As I sit on the eve of my 41st birthday, I’m reflecting on all the things that made this year extra special.
See, as a big believer that Something Wonderful is going to happen today, I wake up THANKFUL every morning already thankful for what wonderful things wait for me. When I lay my head down at night I am sleeping with a smile on my face and ready to start a new day expectant and grateful.
So…just so I don’t forget to show gratitude for this wonderful year…here are
41 Something Wonderfuls that happened whilst I was 40.
1. I didn’t die. One of my dearest friends passed away when I was 20. How amazing that I’ve had what amounts to double her life; two lifetimes is a blessing indeed.
2. My daughter. Standard fare 🙂
3. Avocados* – my new love!
4. Family: they really put me through it, but they kept me through it, too.
5. A roof.
6. My housemates. When I need to run out either to the store or work they watch Joelle. I couldn’t be the entrepreneur I am without them.
7. My tribe. My FB peeps keep me funny; my tweeps keep me humble.
8. Disney. Love that place and all the fun and memories J and I have there.
9. Rene Syler, Good Enough Mother.
10. Get Old: Going on assignment to an event entitled “Get Old” while you are 40 is liberating and scary. However, this is where the lovely Laila Ali and I got a chance to chat. I realized, flaws and all, we all need to get ready to be older. Tomorrow isn’t promised, but we do need to be ready if we are blessed enough to make it.
11. Daily phone call from my BFF.
12. The internet. No, really. Could I do half as much, know as much, connect as much? Nope.
13. Living in NYC.
14. Mocha Manual: Among other wonderful things she gave me a look into what I can’t write…yet.
15. Free education. Journalism and Marketing. Check!
16. My health. When I wake up I can move and I’m in my right mind (despite cracking my head and tailbone in a fall on the subway recently).
17. My clothes. They have weathered quite a storm. They yield, and they do not bend! LOL
18. Broken contracts/relationships. This is business and learning say “goodbye” really is okay. Oprah finally did it with ABC to get OWN. It happens.
19. Paul Carrick Brunson and #MentorMonday. Every once in a while I feel someone really prayed for me to be there. Thanks to Paul, his wife, and God for this one!
20. Jai Stone. She doesn’t even know what my first impressions were of her and working for her now means a lot to me to be “that nagging feeling.”
21. #BWBNYC. Learned everyone is an expert while at the Blogging While Brown after brunch (with Joelle sitting right by my side, thank you very much), and started acting the part.
22. BeBlogalicious. My eguide – PUBLISHED!
23. Joelle’s dad.
24. Unique opportunities for employment. Joelle hangs tough.
25. The Phat Startup. Always love. Always learning…from the best.
26. My ability to ask (and the ability to learn I needed to learn to ask).
27. Santastik! I needed someone to make me look good, a shoulder, a friend. Yup.
28. Showers. This is where 80% of my creative process takes place…and where that weird smell goes to die.
29 – 31. My show. My book. My websites. All who support them.
32. My stuff. In the last 15 years I’ve lost a lot. The things I have now mean something to me.
33. Transportation. My car died when J was born. I never considered having to commute so much with a child. It isn’t as hard as I guess it could be. See #s 2 and 13.
34. Welfare. I was off and I am on. It helps me feed my child and it gave me empathy for all those who have to ask for something to survive. It may be one of my most painful stories to tell, but it resonates with and helps others so I’m thankful.
35. Real connections. People who are online only who became my rah rash, helped me find work, and let me know people were paying attention.
36. BMWK. Maybe they know what they did for me and my story. It was appreciated. They also always lend a creative ear.
37. Oprah herself. Really.
38. My old life, my old memories.
39. My new life, my visions of abundance.
40. Annie Scranton and Pace Public Relations.
41. My ability to write this in the US of A!
*These were in no particular order. There’s no way avocados trumps my BFF (although she may know how they got to the top of the list) or my child’s father.
Some of these things were harder to mention in public because even though I am grateful, there is pain there somewhere. Maybe that’s why people think I’m ungrateful. Or why they think I should be more grateful. I’m not going to get into it, but I hope by starting this list, reflecting, and remembering and acknowledging the Something Wonderful at the end of the day I become more appreciative and more active in expressing it.
P.S. This is not an exhaustive list. My projects with Marion Licchiello and Laura Simms, random tweets of kindness, the man at the bagel store that lets Joelle order her plain bagel in her excited, broken 3-year-old language… Momentumnation, bus drivers who have pity on a mama…My publisher, my employers who put a car seat in their car for Joelle…