“We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community.” – Paul Bloom
Today is my 47th birthday, and as I reflect back on this past year I have so many reasons to be grateful. While the year has had its share of hiccups (ahem, car accident), I believe there have been more ups than downs. I am really content with my current place in life, yet I still remain curious about what more I can learn. I feel that after almost five years of working on me, I look to make 2017 the year of helping others and pay forward what I have experienced.
There is so much to anticipate, but first I want to list a few things I am grateful for on my birthday from this past year. I didn’t think people would want to read 47 things I am grateful for (although I am sure I could come up with that many!), I decided on 11 (4+7).
- My husband, Dennis. We have been married for over 14 years and I believe he is my true soulmate.
- My Mom and Dad. As we all get older, I am so grateful that they are still here to share time and experiences with. I got to visit them a few weeks ago, and actually talked to them today (the Happy Birthday call). Calling my mom to talk about making fudge for the holidays? Priceless.
- Family. Be it my family or my in-laws, I am so glad to have them in my life. While the majority of my family doesn’t live near me, we get together yearly for a family reunion and it is one of the highlights of my year. My in-laws are closer, so to have an extended family nearby is wonderful.
- Long-time friends. With the beauty of technology, I am able to stay connected with friends that I have known since grade school. Sharing stories of days of yore is so much fun, and with my cruddy memory, they help me fill in the gaps!
- New friends. I was so lucky to find and join the Cincinnati chapter of Girls Pint Out. Not only did I find a group of people who enjoy craft beer as much as me, but those people are now truly my friends. Dennis calls them “our buds”. Sure, we bonded over craft beer but our relationships have evolved way past a pint and into a community. It was just the community I was searching for.
- My life coach, Lauralee. For almost 5 years this incredible woman has been a part of my life, and I can truly attest to the fact that our work has been life-altering. She is a mentor, friend, confidant, teacher, and constantly fuels my desire to learn. Even when I think I may be done learning!
- My business mentor, Martin. For several years we worked together, and then two years ago it was over. But we never lost touch, we never stopped dreaming, and we always included each other in our aspirations for the future. I look forward to embarking on new adventures with him in the future.
- The craft beer community of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. While it may seem like a strange thing to be grateful for, I have immensely enjoyed all their events, especially their charity events, and the way their product brings people together. Dennis and I have always enjoyed going to the taprooms and chatting with the brewers and patrons, and we are excited that the community keeps growing.
- My job. After I was fired from my job of 10 years, I wasn’t sure which way to turn, or what I wanted to do. My current employer had just the job for me, and I performed that job for about a year and a half. Then my current position opened up, and it was a complete departure from what I had done in the past. It challenges me, I learn new things constantly, I have flexibility, and an incredible boss.
- My home. Having a roof over your head is always something to be grateful for, but LOVING your house takes it to a new level. It will be four years next month that we moved into our home, and almost daily my husband and I express our love for it. Yes, it would be nice to live near our new GPO friends, but it would be hard to leave. And as a bonus, we have great neighbors.
- The power of intentions. Every day I recite my intentions to the universe, and I am a firm believer that they are continually answered in so many different and interesting ways.
So there you have it. I want to say thank you to all the people in my life that contribute to my sense of living the good life. I am grateful not only today, but every day for the extraordinary people and things in my life. I hope this inspires you to make your own list for what you are grateful for, as it can have a profound impact on your life.