It's really been an amazing year! On this journey to Become My Best Self, I've really done some exploring, soul searching, horizon-expansion, and a plethora of other things. I feel so proud to be affiliated with the actions and people of this past year. So it's time to reflect on this for Thanksgiving and talk about the things I've grateful for this year. There are so, so many....
1. As always, my amazing and loving husband. In 2015, Charles taught me to swim and not be afraid of open water...he helped me get through my first Olympic Distance Triathlon, he supported my running and the trials that came with an incredibly stressful work year...he loved me every single day and tolerated my shit. I'm very aware that I'm not an easy person to live with. I'm horribly impatient and I don't always listen. I'm married to a saint, and I'm so very grateful for all that Charles does for me.
2. I never thought I would leave college housing. I thought that was my calling. I loved making a difference in the lives of students and being influential with young professionals. And when Chico State ruined that for me...well, my former supervisor ruined it for me...I was just hoping to land a job that didn't suck and paid well. The main goal was getting back to SoCal for Charles.
Boy, did I luck out. Landing my gig as Director of Operations at PCC has been a true blessing. I still make a difference in the lives of students; i can still be influential with young professionals. And I have a boss who doesn't ruin stuff. She mentors me, encourages my creativity, gives me autonomy and room to grow. I am so very grateful for Bobbi Abram and my amazing position with the Foundation.
3. I haven't been with all my siblings since my father passed away. That was February of 2007. I've seen my sisters since then - for Leeanne's wedding - but not all the kids or my brother. And that is why (even though it was stressful as all get-out, LOL), I am so grateful this year for my sister-in-law, Heather Mayer, and her suggestion that we all meet up in Nashville during the time when Charles and I competed in the Music City Triathlon. My nieces and nephews are growing so fast...they all have such amazing stories...The Twins are turning in to little ladies and Joey "The Tank" is a regular gentleman. And while negotiating the entire trip was a little wack, I really had an amazing time and it was an absolute dream to have them all at the finish line after five+ hours on the course. Wow.
4. And speaking of that Music City Triathlon...did I mention that I was able to see my best friend, too? Bryce Thomason has been my friend since before I met my husband. And while I'm lucky if I get to see him once a year, I'm so very blessed that anytime we spend together it's as if no time has passed. Along with Bryce being in town for the Music City Triathlon, he brought Shannon Prewitt and Corey Williams with him. And that always makes for a fun weekend. Not to mention...being in Nashville means spending time with Crystal Collins. I treasure each and everyone one of these amazing friends of mine and feel so very blessed that they are part of my life. I'm so lucky.
5. I'm incredibly grateful for the amount of knowledge and experience I've gained this year thorough websites and podcasts. I've listened to every 2015 episode (plus a shit-ton of older episodes using the app) of the Rich Roll Podcast. Same for the Food Heals Podcast. I've explored No Meat Athlete Radio and the Model Health Show. And so many, many more. While this is not the same as reading, it's still an incredibly active way to learn, experience, and peruse new information and ways of thinking. These podcasts have taught me so much about plant based nutrition, health and fitness, ethics and values, and how to be a better athlete. I hope I can keep this momentum (plus more audio books and real books) into 2016, because I really do feel so much more informed on topics that have become very important to me.
6. Finally, I'm very grateful for finally having the wherewithal to stand on both feet and say, "I'm vegan." And to know truly why I'm doing it. I am very proud for beginning the process of aligning my values with my lifestyle. I feel very strong and content knowing that I'm doing my part to show compassion for animals, to vote with my dollars and not support so much factory farming, and fuel my body with high-vibrating fuel. I won't always be perfect - but I'll continue to make progress. And that feels pretty freaking good!
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend! Here comes December!!