Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gratitude #1 - Let It Shine

It seems fitting to begin a new year with a conscious reflection on the many blessings I am thankful for.  I am continually inspired by Susan at Learning All The Time.  She began a weekly gratitude journal which she shared on her blog.  Not often does a blog post give you reason to reflect.  However, reading her posts makes me acutely aware of my blessings.
2012 was a tough year in many ways.  It brought many changes to my life.  Changes in friendships, activities, family member's health, the realization that my beloved pets won’t live forever, and more.  However, I can take each one of those issues and flip them around into something positive.  For friendships lost, there were friendships renewed.  For health scares, there was increased awareness and commitment to healthy living.  Daphne is still with us and I love on her every moment I can.  I am focusing on the positive.
It is so easy to get pulled into the negative, the darkness.  Too many things happening in our world lately have shown me that the darkness is very real.   I keep coming back to the homily that our priest gave at the Sandy Hook Memorial Mass about keeping the light alive, keeping it stronger than the darkness.  In my head today I have the song “This Little Light of Mine....” on replay.  I don’t know why and I don’t question why.  I have not heard it recently.  But it is there telling me over and over to let the light shine.  
I am going to title my series, Let It Shine.  
To kick of 2012, my first Let It Shine post!

Spending New Year’s with two families that have opened their arms and welcomed me was the perfect way to welcome 2013.  A giant sleepover party with homemade wine, delicious food, music, dancing, ball dropping, hugging and kissing.  
We deep cleaned our back room/studio in preparation for my first writing workshop that begins this week.  I am thrilled that three families are going us to write and share and learn together.  I need to give this time to Lilah who is still working on the story she began at her fall writing group.  I struggle with needing her to finish this story. I have a hard time pushing aside the teaching mentality that if she were in school it would be done.  When I read her story, however, I realized that despite the length of 16 typed pages - it is not done.  It is compelling, interesting and developing.  I have no doubt that if I keep this supportive writing environment for her, she will continue to work on this story and will complete it!
I am sad that Greg’s 10 day vacation ended but so thankful that we had this time together to enjoy each other’s company and spend time as a family with our family and friends.  It felt a bit odd waking up to a quiet house with no one to share my coffee with...
I am thankful the pipe to our bathroom sink broke.  For 12 years I have wanted a new bathroom.  The sink was old, chipped, stained and off balance.  But it worked.  So it was always pushed to the bottom of our renovation list.  When Grace turned the faucet and water spewed onto the floor Greg grinned and said it finally looked like we had a reason to replace it.  We have the sink and new toilet, now all we need is for our plumber to fit us into his schedule!
I am thankful to be back on track with our family’s diet.  Keeping a gluten free, egg free, dairy free and sugar reduced diet during the holidays is terribly difficult.  It is hard to tell a 10 year old no, over and over again.  So she indulged.  I did too.  She now has a rash.  I feel sluggish.  It is time to break out the juicer, the blender, to throw away the cookies and sweets and get back to where we know we must be for optimal health.  I am so thankful that I have a naturopath who helped us discover what is best for our family.  It makes the cleansing process much easier.
I hope my girls read this and it gives them pause.  I hope they are not only grateful for the gifts that were wrapped under the tree, but the many many gifts we have that are not wrapped and may not even be recognized.  Those are the gift that are to be treasured.
2013 - Let it Shine!


Joan Concilio Otto said...

Jessica, your gratitude (and Susan's!) inspire me like crazy!

I am also "detoxing" after some holiday eating - I have food allergies and completely disregarded them, and I'm totally paying the price. So I'm with you!! :)

Frogcreek said...

It's going to be a great year Jess, let it shine! Happy, Happy New year!

Susan said...

I am so glad you started doing this! "Let It Shine" is a fantastic title for your series :) Beautiful post!!

Jessica said...

When my youngest broke out in a rash this weekend I knew we had way overdone it! It is so much easier to control what goes in their mouth without dashing to holiday parties, relatives houses, and eating out. Today we have begun a challenge to drink more water!

Feel better!

Jessica said...

I generally don't look upon years as "good" or "bad" but 2012 was a mixed bag for me. I am looking forward to a fresh clean calendar and the opportunity to write new things on it!

Happy New Year to you too!!!

Jessica said...

Thank you for inspiring me! We have had such a great day at home, I feel like I could do a whole new post about what I am grateful for today!

Susan said...

That's great, Jess! And, I am honored to be an inspiration, truly.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Jessica! I admire the way you look at the positive side of difficult experiences. I try to keep this perspective too, so I know how difficult it is. :-) Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family.

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