On this Thanksgiving, it’s hard for me to put into words just how thankful I am to be where I am in my life, at this very moment. Incredible.

Even more incredible is looking at my post last Thanksgiving and at that point, feeling so thankful for MY life and what it had become, only one year after being in such pain and sadness that Thanksgiving 2008. Who knew it would get better and better to this point today? Sure, this year has had its fair share of ups and downs, but it’s truly been the year of me, and to now include love within that life blows my mind.

So, the quote I’m using today, really does sum it up, for me, and for you, I hope, as you piece together the good in your lives, despite whatever bad may be brewing as well:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

What am I thankful for this year?

…my family, their good health, and our closer-than-ever bond (cue sisters!).

…my beautiful niece who I don’t think I could love any more than I do right now. She’s amazing.

…stability. in finances (somewhat), job, and personal health (these things we take for granted, sometimes, don’t we?).

…my friends. they’ve been my stability and my sanity. And always will.

…Doctor Boy. Enough said.

…my cats (yes, my cats!) and their health, especially Nala’s.

…happiness. Through and through.

…challenges and pain. Mentally and physically (cue half-marathon this year on the physical pain side..and challenge side).

…the potential that lies ahead. I know there is more to come, if I work at it, and that’s thrillling!

Be thankful. It’s a powerful feeling. Happy Thanksgiving all!

 

I feel amazing. Absolutely amazing! Today is Thanksgiving and it’s been a wonderful day from start to finish.

It’s an extremely powerful juxtaposition to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday. I was so raw emotionally from finding out that the supposed love of my life wanted out of our marriage, I felt as though I was walking around feeling like a combination of zombie, dumb-struck, sad, and well, raw. Looking back at that day, compared to today, if I could have fast-forwarded to today, at this very moment, I’m not sure if the “me” then would have felt hopeful, or scared shitless over what was to come over the course of the remainder of 2008 and 2009 to-date. I say that only because there have been a fair share of downs with the ups, and the road was long, windy, and at times, extreme.

Today, however, was awesome. I woke up bright and early for my very first 5-miler race with a bit of trepidation and anxiety (what can I say? I get “stage fright” before a race…worst fear being the last runner to cross the finish line!) but the race went off without a hitch. It was a gorgeous route, with scenic parks, the ocean, and the sun peeping through the fog. As I listened to some of my most motivating tunes, I got into the “zone” and began thinking of the year behind me. As each mile went by, I got a bit more emotional, treating those miles as the phases of the last year, the sadness melting into ambivalence, into happiness, and confidence. I finished the race in just under an hour – a bit slow, but I tend to run slower in race (and, I am a slow runner admittedly, but as a new runner, just starting in February, I think it was pretty respectable!), but was elated to birst across the finish line, feeling accomplished.

I headed up to Maine to see my grandparents and my mother and one of my sisters and my brother-in-law, and again, the juxtaposition with last year was evident. I felt great. Happy. NORMAL. Content. My grandparents were great, you could almost see that same feeling in their eyes (as well as my mom’s) and I felt proud. Of myself, and my life. At this very moment. MY life. I did this. I made it, and I’m so thankful. I couldn’t quite ask for much more right now. Thank you…to life.

You read that correctly! I am thankful for my ex-husband. Of course, that comes with a few caveats, of course. I say I am thankful for Pete because of a few reasons:

  1. he made a decision that I never would have made myself (as I’ve said before, I didn’t see or realize that our marriage had dwindled to basically a friendship), and that decision has led to a wonderful phase of my life that I wouldn’t trade anything for. I wouldn’t obviously give credit to him for where my life is right now, but for making the decision itself.
  2. we’ve worked hard at staying friends – something I didn’t think he would maintain, at the beginning. While I know this relationship will continue to evolve and shift, it’s been healthy for us to continue along, even as we both have entered the dating world in full force. He still comes to me for advice on some of it, and actually seems to appreciate the advice I give him (on dating, but on other things too – work, family etc) and, once in awhile, his advice to me isn’t so shabby either 😉
  3. we had a great “run” and I wouldn’t change that for anything either. We had a really good 10 year relationship and marriage, and I learned a lot from him, we had fun together, we took trips (Aruba, Hawaii, Vegas, etc) and as he told me once, he wouldn’t have wanted to spend that time with anyone else. I agree, I won’t forgot those moments, and feel good about it.

So, taking this not-so-literally, I’m more thankful for my ex for just that – making a decision I never could have, because it truly was (warning – cliche alert!!) a “blessing in disguise” and I really couldn’t be happier with where I am right now, in life, in friendships/family, and even, in the dating world! So, to quote Bryan Adams – these were some of the best days of my life (and I wouldn’t change anything about it!).

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On a side note…a few dating updates – I am going on date #4 with “the Russian” tonight…wish me luck (hoping this isn’t jinx-worthy…only jinx-worthy on first/second dates?!) and date #2 with boy #9 (brainy blonde) likely this weekend…stay tuned for all the details in a future post 😉

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I hit 15K views overnight – VERY excited to hit that milestone! I’m also arranging many more per day than I was even three months ago – just hovering around 100 hits a day. Very cool. Who knew blogging could be so fun?!

It’s only fitting that leading into Thanksgiving, I do a few posts on things I am thankful for. Today? I am thankful for taking chances, and here’s a few of the things I have taken chances on this year that have paid off pretty well:

  • Selling my house…even though it was a short sale. It was a huge risk, to say the least, with no definite outcome. And it had several more cons than pros, but for me, it was the chance I needed to take to truly move on – out of a bad investment, and out of what was my marriage and the “marital home.” I have no doubt that it was the right chance to take, no matter the financial ramifications.
  • Getting out of my comfort zone. My Group Kick training is LESS than a month away, and I’m still scared out of my mind, but also SO excited to get started. It’s going to stretch me out of my comfort zone constantly, and I need that. It’s the only way I grow.
  • Keeping an open mind…by meeting new people, whether they appear to be my “type” or not. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know that I have a “type” but I have had some great dates recently with those that have not nececssarily appeared to BE my type. Take “the Russian” for example (boy #10) – surprise – we had our third date last night! It was awesome…we went to dinner and then saw 2012. Cemented the fact that there is definite, strong, chemistry, and I truly like being around him, so it’s off to a good start. I think date #4 may be looming as well (funny enough, he asked me out for later this week, the same day as I have tentitvely made plans with boy #9 for date #2! We’ll see where that goes – stay tuned!).

Let’s face it – I was not one to go out on a limb or take chances before “the situation” began, and now, I feel like I am not only more WILLING to take chances, I look for chances to take, whenever I can. It’s helping me grow, it’s making me happier, and I’m learning a heck of a lot!

Wow. I am SO excited for the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s – and it is starting to hit me how happy I really am, and really optimistic about 2010. 2009 was a year of growth and renewal for me, but it had its fair share of ups and downs, obviously, as well. So, while last year the holidays were tough for me, as my emotions were so raw and I was just so sad, given how new the pending divorce was, at the time, this year, I am so excited to spend time with family and friends.

I was talking to my sister Jen about the holidays last night, and was sharing how happy I am going into the holidays, and thinking back to last Thanksgiving, when she made a really selfless decision for ME, to come spend Thanksgiving with me and my grandparents, while my brother-in-law went alone to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. It meant the world to me, and to this day, I am so grateful she did that for me, because I don’t think I could have gotten through the day without her.

So, looking at this Thanksgiving, and the holidays in general, I’m happy to also have the freedom to go whereever I want (rather than in years past, have to split time with my now-ex in-laws in CT., and my own family), when I want. It feels good to be able to do that, and get the most out of the holidays this year in particular. I have a lot to be thankful for, and will use some of this week’s posts to talk about all that I’m thankful for.

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On a side note, I’m also looking forward to Thanksgiving as I am running my first 5-miler race with my sister Jess and my brother-in-law. Last year, I remember watching them run it and wonder how they do it, as I had never run a step before, let alone run. I love a good workout but running was always my stumbling point. I started running in February and have worked my way up to a handful of 5Ks, and am looking forward to conquering a longer 5-mile run! I’ve been doing it weekly, leading into it, so I think – and hope – I am ready!

Happy (quote) Friday everyone! Today’s quote follows along the theme I’ve come back to quite a bit over the last few months, in particular, about finding that slice of happiness no matter what, “seeing the forest from the trees,” taking a step back and just taking stock in all the good in life, rather than harping on all the bad (when oftentines, the good FAR outweighs the bad, yet we let it steamroll us into sadness, negativity etc).

Sooo, today’s quote:

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”~Frederick Keonig

I just love this quote for so many reasons – it articulates what I feel I’ve learned and captured throughout this journey in one simple sentence. And, it can be applied to everyone’s lives, not just those going through divorce, but any hardship. And it is so utterly true – it ISN’T what we don’t have, it is what we DO have that we need to appreciate, cherish, and be absolutely thrilled for, not the things that we don’t have…whether that’s money, or a partner, or a better job, or skinnier thighs, or a whiter smile, or blond hair when you have red, or smaller feet!

Be happy, be thankful, be appreciative…it doesn’t get much simpler, and that sense of perspective and perception is really a learned trait. I feel I’ve learned it, yet am always working on maintaining that (especially in a moment of sadness, or low self-esteem etc). Lesson learned…over, and over, and over again.

Happy Friday everyone…hope it’s a good one!!

I’m feeling pretty good today. No real reason, just optimistic about things. Much better than how I felt after learning about CSBGF’s existence and questioning whether I’m ready to dive into the dating world or if it’s too scary. And I realize time and again, your mood is dictated by your disposition and your outlook, hands down. No matter what, if I am feeling positive, despite my mood, or environment or whatever the case may be, I get through whatever is frustrating or hurting or bothering me SO much better than if I just trudge through it angrily or sadly.

Today’s blog from Joel Osteen speaks to this really well – so the timing is perfect for my post today:

Do you wake up every morning ready to embrace the day, or do you allow your circumstances to dictate your attitude? Whether you realize it or not, attitude is a choice. We all face difficulties. We all have obstacles that can seem impossible to overcome. However, the difference between those who are able to rise above their adversities and those who get stuck in them is their attitude.

You don’t have to be around our ministry very long to hear a message on having a thankful attitude. A thankful attitude is a form of praise that shows that your faith and hope is in God. I believe it is one of the main keys to living the abundant life God has in store because when you choose a thankful attitude, you are choosing life. You are connecting yourself to your Creator God who is the source of all life. You are opening the door for Him to move on your behalf.

Today, you may have some negative things happening. You may have some challenges or unexpected situations in your path, but remember, a thankful attitude and a heart of praise will keep you connected to your Life Source. Choose life today by choosing to worship Him in all that you do.

I absolutely love this message – CHOOSE life and have a thankful attitude..because whether you believe it or not, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, no matter what. And realizing that is honestly the first step to sustained happiness and a positive outlook on life. As was evident in my range of feelings over the past week, I still have a LOT to learn and a lot of strength to develop (even though I have learned a lot and grown more strength than I thought I ever had) and I’m actually really looking forward to continuing to get stronger and smarter about who I am, what I want, and where I want to go.

Happy fourth of July weekend everyone…be safe, have fun, and give thanks.

PS – figure it’s time to finally add a pic of myself to this blog I now call home. Check it out – under the “who I am” section.