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Day 20 – Yoga

Today I am thankful for yoga. And not just any yoga, but specifically Blue Lotus Yoga here in Monroe. A little over a year ago, my amazing friend Elaina told me she was going to open her own yoga studio. Since I was unemployed and she was a bit unfamiliar with some technology, like building her website, she asked me for some help. We met a couple of times and I helped her launch her website and social media accounts. About 3 1/2 months later, her studio opened and I stayed on helping with social media and the website. And along the way, I decided to start taking yoga classes myself. Yoga gave me peace of mind during what was the most turbulent period of my life. It brought me peace and comfort and allowed me a way to take a break from reality and focus on me for a short bit of time. But the whole thing also turned an acquaintance into a real friend and seeing her grow with her studio has been a joy to witness. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’™πŸ™πŸ»

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Day 19 – Wanderlust

I am thankful for my sense of wanderlust. One of the many lessons I have learned over the past year is that it really is the life in your years that matter. Taking new adventures and seeing new places. I’ve got my bucket list (which needs some updating) and I have been blessed this year to have gone on a number of trips – Portland, DC, Cape Cod, Cleveland and a number of day trips plus Canada and Atlanta for work (not to mention going to Frankfurt and Torino next week)! In addition to trips I love trying new things, like my new hobbies of calligraphy and dirt biking. So here’s to more adventures with friends and family in the coming years!!

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Day 18 – Bible Study

I am thankful that I am doing a Psalm 119 Bible Study πŸ™πŸ» with my friend Jenna who is living clear across the world in Cambodia! Doing a bible study allows me to not only be closer to Christ, but gives Jenna and I a way to stay close and encourages us to communicate almost daily 😊 And as an added bonus, it’s letting me work out some of my lingering questions and anger regarding my mom’s passing.

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Day 17 – Calligraphy

Today I am thankful for my new hobby, calligraphy. Back at the beginning of October, I took a calligraphy class at a local stationary store, Joyful Noise. Since the class, I have been practicing my skill and it sure makes giving presents and writing Christmas cards a little more exciting and festive! Plus, having a new hobby is fun; it gives me the opportunity to mentally check out from everything else and focus on something that is solely for me every couple of days.

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Day 14 – Time Off

I am thankful that I had three and a half months off last year between jobs. Don’t get me wrong, it was oh so stressful when it was happening and I didn’t know how we’d pay all our bills, but in hindsight I learned a lot of lessons during that time. It gave me time to relax, rest and focus on myself. I was able to realize that I am worth more than I give myself credit for. I learned the true value of friends and family. But most of all, I was able to clear my head and get back to being me. Now that I’m at a new job, I’ve got a work-life balance, and a separation of the two 😊

And while it isn’t realistic that you’ll always be able to take that type of time off, I’m quite looking forward to having 19 days off for the holidays this year!

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Day 13 – Friends

I am thankful for my friends. While family loves you, friends who love you unconditionally are even more valuable – they make a choice to have you in your life. My friends support me, pick me up and are always there for me. I especially learned this much I rely on friends this pay year. Whether it be through hoping on a plane to fly up for 36 hours just to keep me company, opening up their homes to welcome me and my state of wanderlust this year (or joining me in an adventure) or simply being there 24/7 for me to call when I just needed someone to listen, or to distract me and just occupy my time so I couldn’t think of sad things.

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Day 12 – Family

I am thankful for my family, their unconditional love and support. I am also thankful I was born into two very large families! With 16 aunts/uncles, 17 1st cousins (plus their significant others and kids) and more 2nd cousins than I can count, family is not hard to come by. With such a large family, there is always someone there for any given situation – blood really is thicker than water and family comes together for good times, and to hold you up in the not so good times. God blesses each of us with the families we are born into and from the very beginning our families are there for us. Having such a large family certainly makes the holidays festive and allows you to celebrate over and over with different groups of family. This year I have been blessed with spending a good amount of time with some family members I don’t get to see as often, but even though we may live far apart and our lives don’t give us time to see each other frequently, we pick up as if nothing has been missed (and can thank technology for keeping us close even when there are many miles between us).

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Day 11 – Backyard

Today I am thankful for the wonderful backyard Tom and I have. While it may take at least a full day to do a leaf clean-up πŸ‚πŸ, we are blessed to have ample room for sheds, a vegetable garden and fire pit, all while leaving half the yard still wide open to practice softball, play corn hole or do whatever we like. The property is large enough that we can ride our ATV or dirt bikes around it (not to mention the ATV pulls tarps of leaves so we don’t have too 😊).