Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Year of Being Grateful

by Monica Bobbitt

And here we are in the dwindling hours of another year. Hours have turned to days, days to weeks, weeks to months. And seemingly in an instant, we have reached New Year's once again. 

For many, like me, 2017 was at times a difficult year. A year touched by sadness, and loss, but also one of new beginnings and hope.

As last year drew to a close, I challenged myself to make this year my Year of Being Grateful.

My father had just recently been diagnosed with a lung tumour, and I knew intuitively that this would be a very difficult year. Of course, I really had no idea just how difficult it would be.

Because nothing can truly prepare you for the agony of watching someone die.

My daily grateful posts were meant to hold me accountable: to remind me to take time each day to focus on the positive, and to remind me that as terrible as things might sometimes be, I still had so much to be grateful for.

And I do.

I had no idea that my daily posts would resonate so much with so many. But then, we very rarely realize how much we inspire others as we attempt to inspire ourselves.

The truth is we all need more positivity, more hope, more gratitude.

Especially after this year. This year seemed particularly challenging. Natural disasters, mass shootings, terrorism, fires, political upheavalall these events weighed heavy on our collective psyche.

And so many of us were dealing with our own personal issues.

Though surface appearances on social mediaFacebook and Instagrampaint happy pictures of perfection, most of us are leading far from perfect lives. Because there is no such thing.

Death, divorce, deployments, career change, cancer, illness, mental health issues, addiction, parenting issues, financial concerns. Every single day someone we know is dealing with something. And sometimes that someone is us.

And when it is us, it's hard to see anything but the heaviness of what we are facing.

When we look back on a year in which something difficult has happened, that tends to be all we see. Tragedy. Loss. Sadness.

A vast void where someone we love once lived. Broken dreams. Mistakes and failures. Opportunities lost.

It's so easy to get caught up in what we don't have, we fail to see what we do have.

And we don't see that we made it through it all.

We become so focused on the sadness we can't see anything else.

But the good is there. It was there all year. It's always been there.

If only we take the time to stop and see it.

Some days it's as simple as the sun shining on your face on a cold winter's day. Or rain washing away your tears.

A hot cup of coffee shared with a friend.

A much-needed hug.

It's the scent of salt lingering on an ocean breeze or woodsmoke curling towards the autumn sky.

It's roses still blooming on a cold October day.

It's the sweat on your forehead and burn in your lungs as you finish a run.

Sometimes it's something profound and meaningful a mended relationship, your health, your family.

And sometimes it's the words you took the time to say.

I love you.

I miss you.


Every single day there is something to be grateful for.

Including that day.

Each day is a gift. Yes, even the agonizing ones.

There are so many people who won't get the gift of another day, another year.

The ones who will never again feel sadness or happiness; joy or pain.

They will never get the chance to make it right. To try again. To love again.

But we have that chance. We have this day. And if we are one of the lucky ones, we will have tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. And eventually, those days will become another year.

Tonight as the page turns on another year, may you look back on 2017 forgivingly.

And gratefully.

May you see the person you lost, not the hole in their stead.

May you see hope for the future, not broken dreams.

May you see the lessons you learned, not the mistakes you made.

May you see the wisdom you gained, not the opportunities lost.

And as you look ahead to 2018, may you do so hopefully.

And gratefully.

This year, may you let go of past hurts, and bitterness and resentment.

And may you move forward, inch by inch, with optimism and purpose.

May you be brave enough to take chances and make mistakes.  

Because life is far too short to live with regrets.

May you celebrate your successes and your failures. Because even if you fail, you know you tried. And if you do fail, pick yourself up, and try again. Never stop trying. Because when you stop trying, you stop living.

This year, may you have enough courage to trust love again, one more time. And always one more time. Don't close your life off to love. Because a life without love is like a book without words. Or a year with no summer.

And may you always believe in yourself. Grab a hold of the pen and write the story of you. For you. Don't write the story others want to read; write the story you want to read.

This year, may you make the most out of every single day. Even the boring ordinary ones.

May you never forget there is always, always something to be grateful for.

And may you make the time this year to see it. 

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Cheers to blank pages, new chapters and another year of being grateful. Happy New Year,


Click here to learn 7 Tips For Coping With Holiday Grief 

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