Today was a day of reflection, rest and counting my blessings. Yesterday was Black Friday and the day before that was Thanksgiving. In the past, our Thanksgivings were bigger and most everyone on my Mom's side would be in attendance. This year it was a smaller affair and we were missing some special people, but we made the most of the day, had a nice meal and lots of laughs. I also learned a thing or two about myself. As I reflect on this Thanksgiving I realize some great life lessons and find that I have so much to be thankful for.
Family is key to a happy soul and I am blessed to have an amazing core unit. I am exceptionally thrilled to have a closer bond with my brother. We've had our moments of childishness as well as sibling rivalry, but as we move into this stage of our lives, we seem to understand each other more than ever. I no longer get sad when he leaves because I want to keep him here in my old selfish ways. When he leaves I truly tear up for the mere fact that he makes life so much better when he's here. He's like a bundle of joy and laughter and you just want to be around him always, because he shines. I am so in awe of my baby brother and all his intelligence, curiosity, courage, hilarity, and focus. When he was here he got his first Hole In One at the golf course and he was so excited and so proud, but humble. He's not a braggart or an "in your face" kind of guy with his successes, which he's had many in his 23 years. I'm so lucky to know him, to know he has my back, and to feel closer to him than I have in years. He's a positive person. A "Can Do," "You Can," "Go for it," kind of person. My Mom is also a very life affirming person. She believes in my brother and I and will defend our honor no matter what. I find so much strength and love from her warm and unconditional heart. She is my very best friend and we often lean on each other. Any hour of the night, I know I can call her. If I didn't have her close to me, I'd surely be lost. She's just that safe haven of a person whom you can always go to for advice and love. I am beginning to see a pattern... If you have positive people around you or close by that are lifting you up and giving support and love unconditionally, you feel invincible.
Well, I'm not invincible yet. My theory is that you'll never be 100% invincible. If you were, what would you have left to live for? Nothing to learn, no way to grow? No way to live. I do, however, feel a few steps closer to being 100% secure in who I am, what I stand for and that's in great part to my dear friends and core family. The people in your life matter greatly. If you always hear criticisms or insults - it can hinder how you think or see the world. There are many things some people do so casually, in everyday life, that are negative and detrimental behaviors. Some people gossip, criticize other's looks, criticize choices that are not their own, feel entitled, or act two faced. When dealt these scenarios over and over again by people in your circle - it takes a toll on your mental and emotional well being. It is so important to recognize the cycle of negativity around you and detach from it. There are so many positive people in the world that you should surround yourself with them instead.
I recently found myself having to stand up for what I found going against my grain. Now, for those of you who know me, I am shy and hate confrontation. I'm reserved and usually write out what hurts because I'm afraid of being myself. Scared to show that I'm a strong woman with morals and opinions for fear of rejection or criticism. Proudly, I can say that I stood my ground and finally said what I felt. It felt good, but it wasn't without hitting a wall. The person in which I spoke my mind to, wouldn't listen. I stood my ground and that is what matters. Though, I do understand now, why emails have been exchanged in the past to convey feelings and thoughts. It's no fun to talk to a wall. When one person is hard headed it makes for a very messy conversation full of tension. I'm proud for speaking up then, but there were other instances which didn't directly affect me, when I should have spoken up as well. That is something I need to work on. Silence is not loyalty. I need to stand up for those who are dear to me because we all need each other. Why not be an advocate for those who matter to you? It's very important. Even though you don't add to the negativity, you're letting it unfold and that can weigh on you. It's so important to also form your own opinions of other people by their words and their actions. Do NOT judge others by their "reputation" or from hearsay. It's not a fair assessment.
This year's Thanksgiving has taught me a lot. I didn't overdo it when it came to prepping my contribution to the meal which made me less stressed and I enjoyed EVERYTHING so much more. No my pie wasn't perfect, but it made for some funny Ryguy commentary and it'll be one of those great Thanksgiving stories. "Remember when Jennie made that pie with sand for crust?" I had a blast and was genuinely myself
I sincerely miss those who were not with us around the dinner table, but know they are happy and healthy. Their positivity and kindness are qualities dearly missed. I know that we will all be together again soon and that's what keeps us all going and getting through any hard times. The memories of visiting them (Lucky us, to have experienced Idaho - once in Winter and Once in the Summer) and investing in our loving relationships make it easy to know where we stand with each other. You have to invest, if you want a return. That goes for any part of life... not just economics. If you make time for people, they'll make time for you. When you share positivity and love, you share happiness. How I wish it could be that easy with everyone, but life ain't always easy. It's the hardships that give value to the good times.
You want respect, credibility, loyalty, trust, love, and positive energy? It's easy - give as much as you hope to receive, but give it, without expectation! Also know that some people won't give it back and you just have to have faith that those who matter will. Life is a beautiful array of moments... paint yourself happiness... I've only begun my life's art work, but how it's shaping up to be a masterpiece. Every day is beautiful because it's full of possibility, positivity and LOVE! Be kind and give the benefit of the doubt! Mwah!