Thanksgiving season. I liked that season. Next comes the season of giving, and sometimes it’s also a good season; but Thanksgiving is right up there on the holidays I choose. Gratitude is such a simple yet powerful emotion that it gives you a chance to reset your gallop for life.
I’m trying to stop my pace a bit during Thanksgiving week and try to think of the year—good, bad, and indifferent—that is currently in the rearview mirror. I strive to assess my destiny, to look at the journey behind me, and to see where we are now. I highly recommend this mindful exercise, a mind twist if you like – a mental challenge to see how far back you can go!
Last Christmas was a gift in itself. We went to the town where I grew up and indulged in the most joyous holiday season ever. There is something very special about going back to your roots and re-adjusting yourself with your people during a time of celebration. Breaking bread with friends and making friends in the town I love so much filled my heart.
I went to visit an old friend in Arkansas in January and was so grateful for the opportunity to travel freely again, not having to take a Covid test or stress about canceled flights. It was so nice to see my friend in place after all these years and enjoy the cultural diversity in his State – also go see the amazing Elton John on his last tour. In fact, I’ve seen it twice this year – it was that good.
I went to France in March and again enjoyed the luxury of free travel. While we had to do clear Covid tests and wear masks on flights, appreciating the newly discovered crossing made our journey even more enjoyable. I will come back to that part of France again for a repeat visit.
I was so grateful that my daughter continued to stay in the nursing program – despite people suggesting that she quit and look after herself first and then her career. At that time, I saw a side of my daughter that made me very proud of her determination and ultimately hope for better days ahead. She graduated with her class last summer. I was so proud I cried. She knew she could, and she did; a proverb that travels with it.
We then had a super dooper trip to Europe via Dublin, the Garth Brooks concert, the Isle of Man, London and of course Aldeburgh. I managed to wear out two much younger people; a complete success!
I am grateful that my 93-year-old father continues to enjoy life in his own home with his lovely friends and helpers and maintain a calm about it, despite his two Covid attacks in one year. Of course, much of her new life depends on my sister making all the arrangements for her, finding her new home that turns out to be perfect, and building a structure that is well taken care of day in and day out. alone and in need of nothing. I am very grateful to him and his unlimited talents.
May was girls’ time on the east coast of England and we enjoyed some amazing days – friends for over 45 years and still together we can be ridiculously funny and silly and laugh until we fall out of our chairs. We are branches of each other’s trees, our roots tightly intertwined and will never unravel. Whenever we say goodbye, I look forward to seeing them again. I am also very grateful for the art of texting and wassaping. No matter the time frame, we are always in touch, sharing photos or funny things or just checking out. Modern technology is a great boon for those of us living abroad.
In the summer I saw my husband create the most fertile garden of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Although he is quite disabled these days, he was proud of his achievements in that arena and we have reaped the noble fruits of his work throughout the year. I would greet my sister Rosie and her extraordinary attitude to challenges, telling her to focus on what she can do and not on what she can’t do. I think he may have finally taken it a bit seriously and that will put him in a good place for years to come. I am very grateful for all this.
Oh, and my animals – babies of my heart – how grateful I am for you! Last year we rescued a horse, two goats, two cows (the third hiding in my mother’s womb), a dog or two, a few cats, ducks, more turtles… and so Solace and his magic never shut their doors and, Honestly, the animals are us, ours. saves them more than we save them.
And I am grateful for my work. Even though your priorities change as you get older, my work is still important, so it’s not in last place. This year I partnered with Leticia and it has made real estate so much more fun and freed us both to take the trips we desire and leave behind a professional to manage everything in the real estate world while we take a break.
I must say that my business life has changed in a positive way many times with the joining of our forces. It’s nice to get ideas from someone and try to find a solution. Especially as we navigate this challenging, changing market, we have more fun together than when we are apart, and I am so grateful to him.
And here we are, it’s Thanksgiving again and soon I’m going to visit my dad and sister for an early Christmas and see my lovely friends on the beach. It’s always good to have dates in the diary and a sunny disposition to navigate the more difficult times that inevitably come.
In the meantime, we’ll gather around the turkey table with our son and his wife and toast another good memory of gratitude. We will polish the glasses and put the special dishes on the table. My heart will be as full as my stomach. It’s been a pretty good year and for that I am immeasurably grateful.