In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought it was the perfect time to reflect on 2018 and all of the things I am thankful for thus far. To be completely transparent with you, I began an 'attitude of gratitude' several years ago, and I never forget to be thankful and grateful or the things that I have, but I also love this time of year as it becomes a moment to truly celebrate and recognize all of the abundance around us. 2018 has been a year of highs and lows. Early in the year I found myself in a situation where I had to find a new job. It came unexpected and after I had been with my company for a few years. As this situation hit me, I realized, that even in a valley, I had so much around me to be proud of and be thankful for. I'm currently reading Lysa Terkeurst's newest book, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way and I highlighted a quote that spoke to me:
As I read that quote I reflected on a lot of things I encountered during the beginning of 2018. I looked back on where I was several years ago and thought to myself if I had to go through a job layoff then, I wouldn't have been as mentally prepared or able to overcome the hurt. Instead, I looked at the experience as one which provided growth and learning to occur. I continued to invest in myself and allow myself to heal, but focused only on the positive. It was an experience that opened doors for me, and as April 2018 arrived, I was in a new position, a better position, with a company that aligned closer with my goals, mission, and personal objectives.
You see, when bad things happen to us, we have a choice to fall down and let it impact us negatively, or rise above it, show gratitude, remain positive, and be faithful. I choose the latter, and I know that this attitude has provided abundance in my life. I am thankful for learning that bad things can happen to you in life, but how you react, will ultimately impact you greater than the initial happening. So, with that being said, in addition to job changes and transitions, 2018 has been an incredible year that I am extremely grateful for. 1. My oldest turned 12 and entered middle school. 2. My children are thriving in school and health. 3. I made a commitment to my health and have seen positive benefits. 4. I had a breast cancer screening in October 2018 that had some initial concerns, but after 3 follow-up tests, all was clear.
5. We went to Walt Disney World with my mom, aunts & uncles and family in February 2018.
6. I completed the Walt Disney World Princess 5K (with my 6 year old daughter), 10K and Half Marathon
7. We went on a Disney Cruise to the Western Caribbean
8. We visited Sea World
9. Our business is having a record year
10. We purchased our second Volkswagen Bus and completely restored it to add to our lineup at Idaho Photo Bus.
11. I got to travel to Orlando with my social retail company and be blessed with training, personal development and surrounding myself with industry leaders, passionate people, and friends who inspire me every single day!
12. I spent 6 separate weekends in Sun Valley, Idaho - one of my favorite places in our beautiful state.
13. I continued to have the opportunity to work from home and provide for my family, while being present in every school, athletic and extracurricular activity for my children.
14. I was able to pay for my kids to participate in soccer, basketball, dance, tumbling, theatre and music classes - I truly believe that these activities provide children with skills that will enhance their future for a lifetime!
15. I took time for my personal well-being and learned to say no to things that don't serve me or my family.
16. I was intentional in my daily devotions and prayer, and I know that this is what got me through some challenging times! 17. I was kind, never gossiped, and unconditionally loved those around me, even though it was not always the easiest thing to do. 18. I forgave those who had hurt me in the past and allowed love to guide me rather than hurt and past anger.
19. I became more active in my community and made a commitment to serve those around me.
20. I joined the PTA - something I never thought I'd do, but because of saying yes, I made some new friends and have been able to be more involved in my daughter's school.
21. I read more books and explored different genres, opening my mind to new thoughts, gaining additional knowledge, and educating myself further.
22. I was able to take several weekend trips with my family through Idaho and enjoy quality time with my husband and kids.
23. I spent less time on social media, and I know that this is ironic since my business is a social business, but it provided me the opportunity to be more intentional and focused in the things that I spend time on.
24. I took my dog for a walk through the neighborhood every day - it was bonding time with my beloved puppy and time to appreciate the beauty outside of my office/home walls.
25. I am thankful that after years of being self-conscious, I came to fully accept and love myself, faults and all.
26. The Greatest Showman - Yep, I'm listing a movie because this is one that inspired me, motivated me, and reminded me that it's never too late to dream big!
27. Family. We don't always see eye to eye, and we certainly have ups and downs, but family is everything.
28. My house. It's a place of love, seclusion from a busy and hectic life, and the place where I am able to feel secure.
29. Travel. I got to visit multiple cities and states for business and personal travel. It always makes me appreciate people, cultures, experiences more.
30. Idaho. I travel a lot, so when I am able to come back to Idaho, I am filled with peace. I love my home state and am blessed every day to live somewhere that I truly love.
31. Church. Thankful for a church I love and people who I love.
32. A God that forgives and loves even when I may be unloveable.
33. Dreams. Somedays I doubt what I'm capable of, but I continually dream big and am inspired to do more, be move, give more, and impact more.
34. Compassion. More so than ever, I watched people on social media fight when it came to differences of opinions, politics, beliefs, etc. I always found myself compassionate and trying to understand their point of view. I'm thankful for that ability to love people despite our differences.
35. Life. I experienced loss, watched those around me lose people they love and it just reminds me every single day to be grateful for the life I have. This is just a quick list and I know that there are so many additional things. I know that this is a season of Thanksgiving and taking time to be thankful for what we have, but I truly encourage you to have this same approach and attitude throughout the year, for it makes life that much sweeter if you can always appreciate the blessings around you!
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