WordPress is telling me that this is my 100th post. In almost five years, I’ve managed to sit down and write something on this blog 10o times. For some people, that won’t seem like a lot. But for me, it is. It could have been more. It could have been less. But I made it to 100. Each word I put down here has been one less word, one less worry, one less burden to carry on my own. Here, I can lay them down and let them be. I can come back to them if I need to, but the words, the worries, the burdens, aren’t mine to carry alone anymore.
I started sharing these words long after I started writing them. The first time I shared this with the world, I was trembling. But I knew that if I ever wanted to get anywhere with these words, I couldn’t hoard them anymore. So I closed my eyes, held my breath, and hit “share”. Since that first time, the response I’ve received has been overwhelming. I’ve had several people publicly – and many more people privately – tell me how they have enjoyed what I’ve written. They understood, sympathized, and were even helped by my words and experiences. And even though I still tremble every time I hit “share”, those words of support and encouragement ring in my ears, and they help me to keep moving forward, and keep sharing, no matter how fearful I may be. And for that, I am so, so grateful.
I am grateful for every moment I hit “post”. I am grateful for every moment I hit “share”. I am grateful for all of the unsolicited kindness people have shown me as I inch forward on this path. And these 100 posts are 100 individual moments of gratitude for the life I have and the people I am privileged to share it with.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Being mindful of gratitude is something I’ve been trying to do a lot the last few years. And I notice that when I’m at my lowest, gratitude just isn’t present in my day to day life. Even as I write it, it sounds so Oprah to me, but the truth is the truth. And being consciously grateful every day really does help my spirit. And so I continue to try and try and try.
Our little family of three started a new tradition this past holiday season that I know we will continue every year from now on.
Anyone who knows me knows I love Christmas. I AM CHRISTMAS. And since I met Stu, I have insisted that we celebrate Chanukah as well as Christmas. Lighting Chanukah candles wasn’t at the top of his priority list before we met, but through our five holiday seasons together, Stu and I have lit those candles every year. We tried the traditional Jewish prayers a few times, but they didn’t sit well with us. We aren’t a religious pair, and all that Baruch Atah blah blah blah was hollow to both of us. It was insincere and empty, so we put it aside. This year, with the addition of Amira to our family, the tradition took a new and inevitable turn. A turn towards gratitude.
Each day for Chanukah, we lit the requisite candle. And for each candle we lit on each day, Stu and I shared with each other one thing we were grateful for in our lives. We agreed that we wouldn’t repeat things during those eight days, which meant that we each had to come up with 36 unique things we were grateful for. Depending on how general or specific you are, that can be tricky. In the end, we may have repeated a thing or two, but it was the loveliest time of day for those eight days, and we shared some really beautiful moments as we talked about what was most important to us.
To some people, those candle-lighting prayers are non-negotiable. And to them, I say god speed.
But for us, giving voice to what we were most thankful for was sacred. Those moments were truly divine.