The past few weeks have capped off a very difficult year for my family, and for many people I know, and despite the fact that I actually had fewer parties and events to attend the holiday season has been more harried and generally less enjoyable than in years past.
Despite the challenges I've been trying to cultivate a spirit of gratitude, and as my work year winds down (I'll be on vacation from this afternoon through the New Year) I've been aware of many small blessings. Some of the things I have been grateful for just this week include -
- An interlude of beautiful harp and flute holiday music wafting through the library on Monday that provided a respite from the holiday rush. Thanks Ashley!
- The barrista at Starbucks this morning who upgraded my skinny peppermint mocha (a favorite holiday treat) to a larger size at no extra charge.
- Kind words and holiday wishes from members of the staff.
- Laughter at the daily staff meeting....its a pleasure to work with people who remember to laugh even when things get stressful!
- Finally getting a few minutes to read in front of the fire while listening to holiday music last night.
- A car salesman who had the courtesy to ask how I wanted to communicate and the graciousness not to pressure me....and as a result will get a sale.
- Time spent with family, however brief.
- The end-of-year decline in meetings and work commitments, which allowed me to catch up on projects and paperwork so I can start the new year with a clean desk (shown below for posterity since it may not look this way again after January 3rd!)
- Ending my term as Chair of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce, which has been rewarding but far more challenging than anticipated when I accepted the nomination as Chair-elect two years ago.
- The coming 10 days away from work which will give me a chance to recharge my batteries and (hopefully) get my home as ready for the New Year as my office now is.
Lastly, and this isn't a small blessing but a big one, I'm grateful to be able to have a job that I love in a beautiful part of the world and a spouse who accepts the demands of that job and supports me in many ways, not the least of which is doing far more than his share of the cleaning and other household chores.
Whatever holiday you are celebrating - Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice or Festivus - I hope you too have experienced blessings small and large.
Best wishes for 2012!