So much to be thankful for…
About a year ago, I watched the Biggest Loser Marathon episode and was inspired. I started to reflect upon my life, self improvement and a sense of accomplishment and I came up with the wacky idea to run the LA Marathon to raise money for Get On The Bus. Although in thought this was great, in theory I had no idea what I was doing. How would I be able to promote this idea and garner support for it in a direct way?
I started to brainstorm and I came up with the idea of possibly starting a blog. However, I had thought this to be something only for the technically gifted, which many of you know, I am not. I bounced around the idea with a couple of friends. Not only did they buy into it, but they kept on asking, “Did you start that blog yet?”
I used many excuses saying that I was too busy at work or that as soon as I get through X, I am going to get it up and running. However, one fateful day I opened up my mail and found out I was summoned to jury duty. Now jury duty for someone with my personality is pretty much a death sentence. For those of you who know me well, you will know that I am constantly overextending myself and I thrive on busyness and high pressure situations. How was I to go to a court house for 8 hours and just sit there?
I had heard a little rumor that they had WiFi there so I brought around my laptop and after about an hour of goofing around on facebook, reading the news and other Hollywood gossip columns, I decided to venture into an unknown world. I had heard about blogger.com from many, but still had not ever went on the site. As I stroked the words, my heart started to race as I realized that this may be in fact the day that I either land my own blog or get very frustrated in the process.
I read the instructions and started playing around with different templates and in about an hour or so, my blog was set up. Again, I thought this could be a passing fad and I am just going to do it for a month to see how it goes. Well, after a month, my readership picked up and I was starting to do exactly what I set out to do: I was training and raising money for Get On The Bus and this became my vehicle to do both. So as I sit here about a year later, I am now reflecting this Thanksgiving about all the gifts that I am thankful for. Here’s what I would like to share with you:
1. My family and friends. I by far am the luckiest person alive because I have the best family both biological and in-laws and friends that anyone could ever dream of. We have overcome a lot together but you all have continued to stick by me and show me unconditional love. I cherish the relationship that we have together and hope that it continues to grow and blossom over time. Thank you all so much for loving me!!
2. Adversity. When I meet people, one comment that they always make is that being so young, I have been able to accomplish a lot. I attribute this to have lived a lot of life in my 29 years. Many things have happened to me and my family that have not happened to others and instead of getting down about this, it is my motivation to keep on pushing. As my dad always says the true definition of courage is “composure under pressure.”
3. Change. There are two constants in this world- death and taxes and everything else is constantly changing. I am grateful that my life is full of surprises and constant change. This year especially has been interesting with a cross country move, losing most of our things and changing jobs. Although at times, I want to bang my head up against the wall, I recognize and realize that change is the universe’s way of moving everything into exactly where it should be.
4. Grace. As I said in a previous blog entry, the most important features of my life have all come by grace. I had never planned to meet my husband Joe, get involved with Sr. Suzanne and Get On The Bus, co-host a radio show or have this blog. Thank God grace had planned all of this for me.
5. Inspiration. Just as many of you have commented that I have inspired you by what I am doing, you have equally inspired me. Some of you have completed your first races ever this year as a reaction to this blog. Others have gotten their PRs. Some of you have decided to volunteer and give back to causes that you believe in. I am not at all taking credit for any of this but I am proud of your accomplishments. May you continue to motivate me!
6. Voice. I am so excited that in NYC last week a panel of about 200 people got together to specifically talk about children who have incarcerated parents. It was a completely engaging day with not only professionals in the field but political leaders both at the city and the state level. We also got to hear the voice of the children, which I think is always an important piece. The policy recommendations we all came up with will be given to the new governor elect in the new year. This is so big because this is the first time that anything like this has ever happened and I was honored to be part of it.
7. All of my readers and listeners. I thank all of you for following me, no matter who you are or what your opinion might be. I was having a discussion with someone the other day and they said that I was really brave to have the blog and the radio show that I do. The concept can be a little controversial and I realize that not everyone agrees with me. I am grateful for all of your opinions as they add intelligent conversation to a topic even though I still do believe that mine is just the more correct one ;p. However, I think we can all agree that we need to do something to help our next generation and save our children.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I invite you to take a couple minutes and reflect on the gifts that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.