Plan Be: What It Really Means to Be Strong

Crossfit Training Lifting Kettlebell Front

Ever since my divorce in 2014, I’ve thought about getting another tattoo.¬†But I couldn’t think of anything that really “nailed” what I wanted to convey permanently in art on my skin. Something I could look at every day and say – Yes. That.

Maybe I’m over thinking it. One of my strengths is that I’m good at thinking things through, but the flip side is I think too much. ūüôā But as I approach another birthday, I find myself pensive, as usual. Taking stock, looking back, peeking forward.

And then my friend Joe posed a link to this article/love letter/online dating profile for her husband by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a writer and fellow Chicagoan I adore: You Might Want to Marry My Husband. (Special thanks to my friend Susan for recommending her to me years ago.) I remember reading her witty books when my kids were babies and was heartbroken to learn of her illness. I am in awe of her grace, humility, prose, and beauty. Her strength, even in the midst of a dark time, is touching beyond any words I could muster.

This got me thinking about strength and what it really means to be “strong.” I used to want to be “strong” so badly. Continue reading “Plan Be: What It Really Means to Be Strong”

Grateful: Living each day as a thank you

I’ve been reading a new book that I wanted to tell you about. It’s called “Living life as a thank you: The transformative power of daily gratitude.” It’s about embracing gratitude in life wherever you can get it. With the economy still seemingly in free fall and bad news all around, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed by it all. So when I saw this little book on the store shelf, it struck me as something I needed to read. Now.

It’s a quick read, and it inspired me to try to think of 10 things I’m grateful for every night.¬†I’ve¬†added this as a new question¬†for my kids at the dinner table, too, to share one thing they are grateful for. Why¬†wait for Thanksgiving, right?

Honestly, it’s harder than I thought it would be. I’ve been focusing so much on the negative things going on that I’ve overlooked so much of the good things right in front of my face. My biggest takeaway is that it’s easier to be whiny than grateful, and I have a lot to be grateful for, which I seem to take for granted when I don’t make an effort to consciously think about it.

After trying this for two weeks, I can honestly say that I feel happier than I have in awhile, even after I read yet another¬†dire news report on the state of the economy or world affairs. So here are 10 things that I’m grateful for today:

  • My relative’s cancer is in remission.
  • My children are relatively healthy, happy kids.
  • Being married to my best friend.
  • A roof over my head and food on the table.
  • Knowing that I am loved and accepted for who I am by the people who matter.
  • My friendships.
  • My dogs.
  • Laughter.
  • Books. I am so very grateful for books.
  • My recent ladies-only trip to Vegas. Wish I could say more on that one, but, you know, what happens in Vegas…

How about you? What are you grateful for? Is it hard to remember to be grateful?