Ten years ago, I made a resolution to draw a picture everyday. One simple goal yielded a long-lasting creative spark and transformed virtual connections to real-life friendships. As we near 2021– a fresh beginning– I strive to draw, write, and find a rhythm.
The concept of practicing gratitude has existed in our lives long before today. “What makes you thankful?” is commonly posed in elementary school. As adults, we may practice gratitude through our religions or mindfulness routines. Prayer, mantra, and reflection stretches our minds and hearts. Gratitude journals have grown in popularity in recent years; you can buy blank or prompted versions from retailers like Bookshop. My friend Kelsey keeps a monthly “30 Things I’m Grateful For” post on her blog Snappy Casual and a bullet journal can also organize an ever changing list. To me, practicing gratitude means remembering the things, people, or events that brought joy, peace, or humility. It might be something you do each day or every week or month. It’s definitely something I’d like to do more often.
2020 has been a strange and wild year for our family. Everyday I am thankful for our health and our home. I recognize that having securities like medical insurance and a steady income are a privilege during these times. If you’re in a position to give, support local businesses and social organizations in your community. Be intentionally and randomly kind. What makes your heart full?
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- Something Reassuring: None of my In-Person students have been ill (knock on wood). They dutifully wear their masks and rarely complain. Their happiness and innocence reminds me why I became a teacher.
- Something New: I usually wind buffalo plaid ribbon around our tree. This year I strung the ribbon from the top and vertically tucked it in. Thanks Pinterest!
- Something Helpful: We bought a tree collar from Target so the automated vacuum can go where it pleases.
- Something Delicious: We had a non-traditional crispy pork roast for Christmas dinner. It cost $12, took eight hours to cook, and fed us for almost a week. I also made a charcuterie wreath (i.e. circular Lunchable) and we ate it two days in a row.
- Something Good: Zoom reunions with friends and family. I spend a lot of time teaching or attending meetings on Zoom. It was surprisingly pleasant using it for low-key video chats.
- Something Silly: Our pug has a habit of resisting the dryer when she’s groomed. This month she was more friendly and allowed the staff to dry her properly. Now she smells like shampoo instead of a wet dog.
- Something on Repeat: “Life Goes On” by BTS and “Champagne Problems” by Taylor Swift.
- Something Celebratory: This was the 10th Christmas in our home. Happy Holidays!