Gratitude for a New Year

Yes, I do have some goals for this year floating around in my head: I’d like to lose a bit of weight, read more, write more, practice more yoga, finally learn to like to run, be a better teacher, friend, wife. These resolutions are worthy goals for improvement, but they also bother me, because they subtly imply that I am lacking. And when I look at my life, and I mean zoom out and reaallllyyy reflect, I don’t like this implication of lack, because, I am blessed with so much more than any one person deserves. So, instead of dwelling on these resolutions, I feel an impulse toward gratitude today. On this first day of a new year, I’m choosing to focus not on where I fall short, but rather on where I find fullness and happiness. Thank you, universe:

 

1. For my husband…

Oh, what good did I do to deserve this man who loves me, who would move heaven and earth to keep me safe and happy? I spent a long time wading through a mess of self-centered, deficient, man-children who made me feel as if I wasn’t thin enough, smart enough, or good enough to be with them. And then I woke up and realized the problem wasn’t with me, and I resolved to find someone who could love me, warts, anxiety, and all. That is what I’ve found in Eric. He is a blessing to me.

 

2….and the life we’re building together.

I went to the grocery store today to stock our fridge after being away for the holidays. Truth be told, I love going to the grocery store. There’s something meditative in being able to slowly walk each aisle, squeezing melons and reading food labels. As I was taking my time in selecting the most beautiful pink apples, I paused to say a prayer of thanks for the plenty Eric and I enjoy. We do not want for anything, and I must continue to be grateful for this.

 

3. For my job.

Teaching is the single most difficult thing I have ever done. Every single day, without fail, I am tested and challenged. Sometimes, it can begin to feel like too much, as if I’m emptying myself of energy and patience each day, only to be partially re-filled for the next. But I remember how it felt working the administrative jobs I had before graduate school; I was wasting myself. Bits of my brain very well could have leeched out my head during the hours I spent tediously processing checks through a database, not to mention the sadness I felt over working at something I didn’t quite believe in. At least now, even on the most trying and demoralizing of days, I can find comfort in the belief that I couldn’t be doing anything more important with my time and talents.

 

4. For my family and friends.

The support of our family and friends in beginning our marriage and the generosity they bestowed on us to mark the event were incredibly humbling. I’ve never felt more loved in my entire life than on my wedding day, surrounded by all the people we love most in the world.

 

5. For dancing.

Every Sunday morning, I go to Body Jam. It’s a dance-based fitness class offered at my gym, taught by a woman I not-so-secretly have an enormous crush on. She is effervescent and positive and a fabulous dancer. But I mostly love her because she leads me in doing something I love to do more than anything. Body Jam is my excuse to shake it like I’m 21 again without losing any of my self-respect.

What are you grateful for as we move into this new year?

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