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A Year of Thanks

Updated: Dec 3, 2020


I know that 2020 has been nothing short of a dumpster fire in many ways. That said, there have been countless examples of amazing opportunities and blessings this year as well. I believe we see the world through a subjective lens that is of our own creation. Meaning, we can choose to see the bad, the challenging, and the disappointing OR we can choose to see the good, the hope, and the encouraging. I choose the latter.

With the year coming to an end and Thanksgiving last week, I want to highlight some of the things that I am grateful for so that I may inspire you to do the same. Here they are in no particular order...

  • I spent more time with my children due to my working at home than I have ever done before and may ever do again.

  • I ran (without stopping) further this year than I ever have in my life AND I am the oldest this year than I have ever been before. This means that I can push myself in ways I never have and I can accomplish outcomes never before achieved no matter how old I am or get.

  • I met so many amazing people this year--particularly through doing podcasts. (If you didn't hear them yet, no problem! I archive all of them here. You can also find upcoming podcasts announcements at the top of that same page. In the archive you will see that there are several to choose from as well as some guest blog posts I did for other blogs.)

  • I was a teacher again this year because I taught graduate students studying to become school administrators and I LOVED it! I learned so much from them and remembered why I love teaching so much!

  • I read and listened to so many amazing books this year including, but not limited to:

Finish by Jon Acuff,

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Atomic Habits by James Clear,

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Lindy West's books (all of them including The Witches are Coming),

The Power of Moments by Dan and Chip Heath,

The Body by Bill Bryson, and

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.

(I'm on Goodreads. Add me as your friend so we can see what each other is reading.)

  • I made two awesome quilts that I'm really proud of.

  • I made and have kept-up a sour dough starter and am now a pro with making sour dough bagels.

  • I played a lot of card games, which I love.

  • My first book was published! That was a dream-come-true!!

  • If I didn't know it already, I am certain of it now: the only real things that matter in this world are our health and our relationships with others.

If you know me, you'd know that I am not a Pollyanna. I can be critical and cranky. However, just because I can be that way does not mean I have to be. Sure, we do not have control over what happens to us; however, we can all make the choice about how we respond to what happens. I know, that when I respond negatively to a situation, that negativity permeates my life outside of that situation because it influences my perspective. Therefore, I consciously and actively choose to acknowledge that this may not be what I asked for, but there must be a way for me to find the good in the situation. Just like Alice Morse Earle said, "Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day," I say, every year may not be good, but there is something good in every year.


P.S. I'm launching a new feature on my blogs called the Catch of the Week. I've been doing this for years professionally when I write my Lyon's Letters. This first Catch comes to us from Steve Barkley, last week's guest blogger (if you missed it, check it out here). Here is his Catch...

I offer up a Ted Talk of Kent Pekel from Search Institute. With our current need to build the social and emotional strengths of students, the specific elements for building developmental relationships found in the video are very useful. The 4S’s interview provides guidance to unlock motivation for struggling students. More resources available at the Search Institute's website.

Are you interested in contributing a Catch of the Week?

Email me ( with your Catch of the Week.

It might make it to next week's post!

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