Make a list of all the people in your life who you would love to individually thank for their part in your story over this past year. Let them know how much you appreciate them or just send them love and blessings.
Oh my that was a long list I put together today. I thought of all the little and big encounters that shaped my story this year. I remembered that woman who worked at the airport Starbucks who drew a heart on my latte and my husband’s latte because we looked like we were in love and she really wanted us to have a great day. There were countless moments of people not only helping to look after my children but really loving them. There was my surf instructor who made me feel LOVE the ocean. And of course there’s my family of 7, my extended family, and my family of friends that have supported me in a million different ways – you know who you are and I thank you for taking the time to talk, to laugh, and to hear my story.
For a second, I did think about individually reaching out to each person today or writing a personalized note and sending it. For a second. And then I remembered my life right now so I sent massive blessings. (I do hope to slowly give thanks to all of these people in little ways as the opportunities arise.)
I used to think how great it would be to start over, to become someone entirely different. What if I could make up a new story for myself? Describe an alternate childhood? Talk about my past as if I hadn’t made those awful mistakes and ignore the terrible choices and experiences that I was ashamed of? Could I dismember my shadow side, bury it, and walk away?
I often thought about that in the past. But then I read the following passage:
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to ‘make a new start’ or to be ‘born again’: Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped?”
― Christopher Hitchens,
And that’s the gift, isn’t it? It’s the people in our lives that make our stories OUR stories. We make a difference in each other’s lives even if it is to just bear witness. My husband and I reminisce together about our babies. I celebrated a friend’s birthday together with other friends. We share memories about holiday traditions together.
I am grateful that I can continue to share this life with the people I love. I count my blessings everyday for being able to experience every ordinary and extraordinary moment with some of the most beautiful angels that I am lucky to know – some have unknowingly changed the course of my hour, my day, my week, and my life itself.
This year I shared my story more than I have ever shared my story. For the first time, I felt completely vulnerable. But I also felt absolutely free. I am grateful for everything. Every part of my story. The light and the dark. The cloud nines and the rock bottoms. And I am especially grateful to all of you who have had a chance to get to know me – the entire me – without me having to hide or bury a thing.
Who can you send a quiet thank you or a quick gratitude text to right now?
For instructions on how to make your own December Advent/Countdown to New Year calendar and the prompts that I am picking at random, visit here.