Waking up filled with gratitude


It’s my blogging hour — early in the morning on New Year’s Day.

Except for the sounds of the furnace and Morning Edition on Iowa Public radio, the house is quiet. Here I sit at the computer with a cup of coffee at my side.

I didn’t expect to be here this morning. After all, I did just barely manage to stay awake long enough to ring in the New Year, so I got about five hours of sleep. But it’s a rare day with really nothing to do until the Rose Bowl kicks off at 4 p.m. And I don’t feel as if I have anything important to say. So, I thought I might sleep in.

But I awoke at about the same time I get up every morning, feeling an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and momentary contentment. Like nearly everyone, I will face trials and challenges in 2016. There are parts of my life I am still working to change and improve. But I’ve overcome enough in the past few years to know I’m up to whatever challenges happen in the future.

Then, then I read this blog this morning. It was a good reminder to not take for granted the parts of life that are already pretty great and to stay focused on the great opportunities waiting in the year to come.

What are those great parts?

Well, we rang in the New Year at an impromptu party with seven of our good friends and had a wonderful evening. It was exactly what I had imagined. To put it in perspective, on Tuesday evening, 48 hours before New Year’s Eve, I said to Janet: Let’s invite some friends over and throw our own party, eat our own food, drink our own drinks, listen to our own music, talk, laugh, etc.

The paella Janet made for New Year's Eve dinner.
The paella Janet made for New Year’s Eve dinner.

Janet responded by helping contact friends, overseeing the cleaning of the house and fixing an incredible meal — in other words, taking my suggestion and making the whole thing happen in two days while doing everything else she usually does every day. If nothing else good had happened to me in the past year or two, having an amazing partner like that would be more than enough for which to be grateful.

Add to that the vacation we took last year with Macy and Jacob to San Diego, a place I had never visited, the fact that we all went on RAGBRAI together last year and have some vacation plans already in the works for this year, well, you may begin to see why I feel so lucky. Did I forget to mention that we went to Disney World in late 2014?

Old friends and longtime blog readers know that I was downsized out of my old career in 2012 and that I began to make the transition from newspaper guy to development and fundraising guy. In 2015, I made great strides in that transition — so much so that I’m really excited about the professional opportunities and challenges awaiting me in 2016. The idea of going back to my old career never crosses my mind. I’m certain I’m doing the kind of work I am supposed to be doing.

And when I feel like writing, I’ve got this little blog. I’m grateful for those of you who stop by here when I feel like posting something. Thank you for reading. I wish you much success and happiness in 2016.


4 thoughts on “Waking up filled with gratitude

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