Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Day of Gratitude...

Happy Thanksgiving!  My favorite holiday.  All the love and family and yummy grub of Christmas, but without the pressure to wow with photo cards, decor, and presents.  My Mom actually grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and I remember spending the majority of my childhood Thanksgivings at my Nana and Grandpa's house~ the same house in which my Mom grew up.  Plymouth is a quaint, beautiful little beach town that is every bit the Home of Thanksgiving it's cracked up to be.  Nana worked at Plimoth (yes, it was spelled the old fashioned way!) Plantation for years, and she would hand Mom and me our Pilgrim garb upon arrival and haul us off to volunteer during Thanksgiving Day festivities.  Somehow, Dad was always off the hook from dressing up, and he relished snapping incriminating photos of the two of us looking uncomfortable and ridiculous.  It's funny, though, what you appreciate as you get older.  I miss Nana's stash of peppermint Tic-Tacs.  I miss the smell of Grandpa's aftershave~ which, I'm now pretty sure was mixed with the scent of Ben-Gay.  I miss the creaky, so-steep-they're-silly stairs in the house.  I miss the Massachusetts accents and practicing saying words like "hauce" instead of "horse."  I miss playing endless rounds of Cribbage, Go Fish, and Gin Rummy with them as Mom read a book and Dad watched TV or napped in the background.  I am so thankful for every moment I got to spend with my grandparents and every moment I spent in wonderful Plymouth.

Last year, I participated in the '21 Days of Gratitude' Challenge that sporadically sweeps across Facebook and the Internet.  I began each day journaling about everything for which I felt grateful~a habit I have tried to sustain mentally through daily meditation.  This year had its challenges.  Today though, on Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much in my life.   In honor of the 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge, here is my speed version for 2012:

I am grateful for...

1.  My sweet and supportive husband.
2.  My parents.
3.  My 2 adorable cats, Dockers and Martin, who are 100% love & keep us endlessly entertained.
4.  Marine Street Cafe ~ our new favorite neighborhood coffee/food spot.
5.  My amazing, talented, hilarious, and supportive girlfriends.
6.  My dear friend, Amy Ross, my BFF from high school who is, to this day, the 1st person to call me on my birthday every single year.  Words cannot express my appreciation.
7.  My yoga students, who inspire me daily.
8.  The gluten-free aisle at Whole Foods.  Thank you, God.
9.  Speaking of food, I am so thankful for Pamela Salzman and her incredible cooking classes.  Because of her, I now actually believe I am capable of creating healthy, tasty meals even with my limited chopping skills and teeny counter space.  Who knew?
10. Pinterest.   The binder situation was getting out of control.
11. The opportunity to re-connect with old friends and out-of-touch family this year.  Despite distance and busy lives, I have never stopped wondering how everyone was.  It feels good to say hi again.  :-)
12. Fit On spin classes!!!!  (this will be its own blog post...coming soon!)
13. The Pujalets, Vances, and Zunichs. :-)
14. The opportunity to travel so much this year!  Australia, New York/Brooklyn, Tahoe, San Francisco, Maui, camping at El Cap...good for the soul...
15. Our teacher trainees, their hard work and dedication, and my "business partner" and friend, Shelley Williams.  The schedule is grueling, but the reward is spending time with all of you!
16. Coconut Bliss~ specifically, Cappuccino, Ginger Cookie, and Chocolate-Peanut Butter.
17.  Ely, our waiter at Pancho's.  He has worked there for 35 years, drives all the way from Sylmar to work, knows our drink order, teaches us Spanish, and greets us with a hug.  He is one of the most darling souls I have ever met.
18.  The Voice.  Finally, a TV show that Darren and I can agree on!
19. My yoga practice~ I shudder to think what a nut ball I'd be without it.
20. Our home.  It's very small, with tandem parking and a lack of storage space.  The plan is another 1-2 years.  But it's cozy and warm and 1 block from the Strand, walking distance to El Porto and downtown Manhattan Beach, with a peekaboo ocean/sunset view from our bedroom window.  I feel incredibly fortunate to live where we do.
21.  The wonderful, engrossing, inspiring books I have read this year and the time to read them!  Some of my faves:
Discovery of Witches (Harry Potter-esque, romantic, and brainy)
Gone Girl (so clever and so sick!)
Wonderful Tonight (memoir from the woman who inspired "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight")
What Remains (if you love good writing, tragedy, and the Kennedys, this one's for you!)
Cutting for Stone (heartbreaking...just beautiful)
And Then There Were None ( this is why everyone loves Agatha Christie!  brilliant.)

Have a beautiful day, friends.  Love, Gen


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