|Autumn beauty in the city.|
This was a year of changes for me. Some good, some bad. I hurt more and cried more this year than I have in many. But I have also opened my head, my ears and my heart to receiving feedback that I would have rather not gotten. Criticisms that hurt and stung and caused me to question my life in a way that makes you feel lost and alone in the universe. I listened, though, and took them in.
|Strolling by the river down the block from my apartment.|
Lightbulbs. Lightbulbs made me happy. And batteries, and computers, and phones and cameras and probably half a dozen other electronic gizmos I rely on that broke and were replaced by someone who cared that my life would run seamlessly. And rolls of paper towels, and bottles of shampoo and giant boxes of aspirin made me happy. Because they were the things that made my life easier and took care of daily needs.
|A winding road through Pallisades Park. One of my favorite Thanksgiving weekend memories.|
Most of all I was happy with the time spent. The laughter, the shared gestures and inside jokes, the “us against the world” mentality that comes from a meeting of the minds. The rambling road trips, sometimes to nowhere, sometimes to locations I consider my happy places.
Throughout this year, I've never once been guilty of being ungrateful. But I have been terribly guilty of not expressing my feelings properly.
|The Montauk Lighthouse at dusk. Click here to read the story behind the photo.|
More often than not, the greatest pleasure I could have given someone was simply to let them know how happy they made me. But I allowed life’s problems and worries and trivialities to get in the way. Part of the growth I’ve been working toward is to make sure I am never guilty of that again. To make sure that I will not only treasure what I’ve been given but return the pleasure by expressing how much it means to me and how grateful I am that someone cared enough to make sure I had what I needed and wanted.
There are a couple of people in my life (one male, one female) whom I love more than I can say. And there is never a moment in my heart that I don’t bless the day I met both.
She was a birthday present, five years ago, and I can never look at her without thinking of the man who gave her to me. It was a gift that has brought me more joy than I can describe.
I don't know yet exactly how this journey will end. But while I’m wishing myself more happiness and personal growth in the coming months, I am remembering to express the gratitude I feel for what I have and what I've learned. And that includes all of you, who stop by here to read my words and give my recipes a try. When you leave me comments on how much you enjoyed one of them, it touches my heart, brings a big smile to my face and makes it all worthwhile.
Have a wonderful holiday, my friends, and tell someone you love how thankful you are for them and how happy they make you.