A lot of people are doing year in review posts- on their blogs, on Facebook, on Instagram. I don't really want to do that. This year has been full of ups and downs. But, what year isn't?
Instead of reviewing, in pictures and detail, everything that has happened this year, I want to talk about what got me through the good and the bad: gratitude.
I have learned that gratitude is my new favorite secret weapon. In good times and bad, gratitude will see me through.
It's easy to express gratitude during the good times, and yet, how often do we stop what we are doing to do just that?
It's not nearly as easy during bad times, but I have found that it makes all the difference. When it feels like the world is crashing down around you, turning to gratitude literally changes your heart.
When I hit rock bottom financially, I found gratitude in the support of my parents, as well as in the necessary, life- changing lessons.
When a good man came back into my life, I was grateful for God's plan.
When I finished grad school, I found gratitude in the opportunity to start a new career path.
When I made the move back to Wisconsin, I was grateful for the love and support from friends and family- those in Wisconsin and in Denver.
When I was offered the job at Viterbo, I was grateful for a new beginning.
When my heart was broken in July, I found gratitude in the journey, the memories, and the chance to redefine myself.
When I decide to devote myself to being single, and when that decision left me lonely and confused and messy, I found gratitude in God's love for me and in the knowledge that I am enough.
When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I found gratitude for modern medicine, for the power of prayer, and for all the extra weekends that I was able to get back to Appleton to spend with her.
Gratitude. It made 2014 one of the most defining years of my life thus far. My faith has grown exponentially, I'm happier than I've ever been, and I feel blessed beyond words.
I hope you're able to look back on your year and find gratitude in all of the experiences.
Here's to 2015. Happy New Year, friends and family!