time with an in-law side that, well, didn’t like me. They lived two states away, which meant entirely splitting up holidays every other year, and not being able to see my family on Thanksgiving or Christmas, every year. So, to have a blank slate and be able to spend the holidays my way felt like a rare treat.

Three years ago, I was welcomed into M’s family, for the first time. I spent Thanksgiving evening with his family, meeting many of them for the first time. And it was then that I realized my relationship with M was special. If only I know where we’d be three years later…

Two years ago, we spent Thanksgiving together, with my family and M’s family, for the first time. We were living together, and it was our first year to celebrate the holidays in our own place, starting new traditions, and sharing in every moment together.

This year? Wow. We own our first house together. We are married (! I still love saying that, and calling him my husband, and can’t believe it’s only been 5 months!). And we will host our families together, for the very first time. I plan to soak in every minute, amid the chaos and hustle and bustle of hosting a big crowd for Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t be more thankful or more happy at where my life – our lives – are now. As our story continues.

Cheers, and to those that celebrate, happy Thanksgiving!

On permanence and living.

As we get closer and closer to moving into our new home, I start to think more and more about the permanence of buying a new home and what it signifies, in many ways.

The first time I bought a house, I was 26/27, and the thought of living in a house for 10, 20, 30 years didn’t dawn on me. It felt like a ‘starter home’ (a phrase that seems so ancient nowadays where buying a home seems to be a much bigger deal than it used to be, when prices were dirt cheap and you could buy, just to get into the market, and not wait and wait and look and look till you find a just-right home that you can grow into and stay in for a long time).

Now, fast forward 7 years and the reality is, this home will likely be ours for the long haul. Whether that’s 10, 15, 20 years, who knows, but it is a home we *can* grow into, (possibly) start a family, and dig our heels in and really live in. And that is such an incredible feeling. Yet, at the same time, it’s a little scary. In 10 years, I’ll be 43. In 15 years, I’ll be 48, In 20 years, I’ll be 53. Those numbers seem daunting. Those years seem far away, yet also fleeting. Those years also feel permanent and far away, yet thisclose, at the very same time.

I never understood what others meant when they said life goes much faster the older you get. But it is SO TRUE. Think about it. We are already into April of 2013. Wasn’t it *just* New Year’s Eve? Wasn’t it JUST summer 2012? WHERE does time go? It is fleeting.

Life is fleeting.

It is not meant to be lived in spurts. It is not meant to be lived in ‘can’t wait’ mode. It is not meant to be lived in ‘silver linings’ of the week days that sometimes drone on, while the weekends fly by. It is meant to be lived in every minute, of every day, no matter how craptastic, or how wonderful that minute, hour, day is.

Yet, I find myself constantly battling this feeling of looking forward. Can’t waiting for the many things in store for me, and for us. It’s natural to, I suppose, but at the same time, it rips me off of the hear and now. Of my mantra to just BE, this year.

So, as we move closer to our next stage in life together, in building our proverbial – and literal – home together, my vow is to really try and take in each moment, not rush, rush, rush to the next. I know I’ll falter here and there, but I think this is one of the only ways life will feel like it’s slowing down, and I am appreciating the here and now just as much as the future filled with promise, blessings and happiness.

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There’s been a lot of livin’ in those years.

The other day, I was chatting with a few barre n9ne clients after class, about buying a house, and getting married, and mentioned that I had been a homeowner before, years ago, and had to short sell my house, but this is the first time M is going to be a homeowner. Oh and this is the second marriage for me, and for M. And oh, by the way, we are both *only* 33.

As I said those words, and they remarked that I didn’t *look* 33 (why thank you, lol), I thought to myself. Huh. We’ve done a lot in 33 years, the two of us, haven’t we? So many big ‘life events’ yet, we are *only* 33.

2d04c3725130d6be2dcfab65cde40d27I walked to my car and thought about it even more…and ya know what? There’s been a lot of livin’ in those years. 

And as I read this guest post that I wrote for Healthy Chicks, I thought about it even more…we’ve lived a lot in our years, haven’t we??
I’ve remarked on this before that while of course nobody *wants* to get divorced, or take a (huge) loss on a house they purchased, I actually feel pretty fortunate to have experienced those things. Marriage. Home buying. And even divorce and selling that house for basically pennies on the dollar for what we paid for it.
As M and I take one step closer each day towards marriage, and buying our first home together, I just feel as though my life, every single step of it, has been so ridiculously intentional, with so many lessons meant to be learned, that my heart feels as though it might burst with love, happiness, and gratitude. n’t regret those decisions. Fortunate because I am truly a better person, a stronger, happier, more confident person. And fortunate because so many in life may not have had the joy of marriage, or buying a home. And I never want to look at those experiences as negative or a black mark in my history book.

I just want to soak in every minute, even the stressful and chaotic ones, and think about my life the way it has been laid out for me to live. There’s been a lot of livin’ in those years…and so much *more* to be lived.

Embrace it.

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Affirmations.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are…Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”

…even when you have doubts.
…even during moments of self image weakness.
….even when it scares you.
believe in yourself. always.

“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others…let others get inspired by how you handle your imperfections

…perfection isn’t realistic.
…perfection isn’t happy.
…inspiration comes from happiness, overcoming, and perseverance.
…quietly inspire someone today, or BE inspired today.

“If it scares you..it might be a good thing to try.”

…unseat comfort zones (this means me, too!).
…stick your neck out, you’ll never be dissapointed that you did.
…do LIFE differently.

“You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to BE around.”

…CHOOSE your friends.
…step away from those don’t meet you halfway.
…draw a line in the sand, because there’s no sense spreading yourself so thin you don’t enjoy living.

“Someone is thankful for less than YOU have”

…hi, humbleness.
…house? it’ll come.
…able bodied? check.
…imperfections? We all have ‘em.
…live blessed, happy, gracious lives.

“I have no time for your negative bullshit.”

…no words needed. universal.truth.

Just some thoughts swirling today…these happen to be my universal truths walking around as affirmations I need to hear more often than I sometimes want to admit. But at the core of it? This life is meant to be a challenge, so choose it, it is meant to be lived, so shrug off the negativity, it is meant to be learned from, so stare straight at it and grasp what it’s telling you. 

Cheers friends!

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File under: I know something you don’t know!

File also under: being vague, but I swear I’ll reveal soon ;-)

I posted this on Facebook today: ‘I know something you don’t know…neener, neener!’ #superstitious. 

It’s partially why I’ve been all quiet up in here and partially because of the ole writer’s block, in a sense too.

And without (yet) going into detail, this ‘what I know and you don’t’ was just a huge, huge reminder of two things:

never underestimate the people that enter your lives or why…because you truly DO meet every single person for a reason.

and

believe in God’s will and favor and in time – the right time – it will all start to fall into place. 

These two truths spoke loud and clear to M and me this week, as we sat on Monday evening, quietly, watching Joel Osteen speak these very words (similar to these), as we held hands, looked at each other, and just…hoped. Hoped for the goodness we so wanted…but in reverse, hoped that the goodness we wanted was also what HE wanted FOR US…but to have the faith to trust that if it was not what He wanted for us right now, it would not happen and we would need to be okay with that, to trust and know that whatever is meant to be, will be.

Well…it looks like God’s plan is yet again at work, and we feel incredibly blessed at the way our lives are playing out together, where it’s leading us, together, united. I will of course share ‘where’ this is leading us soon, but rather than hamper my thoughts on this and set them aside, I just felt the urge to chronicle them here, while in the moment, and feeling the power of Him, so greatly and powerfully.

140948663309064374_Qw7C5ltl_cI honestly feel as though my connection to God is as strong – if not stronger – than it has ever been. My personal relationship with Him, and something that M and I speak of often these days, despite slightly different views (he being Catholic, me being Protestant/Congregational), it is something we both respect and it is yet another reason I fall in love with M more and more each day…his dedication to living a life of good, and  leading by example, inspires me to be a better me as well. And it makes me even more excited to call him my husband…whenever that may be ;-)

Cheers, friends.