Anyone know what song the title of this post is from…without googling? Major props if you do! It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
I’ve been a little sweet potato crazy lately and despite the threat of turning the palms of my hands orange again- I decided to get a little “creative”” in the kitchen. Dinner was just a plain old sweet potato- the star was the spaghetti squash.
This is the most corny and cliched thing I have ever posted and probably will ever post, but today, as I sat on my patio reading, I realized that I was content. I feel like i’m coming alive again and when I saw the first telling signs of spring, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and think of how fitting it all was. I had to get out my camera and snap a few pics.
The last few months have been really stressful. I’ve been switched into survival mode- just doing what I can to get through and trying my best to stay positive. I’ve seen glimmers of light and hope (yoga, grad school, work, the urge to create has returned, my old feistiness has resurfaced), but two things in particular have weighed me down.
I’ll spare you the details and instead, say that throughout it all I have been incredibly blessed and lucky to have a wonderful support system and today I got to thinking about how incredibly lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for. I think that it is so very important to our emotional well-being that we look at our lives and take stock of what we have to be thankful for.
For one, I have incredible friends who have listened to me obsess about the same things over and over, whether it’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep (Kat, here’s looking at you), or I need spiritual guidance (Christie, my dear friend, thank you), or just an ear and a laugh (Kasha) and so many more- and this past week I finally reconnected with a friend that means the world to me and I am more thankful than I can say. I appreciate you ALL so very much.
Then there’s my family. Growing up, my dad’s family was basically non-existent in our lives, but my mom and my mom’s side more than made up for that and it is because of them that I have experienced the wonderful things that I have in my life- the reason I appreciate classical music and opera, that I love museums and art, that I crave good books, that I love to cook, that I feel confident around people from all walks of life, that I know how to swim, ski and golf, and perhaps most importantly, that, ultimately, I believe in myself.
There are my beautiful aunts, who manage to do it all and make it easy- they are amazing, talented, strong women, who continually amaze me with their abilities to juggle their busy lives and be super moms. What’s more, they take NO CRAP and always look fabulous.
There’s Jean, who has encouraged me to go after my dreams and do what makes me happy after years of feeling like I had to measure up to other people. She made me realize that I just have to live for myself and the rest will come. There’s Emily, who always listens to me whenever i’m having a rough time and somehow, ALWAYS manages to make me feel better, usually while making me laugh at the same time. Then there’s Pam, an incredibly gifted doctor who has been like a second mom to my brother and I- I couldn’t begin to list all of the things that she has done for us, nor would I know how to pay her back. But that’s the thing- she does it out of love and just wants us to do well.
Then there’s my mom- she’s one of the most kind-hearted people I know and despite the rough stuff when I was growing up, our relationship has evolved into what it is supposed to be. It is because of her that I learned the power of acceptance- of yourself and of others. She has friends of all races, creeds, sexuality, religions, abilities, etc. She showed me how to be tolerant and to embrace and accept people that are different than I am- to be open-minded and kind.
There’s my uncles- who continually reinforce my faith that there are good men out there, who have made me laugh, helped me literally and figuratively, and pushed me to do my best when it was necessary. There’s Dan, my mom’s brother, who’s always told me to “follow my bliss” and provided some much needed insights and reality checks over the years. My uncles by marriage might as well be blood- they are that wonderful.
The glue that holds us all together? My grandparents. There is NO WAY I could ever adequately express my love for my grandparents. They’ve been married over 50 years and I have ALWAYS said that if I could be half as happy as they are and have been, I’ll consider my life a success. They instilled my work ethic, my morals, my values, and the sense that no matter where I am in the world or how hard things get, I am unconditionally loved. I just hope they know how grateful I am for them.
Ok, this has gotten too sappy. Plus, I’m getting a little teary eyed because I miss my grandparents-they’re in Florida for the winter- I can’t wait until they come home.
So, my (longwinded) point? Appreciate what you have. Tell your family and/or friends you love them because you never really know when you’ll need to rely on them. Just remember how important it is to do the same for them.