November 23, 2011


In past years I've put a number requirement on the things I'm most grateful for, which probably gets a little redundant—and let's be honest—boring. This year I want to take a different approach and only celebrate the things for which I am the very most grateful.

1. Curiosity and an appetite for knowledge.
Growing up I wouldn't have labeled myself as "curious," I was a shy child and not yet comfortable asking the sometimes naive questions. I'm over that shyness (well, most of the time) and I'm so very grateful to feel like I am truly comfortable in my own skin. I'm comfortable being laughed at for asking that naive question, because I have come to realize three things. 1. Others usually have the same questions. 2. Sometimes asking that child-like question brings light to a situation that others overlook, dismissing it as too raw, sometimes raw is the best place to start. 3. I've learned to laugh at myself, which brings me to my next item:

2. The ability to laugh at myself.
This summer someone told me I was funny. Me? Funny? They even said I was much funnier than most girls. To which we both agreed it was because I have the ability to laugh at and make fun of myself. This may be what I am most proud of. Again, when I was younger, not only was I shy, but I was soooo easily embarrassed. It wasn't until recently that I learned how to make fun of my idiosyncrasies and own-up to my silliness and I'm much happier for it.

3. Passion & Interests.
I am so blessed to be passionate about my profession. I love design. I love reading about design, I love being in the environment, I continually strive to make my small, small fraction of the design world a better place. Not everyone can be this passionate about what they do. I'm truly grateful.
Not only am I lucky enough to be passionate about my chosen career, but I have a plethora of interests and hobbies. Cooking, gardening, crafting, sewing, biking, grad classes/learning, volunteering, etc. It's recently come to my attention that others don't have hobbies, which is something I will never, ever understand.

4. Introspection.
This has been a very introspective year for me. I feel that I have grown mountains in the past two years, really learning about myself and being able to connect the dots in my life and how seemingly small realizations play a much larger picture to who I am and who I want to be. I continually write myself notes and write in my journal about new discoveries about myself. In my Life Goals document (yes, I have one of those that was started around age 16 and has continued to grow and evolve with me) I thought I would be married by age 23. I am now 26, unmarried and extremely happy. Again, this is the 16-year-old-small-town-Midwestern me writing that down. I am grateful I have had these years after college for such amazing self discovery and exploration. I've change a lot and am not nearly the person I was at age 23, I'm grateful I've had this time to grow as an individual and learn to really love myself first and hopefully someday that will translate into a beautiful marriage, but I'm putting any age toward that life goal.

5. Yoga.
I started yoga in January, took a brief hiatus for RAGBRAI training in the summer and couldn't wait to start yoga immediately after RAGBRAI. Not only am I much, much stronger physically, but yoga has taught me balance and strength and peace of mind. It's an amazing 1.5 hour escape every Monday. I tell my co-workers yoga keeps me sane and keeps me from turning into a giant stress-ball and I whole-heartidly believe this. I didn't realize how much yoga has effected me until I took my hiatus in the summer. There is a lot to be said for my amazing teacher, the soul-filling music she plays, her teaching and her practice, but it's also the act of yoga that fills me up. This is something I don't want to give up any time soon. My goal for next year is to work on meditation, focus, and breathing during yoga, some things that I'm not particularly great at.

6. Family and Friends.
I moved to my own apartment at the end of June and since then my life has been filled non-stop with friends and family. More than ever I'm making plans with friends to fill up my evenings without yoga or grad classes. I'm grateful for my friends and family to help fill those voids. I couldn't be happier with my social life (and my new apartment).

7. My job.
I love working for my boss. I have now been at Staples for 13 months and feel like I have started to make a difference. SPP is the perfect size, you can be outspoken and not get lost in the shuffle, while at the same time having a specific role and not being asked to wear too many hats. I'm excited about the upcoming projects I have on my plate and hope we can continue the forward momentum.

Ending with seven, my favorite number, seems appropriate. So with these seven things I'm truly grateful for, I wish you and your family a very happy and grateful Thanksgiving.


Sheryl said...

I adore you!

Steph A said...

I don't really have any hobbies. :| I help my husband cook and i've started to dabble in gardening, but i think reading is the only thing that comes close to a regular hobby for me. I'd like to have more, i just have a hard time getting passionate about things.

I've also gotten really into Yoga in the past few months. I love it and i want to keep doing it for the rest of my life. I too need to work on my breathing, focus and meditation, though. :)

I think you picked very wise things to be grateful for. I wish i was as passionate about design as you are, and that i felt like i had a voice in my work environment. I could also use some work on being able to laugh at myself and be comfortable in my own skin.

Thanks as always for your wisdom, Steph. ♥