End of year gratitude exercise - full of admiration for so many people

2016 was humbling and frustrating. Despite occasional self-doubt and some despair, we strive to see the positive. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” –Thornton Wilder

Our boys with their baby cousin

Our boys with their baby cousin

As our year ends, thank you. Compiling this list reminds us of all the good...

  1. Our family members lead with unconditional love. Our oldest begs to spend time with his grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles daily. We aspire to follow their outstanding example of selfless love.

  2. Our children remind us to choose hope. They watch and listen to everything we do. We prioritize and do our best.

  3. Friends ground us. They help us define personal goals and work toward them. They offer a shoulder for our tears. Friends believe in us. They drag us to that party and back us up in karaoke. They give us space when we know we just need to make it through the day. We cherish quality time and make memories.

  4. Teachers and school administration inspire our family. They patiently taught our boys Christmas songs and dance moves for three school shows! They empathize when I frantically search for something at the school. They remind us to not worry about fleeting things that don't matter. Our kids matter most.

  5. We learn from other parents. Our boys' friends' parents shower them with love. Together, we show up for our kids and hold on to tender moments when our boys lock hands. We try to figure out the puzzles of our family life.

  6. Mentors guide. Our boys most look up to their father. Dear friends and colleagues challenge us to do better. They coach us through our insecurity and doubts. They remind us to focus.

  7. Local and national service people help keep us safe. May all children feel safe at home.

  8. Thank you dear neighbors. Some of ours invite our boys to play with their kids just when we need a few minutes of quiet. They leave cookies at our door step and even play last minute Santa on Christmas Eve!

  9. Our faith leaders lead us toward the light. Our priest told the story of how baby Jesus was swaddled on Christmas Day. He encouraged our parish to show others love all year. May the spirit of the season soar into the New Year.

  10. Writers inspire with eloquent words. Reading their work infuses us with gratitude.

  11. Just as someone may frustrate you, a positive person working at Seven Eleven on Christmas Day shines their light.

  12. We leverage the wise words of our medical professionals. They remind us to be consistent.

We feel blessed that our family shares holidays with loved ones. We must act to show our appreciation. Our gratitude questions are ready for our six-year-old and almost four-year-old boys...

How do you help other people? Who are your people?

My intention for the next year is to be my best self. May we surround ourselves with positive people.

Again, thank you dear reader! Best wishes for a happy, healthy and joyous New Year! XO

RELATED: Leverage mindfulness and Ten Ways to be Your Best Self in 2016

LAST POST: Find your mindful peace with holiday music

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