I’m grateful I had the entire week at home to not only catch up with my to-do-list items, but also to have an uninterrupted week with my girls. This week’s highlight was taking my youngest daughter on her second private pilot flight lesson. We also had the privilege of her sister joining us and taking pictures of the two of us while I instructed her (I got into my “teaching” mode and forgot she was even in the back seat). I’m grateful to have visual memories of our flight together. I will have to say, I never had a student sit there on descent, trying to get a hangnail out of her fingers, oblivious that she had stopped flying the aircraft, more concerned about picking the skin than focused on the airport we were approaching. I can tell she’s used to sitting there with Dad flying, not being the one who’s in control. We both had a good laugh.

 

I’m grateful for dinner and eating outside at a restaurant with my two girls. It has been a while since we’ve done that. I enjoyed watching the next Marvel movie, Iron Man 2, in the series with my youngest daughter. I had told her, “In 10 minutes I need to go to bed and we can continue this tomorrow.” She agreed and an hour twenty minutes later, after the movie had ended, she said, “I thought you had to go to bed in ten minutes Dad?” Yeah, we both kinda got into the movie and lost track of time.

 

I’m grateful a good friend came over and cooked dinner for all of us while I organized cabinets. It was hard not to feel guilty she was cooking in my kitchen without my help (her daughters were helping and they were trying to get dinner done before my girls woke up from a late nap). It’s hard sometimes for me to relinquish control, especially in my own house. She was just thrilled to have the space to cook. It was a win-win for all of us since I had a break from meal planning and later we all enjoyed each other’s company. I’m grateful her and I just sat back and  listened to our four teen girls talk about school and open up with things they don’t want to talk to their parents about. It’s hard not interject one’s “parental wisdom”, but to sit and listen. It was some good insight for both of us learning what our girls are struggling with and hearing them debate about the difference between public school vs. homeschooling.

 

I’m grateful for my spice rack! YAY! I no longer have to fish around a cabinet moving everything aside to find what I’m looking for then find out that I don’t have it, but have three of something else. Speaking of spice rack, I’m grateful my girlfriend helped me come up with an idea to make what I had purchased on Amazon work. I was getting quite frustrated and she helped dissipate that energy. Thank you FaceTime!

 

I’m grateful that when my youngest daughter and I had a heated discussion about school and missing assignments, my girlfriend was quietly listening to the exchange on the phone. She explained to me she had the same issues with her girls when they were teens and the one thing she learned to do was to have breakfast and hot chocolate ready in the morning when they woke up (my girls are already coffee drinkers – thank you Starbucks) and come up with goals for the day. That’s the only time she was allowed to bring up school with her girls (oh, that’s going to be a challenge) and it allowed them the space to not feel as if she was constantly micromanaging their performance. I look forward to doing this tomorrow with my youngest. I have it planned for us to give three things we are grateful for, reflect on our goals for the day before and what we did good and what we can improve on, what three goals we have for the day, and find out there anything she needs Dad’s help with or does Dad need help with something around the house?

 

I’ve been procrastinating going through the number of boxes I got out of the storage unit a month ago. The questions of what do I keep, what do I throw away, what do I give away plague me. I’m like my mother, a pack rat who is sentimental and likes to keep everything. What do I want to leave behind for my girls to go through? What would I want to see again? And what can I just let go of? I’m grateful that I took the initiative to finally start working on this and to take that walk down memory lane.

 

I’m grateful my youngest daughter shared in the excitement with me as I opened up stuff from the past. She read all the old Christmas Newsletters my ex and I had done together, laughing and reminiscing about when we first met and when her and her sister were born. We went through old stories that I had written (I guess I had forgotten that I did love to write when I was little and had dreams to become a writer when I got older). We looked at old photographs. And when I found her grandmother’s box of favorite clothes, she made her sister put on a fashion show for us (my mother was only 4′ 10 1/2″ and my older daughter has her petite frame). My oldest daughter was quite embarrassed and yet, she was having a good time as well.

 

I’m grateful I was able to relive and appreciate my family. After so much loss and doing years of recovery, sometimes I feel as if I never had closure with the trauma I grew up in. I know there are many out there who’s family members are still alive, yet will not even come to any kind of resolution. In some ways, I’m grateful I don’t have to experience any resistance to growth and yet in other ways, I wish I could have at least had my mother on the journey with me. I know she’s with right now. It would have been cool to see her grow and change and to have become such a stronger, more confident woman. It was nice to take a step back through memories and experience the emotions of grief, sadness, pain, and yet embrace the love, happiness, and joy we also had as a family.

 

I’m grateful I got a random message from my High School Sweetheart’s best friend as I was going through these boxes. We had connected on Facebook many years ago because through social media we learned that I had known her daughter’s cheerleading coach when he was a little boy. We’ve always said we’d meet and catch up on life but never had. Here I am, showing my daughter pictures of her dad dressed up for Junior Prom and Senior Ball, and out of the blue I get a message from the friend of the girl in the picture. We ended up meeting for coffee and talked for 2 1/2 hours. I hadn’t seen her in person since 1987. So weird how life continues to go on and years later, two people can talk as if they had been friends their entire lives.

 

I’m grateful a couple of pictures of memories texted to my step-sister got us into having a really nice hour and half conversation on the phone. I’m so proud of her achievement of graduating from college. She may have gotten busy as a stay home mother of three, yet she still pursued her dream to get a bachelor’s degree and succeeded at the end of 2020. Such an accomplishment!

 

I’m grateful for my conversations with friends and family this week. I connected with many, including my cousin, other family members, close friends, and my ex with pictures of things I’ve kept over the years. I’m glad I can revisit the past without feeling overwhelmed by emotions, but reliving the joy of the experiences I’ve had. I’m grateful for connecting with my friend since kindergarten as we caught up with what’s been going on this past week. I’m also grateful for my hour plus talk with Rafiki as we discussed how to make an idea I have on my blog into reality. I’m really pumped and excited to do this, which is motivating me to get the ground work laid out to achieve this goal.

 

I’m grateful for the support I received from three fellow authors and their candid reviews of the story I’m submitting for a collaboration on epiphanies over 20 of us in my writing group are contributing to. One in particular, took the time to really point out areas where he was confused and all three asked me to elaborate more on my personal experience. By my fourth draft, I personally feel as if it is one of my best works and am grateful to submit my final draft for the next phase in editing tomorrow. I’m excited and nervous all at once, which has given me the incentive to take the next step in the journey of growing my blog.

 

I’m grateful for Heidi Le’s Transformation For Life Challenge and look forward to starting her course tomorrow to make a vision board of what I’d like for my future as well as action steps to make my dreams come true. I’m looking forward to Ilana Kristeva’s Walletpalooza event coming up next Saturday. She’s a good friend, fellow author, and motivational life coach. And a week from now I’ll also be working on Ruth Soukup’s Blog Challenge, which, in a way, will take these other two courses and give me more concrete actions of what I need to do going forward.

 

All three of these courses are taught by strong, inspirational women. I look forward tomorrow to celebrate International Woman’s Day and all the important women in my life.

 

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