Gratitude for a Great 2019

I am blessed. Though there were a number of things that I wish had been different in 2019, there was so much to be thankful for this year. There are too many to list, big and small, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out a few of them:

My Family. I don’t know what I would do without my wonderful relatives.

My husband and boys are the tops of everything for me. I’d need a novel to express the depths of my love and gratitude for them. But, briefly, I can say that if someone were to have asked me 15 years ago what my happiest life would look like, I wouldn’t have been able to dream big enough to envision my life today. It exceeds my expectations on every level. I thank God every day for my wry, supportive, hilarious husband and sweet, smart, handsome boys.

I am so grateful for the loving and open relationship that I have with my family. My Mom is my spirit animal. She had health challenges this year which she faced with bravery, strength, pragmatism and wit. She is the most wise person I know. She loves with her whole heart. She’s a second mom to so many. She sets the ultimate example of a caring and doting Mom and Nana. She is still teaching us – even though we’re grown as hell – to think about life with compassion, understanding and a healthy dose of skeptism. My Mom is the bomb.

I also lucked out with caring, inquisitive and sweet siblings. They are both amazing cooks. My sister is my ultimate role model (you can read more about her here) and my brother can fix anything. We make a great team looking after our Mom and for each other. Add to this my niece and nephew, brother-in-law, inlaws and extended inlaws, cousins and family friends … I definitely won the lottery in this department.

My J.O.B. and Career. I’ve worked my current organization twice – in the early 2000’s for four years and from 2013 until now. It’s a great place to work and I am extremely lucky to have colleagues who are all really decent and solid people. We occasionally have our disagreements over projects and procedures, but we try to respectfully work through our differences. We’re recently under new management and now have a lot of new goals that we’re striving for. But because most of these are shared challenges – and we’re all having to stretch – it’s helped us work better together. I’m learning a lot and getting to take on exciting projects.

I also became an editor in chief! We relaunched our member publication and I was tapped to lead the project. We debuted in July and haven’t looked back. I feel like a lot of the things I’ve done in my career and life (hello, Yearbook Committee!) have made me ready to take on this role, including my lifelong love of magazines. I’ve never been a book person, but I’ve always had at least 3-5 magazine subscriptions at a time. (It’s not uncommon for me to take field trips to the Books-a-Million in Greenbelt just to peruse the magazine racks.) Working on the magazine has been such a fun project! I’m grateful to have had both the opportunity to take it on and the support from my higher-ups to have success.

Also, in the professional category, I became a board member of Association Media and Publishing, an organization I really love. I’ve learned so much from the educational activities AM&P offers (check it out if your in comms/marketing/content creation/publishing!) and I’m really excited for the opportunity to help make the organization even stronger. So far, it’s been so much fun.

My Squad. I have this indescribable group of friends. I’ve met them in all types of places: grade school, high school, college, sports, work, etc. It’s a diverse group of women – and a handful of super cool men (some of whom are married to the aforementioned girlfriends). They have a few key things in common: They are talented, whip-smart, kind, thoughtful and FUNNY.

I once received some really great marriage advice that I shouldn’t expect my spouse to be my everything. My interpretation of this has been that I embrace and celebrate the things Jason and I love to do together, but that I can let him off the hook for the things he doesn’t love, for example, shopping, vineyard-ing and brunches. Lucky for me that my girlfriends are MASTERS at these (and many other) things. Win-win!

It is so important to have these savvy, hype, well-traveled, interesting people in my life. So to all of you, I say “Thank you for bein’ a friend.”

Travel. At the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would be open to travel when opportunities presented themselves. Little did I know that there would be a lot of non-work opportunities to wander near and far. From Paris and the Dominican Republic to New York and fun local spots like North Beach, this year was chock full of trips once I opened myself to the possibility of hittin’ the road. I’m thankful for the wanderlust of the previous 365.

This Blog. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized I’d be taking on more at work and potentially doing a lot less writing. As a communications professional, a lot of my job has revolved around content creation. But as I’ve taken on more strategic and managerial responsibilities, I’ve had less space to put pen to paper. I felt at risk of losing touch with my inner-writer. A blog seemed the perfect place to flex my writing muscles and talk about topics that I really love (cooking, working out, entertaining, playing with flowers, etc.).

What I didn’t anticipate was the inspiration that I’ve gotten from other WordPress bloggers. This platform is chock full of people like me: people with something to say that decided to just say it. To put it out there in the world for someone to discover. And WordPressers are talking about EVERYTHING under the sun – food, travel, finance, parenting, life hacking, social media – EVERYTHING. So many of us have these amazingly interesting and complex stories, talents, musings … it’s been incredible to read about what’s going on with people in their own words. It may sound fluffy, but it’s been very connecting to read these posts. I’m grateful for the variety of voices present here and for their willingness to share their point of view.

So, now, with just a couple hours to go until the next decade, I lift up my thanks for the year that was. I will continue to live in gratitude in the year to come.

I wish you and yours only the best in 2020. There is enough for us all to live our best lives. I pray that the year to come help us all along our way to get there.

Cheers!

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