Dear Internet, I'm having a great day, and I wanted to put this out there, and keep it in a place where I can refer back to it when days get rough. So I'm writing a love letter to almost everyone and everything I can think of.......
I am not unique in this world to say I love my family. I love my husband more than words can express; we go way back and understand each other better than anyone else. I am grateful that my children are happy and healthy and in a place where they receive excellent care and education. To that end, I love Michaelene Parks, their teacher, and Third Street Alliance. I can't say I always love the challenges my children present sometimes, but I am grateful for what they have taught me about myself thus far, and themselves. And I love my parents: they are the first experience we have with love, and damn, they gave me and my sister and good one. My mother had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met.
I love all the people who are, as I like to say, "on my team:" those dear souls whose experiences right now are all dovetailing into one big spiritual soup of change. I think of my sister, whose own path so closely aligns with my own--we are truly each other's biggest cheerleaders right now, I think. I'm grateful she has found an awesome job where her big boss applesauce buys the staffers a Vitamix and tells everyone to not eat lunch at their desk. (Go HuffPost!) I'm endlessly grateful toward my friend Jessica, who is a shining beacon of light and love. Thanks for clearing the pathways and for sharing your gifts with all of us. (Please buy one of her awesome vibration-raising t-shirts.) I have gratitude toward every single yoga teacher I've ever taken a class with, past and present; you've all informed me, shaped me, helped me, challenged me, encouraged me, laughed with me. We are on this path together, people.
I love my work, even as the definition of "work" is shifting. It all involves food and writing and travel in some regard. I love the time I have spent as a travel writer with Frommers. I suspect it's not totally over yet, but it's shifting for now. I love the people. I am so grateful for those opportunities. I learned today that someone in my new "work" (Beth) knows someone from my old "work" (Stephen). Love those synchronicities! I cherish the encounters, the people I continue to meet as a result of following food love. To that end, I love all of the hilarious people at the Cosmic Cup for the community building that place creates, and the opportunities it provides. I love Warm Sugar and Artisan's Kitchen Project--a new place that's selling my baked goods. I love the food writers I've met in the past year, too. I can't believe the generosity of spirit of those who have offered their advice and insights and help. It seems that the culinary community really understands karma. Or maybe because there is just so much love when it comes to good food, that the professional world of food is necessarily, happily, not like most other working communities. Whatever the case is, I'll take it.
I am grateful and dearly love all of my creative friends who inspire me and challenge me and collaborate with me and provide opportunities for me to stretch my writing and cooking muscles--and photo taking muscles, too. (It's a process.)
I love my doctors and healers and all those who look after my health and that of so many others. I love my holistic, crazy-smart, nutritionally-savvy chiropractor and his entire staff (yay Dr. Smith); I love my primary doc and my ob-gyn for being so proactive and full of common sense. I love my pediatrician because he helped center me when I first met him and was crying in his office, while pregnant, just weeks after my mother passed away. The compassion he exhibited was more than I expected and just what was needed. We looked no further. I love the fact that his office calls our house the morning after one of our kids is there for a visit, to check up on how Miles or Desmond is feeling.
I am grateful toward my friends, and yes, even grateful for Facebook, because it gives me such small glimpses into the very busy and interesting lives of very old friends from high school (even when it means there's a Facebook fast!), whether that's someone's art work, someone's dinner, something funny someone's child said, or just a random observation or memory. I am grateful that it shows me how similar we all are, at the end of the day, despite whatever has come between us--time, space, memories, silly disputes, or what have you. I am grateful for the serendipity it has permitted in terms of our ability to connect with people we don't quite know well. I am grateful for what social media has brought me in terms of work, community building opportunities, and the ability to share things that I love, and talk about them. What's the point of it all if you can't share?
Speaking of social media, it's enabling me to hear about the progress of pregnancies right now, of friends who are near and far. I'm so grateful. Jim and Lisa, you will be awesome parents. There is going to be a ton of laughter in your new place in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown/literary New York State scary-ville. I can't wait to visit you with cupcakes and cookies and our boys and see how your little girl is experiencing the world. I love that John and I will be able to share our experiences with twin parenting with such dear friends, Jim and Kate, who are facing the arrival of twins in a couple of months. It's a huge gift, sharing the ups and downs of twin pregnancies and twin raising. We don't go through tough times for nothing. If we can't help each other, lean on each other, laugh about stuff and cry about stuff, then what's the point?
I know there is much more I am missing, forgetting. But you know I love you, so it's all good, right?
PS: Did you get my Simpsons reference in the headline?