Oooh, I love this time of year…the-clean-slate, organize-my-life, make-grand-plans time of year. The motivation and enthusiasm is intoxicating! I live for this kind of energy!

Yet, I’m tackling January differently this time around. Instead of charging forward and mapping out plans for the next 12 months, I am pausing to consider the enormous gratitude I have for 2009. I need this reflection more than I need a map or a plan, but I think it will ultimately point me in the right direction for 2010.

So…I’m taking stock, giving thanks and relishing as much as I can.

Thank you, health. I wish there was something besides illness to teach us full appreciation of our own health and possibility. I am still struggling to find a way to convey to the kids the gratitude and responsibility we should have for our physical selves. So far, all I have come up with is, “What? Your legs are too tired?? Be grateful you even have legs!”

Thank you, growth. So much learning and growing inside and out! New skills, bigger words, broader roles, rising independence, healthier conversations. My trust in the big picture and the connectedness of us all has expanded—and it has nothing to do with Facebook networking.

Thank you, contentment. I started 2009 by setting aside all career commitments to focus on the kids and relearn how consuming life with a newborn can be. The decision to drop everything was made neither lightly nor without tears, but once I made the decision—really made it—I felt weightless. Very little of the year was easy, but it was peaceful.

Thank you, family. To the family I was born with, the one I married into, and the one I created with friends…I am grateful for cheap phone calls, thoughtful visits, early morning runs, swapped books, and shared meals. Runners, I wish there was more time for all the great conversations we start on the trail!

Thank you, little family. You light me up. One recent night I told Hubby that I was totally in love with our little family. His response, “Well it’s not very little any more, unless you mean short in stature.” We are short on nothing that really counts.

I am feeling the love, people. Bring on 2010.

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