Thursday, December 31, 2009


gratitude list

Some of my friends on Facebook, and at least one of the blogs I follow, are expressing relief that the year 2009 is about to be over. I'll admit to feeling that way myself, and looking to the new year with more than the usual amount of hope. I try to refrain from getting all South Park potty mouth on the blog, but a lot of things about this past year did in fact suck ass! The worst things were that loved ones died, and we got sued. Although obviously we could do nothing to change the first thing, we were able to make the second thing go away but not without it costing us a hell of a lot of money. At a time when it's most important for all of us to hold onto what we have, our retirement savings are about gone. So, bleah.

I certainly don't intend to write a bitchy post, though. Nor is this about New Year's resolutions. I don't make them, because to me they seem about as empty and meaningless as politician's campaign promises. In this reflective post, I just want to be honest, and that means gratefully acknowledging the things that were good or went right.

1. Neither Jason nor I suffered any major illnesses this past year. Over the past 6 years I've had my share of tumors, both malignant and benign, that needed surgery and also some close calls and scares. But none of that happened over the last 12 months.

2. Our daughter successfully navigated adolescence without any serious trauma. At 13 she was having such a tough time relating to peers and authority figures that I took her out of school for a year. She is now 19 and just completed her first quarter of community college with a 4.0 GPA, and she has a plan for her education and career. I consider us fortunate parents indeed.

3. My parents are still alive. While they are becoming more frail, they still have their house and seem nowhere near changing their living arrangements. Both are so very generous and good to us, and I'm thankful to have them around.

4. Over the past year I have felt closer to my brother than I have for many years. His personality can sometimes be irritating, but I now have a sense of comfort by his presence in my life.

5. I have the best husband a gal could ask for, and we were married 20 years last August.

6. We are still young enough to earn and save for retirement, replacing some of the funds we lost, while helping our daughter pursue her education.

7. Even with all the money mess, I have built a successful business that continues to grow. Amid the constraints and concerns, I am thankful to have something that gives me the creative expression I need to thrive, and is all mine. As scared as I was to step off the precipice, I understand and accept that that was what I needed to do to find peace within.

8. For the first 35 years of my life, I never felt connected to anything, or that I was part of a larger community, but now I have many friends who share my passion for wool. My connection with others has strengthened over the past year, and the fiber community keeps growing. Case in point--the bunch of new yarn shops that recently opened in our area! Are we in PDX the luckiest yarn ho's in America? Hell yeah!

9. At this moment, I am ready to let go of a grudge I have held for much of the past year. This may not seem like a big deal but I assure you that for me, it is. I'm a Scorpio and we are the biggest grudge holders in the zodiac! We never forget hurts or slights. The one that's bugged me the most is the anger I've felt towards my brother-in-law Mark, the operative words being "bugged ME the most". He isn't affected at all by my anger! So, being tired of what it's doing to me, I release it.

Whew. Glad I did this; it's gratifying to see what's piled up in the "Assets" column instead of focusing on the "Liabilities". Since I don't smoke or drink, I think I'll go into the kitchen for a piece of chocolate and watch the last hour of 2009 wind down. Love and good things in 2010 to you all!

Happy New Year Sharon!
Thanks Rachel! Happy New Year to you, Owen and Hazel.
Happy new year to you, Sharon. Yay, 2010!
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