(Slightly edited and cross-posted from the November 2015 AWS Connections)
I started an active gratitude “practice” a few years ago in which every week I sit down and document at least one thing for which I am grateful. Granted, there are some weeks that gratitude is easier and more obvious than others, but that practice really does help keep me focused on the good things that are present in my life. I also find that it helps me turn challenges and frustrations on their head.
So, what am I grateful for in November 2015? Plenty of things.
- I have a home that I love in a city that I love that I share with amazing rescue animals who I love.
- Good coffee.
- My Mom lives 1½ miles away from me and is always here when I need a hand or an ear…or a hot meal that I didn’t have to cook.
- I have this tribe of people in my life who have huge hearts and huge vision and huge hopes for the future. Those kindred spirits are who pull us through the tough days, aren’t they?
- Dark chocolate.
- My professional life has reached this beautiful point where I am able to spend a great deal of time focusing on mentoring and giving people a hand up.
- Running (especially running with friends).
- My personal life has reached this beautiful point where I am able to spend a great deal of time focusing on giving back, both financially and personally.
- Winter retreat plans in Montana.
- Because of my academic activities and my role as the AWS President and within the ACS this year, I have incredible opportunities to reach out regarding the continued relevance of diversity in surgery and healthcare.
- Summer vacation plans in the wilderness in Alaska.
- Have I mentioned my Burn Unit Family/ team/ tribe? Because I can’t step back without mentioning these amazing people. We love BIG. We do hard things. We take care of the people. (And I don’t have a recent photo of us…so the one below is the best exhibit I can give. We apparently need to get a new family photo.)
Even if times are hard for you right now, it’s my deepest wish for you that you will be able to find something, no matter how small, as a source of gratitude today. And tomorrow. And each day following.