thankful

Every Thanksgiving I try to sit down for at least a few minutes and remember the things that I am thankful for over this past year. I’m typing this up a bit later than I usually like, but considering I spent a considerable amount of my time today in the kitchen with no computers around, I think it’s acceptable. I have so much to be thankful for this year. There have certainly been many points in the year in which I am reminded how wonderfully blessed I am. Where to start…

I am thankful for having the large supportive family that I have, both the one I was born into and the one that I was married into. Sean and I have made a few tough decisions this year and our families have been incredibly supportive in those decisions.

I am thankful for the friends that I have. I am thankful that one of my good friends has recovered from a serious accident late last year and got the opportunity recently to move back home finally. I am thankful that I have friends that I can call up late in the evening and still have a chat with them like we never stopped talking. I am thankful that I have friends that are willing to drive a distance to our house and sit down for a meal with us (even if it means they eat an experimental recipe).

I am thankful for my job. At the beginning of the year, I didn’t realize how much I would truly be thankful for something like that. I used to think that my job was so solid that nothing could touch it. Well, the economy’s gotten bad enough, that yeah, it’s definitely something to be thankful for. I am even more thankful that I have a job I can go to every day that I love. I might not love every day of my job, but the sum total of it is that I love my job.

I am thankful for the wonderful yoga community that I have become deeply embedded in over the past year. I’ve gone to my yoga studio for almost 3 years now, but studying to be a teacher has helped me discover so much more in that community that I never knew was there. I have developed friendships that I hope last my lifetime and I have learned so many new things about myself that I wouldn’t have had the courage to learn without the loving and understanding community that was there for me.

I am thankful to the craft beer community that has welcomed Sean and me into the group. I think that Sean and I have finally found a community that both of us can equally belong to. There are so many aspects to this that I don’t even know where to begin. I am thankful of finding a group of awesome women that support other women who love craft beer. I am thankful to the great guys that always have awesome beers on tap at the back of a Whole Foods Market (I swear it’s true). I am thankful to the terrific group of home brewers who have welcomed us into their group.

The one thing that I am most thankful for, though, is Sean. He has pushed me when I needed a push in the right direction. He’s given me hugs and kisses when I’ve needed them most. He’s cooked me countless dinners so that I can be out late at work or in a yoga class. He’s just been there for me whenever I’ve needed him.

I am thankful for the life that I have. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

to my husband on eight

Eight years ago we held hands during a thunderstorm and vowed that our lives would be bound together forever. Eight years later here we stand still together. We’ve had our bumps (I blame it on the lightning and thunder during the ceremony), but overall we’ve had a great eight years together so far. A lot has happened
this past year.

We got a chance to go snowboarding up at Snowbowl finally. You got a chance to spend a day cruising the blue slopes and I got a chance to realize how much fun snowboarding can be. I can’t wait to get another chance to go snowboarding with you again. Maybe one of these days we can even hit the slopes together and I’ll be able to keep up with you.

We survived me studying for my yoga teacher certification. We also survived you finishing your bachelor’s degree from ASU (I still think yours was the harder goal to accomplish) and we got a chance to celebrate with family and friends. We even finally got a chance to do a pig roast like we’ve wanted to do. It even came out tasting great!

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We have done a lot of home brewing over this past year. This has been a great journey to take with you because we’ve found a hobby that plays off of both of our strengths. I must say that it’s been a very tasty journey so far, too. We also discovered a great new community over this past year of homebrewers and beer lovers. I foresee many fun events and gatherings in our future.

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We always take a long vacation together. Part of the reason it’s so long is so that I have an opportunity to completely decompress from my job, but a lot of the reason I like taking such a long vacation is that it gives me so much time to spend with you. This year was no exception. We didn’t journey far from home this year. We just hopped over to California, but what a blast this vacation was! We surfed, we toured vineyards and breweries alike, we had lots of great food. Most importantly, we got to spend a lot of quality time with each other. That made every day on this vacation incredibly special to me.

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Eight years. Life has changed a lot over those eight years. I’m really glad that you’ve been a constant in my life and I’m looking forward to what the next eight years brings to our lives. Together.

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compassion

For the past four months, I’ve been studying to become a yoga teacher. At first, I thought it was because I just wanted to learn more about yoga. I wanted to delve deeper into the philosophy behind the asanas (poses). I wanted to learn about the different types of yoga. I thirsted for knowledge. Now that the classes are over and I’ve spend almost every weekend for the past four months with a group of some of the best people I’ve ever met (both teachers and my fellow classmates), I realized that I was lying to myself the whole time.

It started off simply enough. I met 13 other students who all had our own unique reasons for being in the program. We learned anatomy. We started to learn the philosophy of yoga. We learned the different types of yoga and how they were different. As we went through the program, though, I grew closer to the other wonderful people in class and I started to see myself a little bit more through their eyes. We started to tie the concepts we were learning into how to apply them to our own lives. I realized that every day, I went away from class not just learning more about yoga, but more about myself.

These past four months have taught me more about myself than I think I’ve learned over the past 30 years of my life. I have had opportunities in my life that have changed me irrevocably, but this I think has been the most profound. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is how I treat myself. I’m very negative to myself. I find the mistakes I make instead of the things that I do right. I then reflect that to the people that I interact with. I’m always internally nit picking everything apart.

This past week, I made a promise to myself. It seemed so easy. Practice compassion. This has been the hardest week of my life. I don’t even think the EIT exam was this hard. Every time I started to mentally pick at something that I did, I had to stop myself. Every time I started to get angry about how someone was treating me or something that someone else did, I had to catch myself. I caught myself hundreds of times. I stopped before I just reacted to the situation. I had to sit there and ask myself why I was reacting the way I was. It was so hard to evaluate almost every action that I used to just take for granted.

Now that I’ve made it almost a week (I made this promise to myself on Sunday night), I am finding it’s a little easier. I don’t say as many negative things about myself. I still get annoyed. My husband still gets to hear me vent about my day, but I realized that the anger behind it is mostly gone and I don’t have as much to vent about because I’ve let so much go already. It’s more that I’m sad that the situation occurred than angry. I also realized that I have more confidence in myself. Since I’m not so busy beating myself up, I’ve started to notice more the things that I do right or just what goes well in life instead of just the bad things.

Goal next week? I think I’m going to stick with this one for a little while. There’s a term in yoga called samskaras. They’re the habits that we form. Almost like grooves in our brains that make it easy for us to fall back into the way we’ve always done things. Maybe if I practice compassion long enough, I can form another samskara, but this time it can be more positive.