I probably had more fun and thought more about the blessings in my life this year than I have in many, many years at Christmastime. This is not because there was more "stuff" under the tree or because I bought someone an extravagant gift (or two or three) which I couldn't really afford.
It is because I am able to enjoy:
- A new job in the field I've come to love so much in a community which is a terrific fit for me. It sure doesn't hurt that I have much more earning power there, either....SOME of my financial worries will abate somewhat and I should be able to pay for a greater portion of Tori's schooling now, which is a big weight off of my shoulders. I should also be able to save more.
- A new attitude of gratitude. I credit a lot of this to my love of change in my life, and my ability to roll with the punches. Yes, some of those punches have knocked me flat at times these past two years; however, I have come out on the other side in much better places.
- Family. I have an amazingly supportive, loving family. Doesn't mean we don't ever have our differences - of course we do. It fills my heart up, though, to know that they always have my back and I, theirs. My brothers and sister, and their spouses and kids (and those kids' spouses) are so important and special to me, and it was such bright joy to spend Christmas Day itself all gathered at Kev & Sonja's celebrating, catching up, and just enjoying being together.
- Friends such as no one should have a right to have. Again, the support and love from my friends, some back in my life after decades (thanks to Facebook), some with whom I've been friends since I was 6 or 7, some who have come into my life more recently but with such love it catches me off guard, is truly something for which I am overwhelmingly grateful. They check up on me, help me with the 4-legged family members when I need help, offer me a shoulder when the tears flow, and just love me unconditionally.
- Tori. What more can I say? She's sometimes judgmental and gives me the "MOM!" look more often than I like, but she is such a joy to me. Such talent in that girl - and she keeps on rebounding from disappointments and rejections in a way I don't think I ever could. I am so glad to be her mother <3