If you had to choose, what would be one word you would pick to describe 2017?
After the year I had, you may think I would choose something like:
Any of the above definitely depict my year. It's been a heavy fog of emotion and exhaustion. But I wouldn't choose any of them.
My word for 2017 is:
I have never felt such gratitude in my life.
Before Jeremy passed away I was grateful for my friends and family who were instrumental in supporting us. But after June 9th...everything was heightened to a level I have never experienced. I witnessed complete strangers pour in with support. I still get daily messages from people I'll never meet, sending love, compassion and understanding from every corner of the world. I am so grateful for this because it's made me feel less alone. The Mareathoner community is fierce. I experienced family and friends take multiple trips to see me and then not treat it like a vacation, but instead insist on doing whatever they could to help: paint, build furniture, cook, hug me while I cried, clean, problem solve, play with Thomas and so much more. I am forever grateful for their strength when I had none.
I've had people text and call, just to check in. Just to say something that is so important:
"I can't make your pain go away, but I will sit here with you so you know you are not alone."
This has been profound. I am so grateful for those who help with Thomas, ignoring my blood-shot eyes and whisking him away for a day to give me a break. I've seen growth in my business, adding new clients who see the value in my services and had long-standing clients be gentle with me as I regain my footing. My professional gratitude is endless. I am so grateful to own a business and get up every day doing what I love. Winning Young Business Leader of the Year from our local Chamber was an honour I'll carry with me always.
Now, you may be wondering how I found the strength to be grateful in the wake of such a horrific event. I get it. Honestly, it was the only way to go. I would have fallen into a deep, dark sadness with no direction. By finding even the smallest things to be grateful for, I saw light. Some days it was very dim, but it was there. When I started to focus on what I was grateful for, it was overwhelming! There is no way I could list every person, group and business that's been there for me this year.
I feel in losing my husband, I was taught what it truly means to be grateful.
Grateful for our years together.
Grateful for the countless lessons he taught me.
Grateful for his legacy in Thomas.
Grateful for his openness in helping hundreds of people.
Grateful for our inside jokes that come to mind.
Grateful for my library of videos of him.
Grateful for the strength he built in me through incredibly tough times.
I am grateful for so much this year. Yes, I am still in the thick of grief, experiencing the waves everyday. But I am grateful for you. I am grateful for so much.
What is your word for 2017?
(If you are reading this realizing you could work on actively being grateful, I started my 5 Minute Journal in May and that was a great kick-start for me. I also talked about being thankful in a recent blog post.)