Gratitude. What is it? It is an attitude that I try to live my life with. Today, after spending the most amazing weekend in California at the "Launch Your Creativity" event put on by my dear friend Sharon Hughes from Pansy Cottage and Garden, I would like to share some of the things that I am truly grateful for.
When Sharon first asked me to speak at LYC, I immediately said yes. Afterwards I asked myself “Why did I do that??” Public speaking is something I haven’t done since 10th grade. (I don’t really count my panel discussion at TCC since I was on stage with several other speakers and really didn’t say all that much.) I was really stepping outside my comfort zone on this, but a voice inside me told me I should do it. I’m so glad I did! If you can imagine a room full of beautiful (yes, we are ALL beautiful )and talented (yes, we are ALL talented) women all getting together to offer support and encouragement to each other, sharing stories of success, and offering ideas on how we can all achieve it... THAT is what LYC was like. It was a reminder that we can all do anything we set our hearts and minds too. I am not only grateful for the other fabulous speakers who shared their knowledge and taught us all some very valuable information, I am also grateful to all the women who attended the event. Many of you gave me a very valuable gift. Your own words of encouragement, affirmation and gratitude, and I am forever grateful to you for that.
So, let me talk a little about my gratitude for my friends. It knows no bounds. For many years before joining the blogging community, my friends were very few few and far between. In High School, most of friends were boys and even as an adult, it was difficult for me to make lasting friendships with most of the women that I knew. (Don’t ask me why, I have no idea) Then I started my blog and found a whole world full of women who I could relate too. Building on-line relationships became important to me, and when some of those on-line friendships turned into real honest to goodness, “call me if you ever need anything, I’m here for you, you matter to me” friendships... well, let’s just say I was a very happy girl. (You know who you are girls, both here at home and across state lines and I give thanks for you every single day.) Well this weekend I added one of the most generous, warm and nurturing women I have ever known to my list of true friends. I don’t know if you have ever experienced an instant connection with someone where you immediately felt like you had known them your whole life, but that is how I felt when I met Sharon. From the first time we spoke on the phone, it felt comfortable, easy. Hanging out with her, was like hanging out with the sister I never had. I know we are are going to continue to become great friends and am so grateful that she is now a part of my life.
And speaking of friends... I am grateful to all of you...those of you who comment and leave words of encouragement that make me smile, and those of you who silently visit, leaving your mark because I know you are here hanging out and enjoying what I have to share with you. I give thanks for all of you everyday, because if it weren't for you , the labor of love that is “My Desert Cottage” would not be nearly as much fun.
Now that brings me to another thing that I am sooo very grateful for...When thinking about what I wanted to say in my speech for this weekend, I was reminded at how very blessed I am to have a career that I love. I remember 2 years ago when I lost my job and felt so lost. You were all there to pick me up and tell me it was going to be okay. And you right. It was okay. Because of all you wonderful gals, I was able to start my dream business and make a success of it. To all of you who have hired me to help decorate your blogs so they are a true reflection of you, I cannot thank you enough. I am so grateful that you believed in me and allowed me to follow my dream. And to all the gals out there who may become Valentine Design clients in the future... I am REALLY grateful to you too, because you are helping me stay in business!! LOL!!
I am grateful for my wonderful, kind, supportive husband who believes I can do anything. (even when I may not)
I am grateful for my sweet, talented, adventurous son who is now back in Arizona after a year in Colorado.
I am grateful for my 2 beautiful fur-babies who give me unconditional love and make me laugh every single day.
I am grateful for a wonderful home and a beautiful garden despite living in the desert. :)
I am grateful for my health and health of my family.
I am grateful that I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. (Even if it does have it’s faults, there is no where else on earth I would rather live.)
And I am grateful to everyone who stuck around, letting me share my rant of what an amazing, crazy, busy, happy, exciting, warm, comforting, peaceful, joyful life I have now. It's just not worth it to worry about the little things that really don't matter much in the grand scheme of things.
Thank you God, for blessing my life with all that I have. My cup truly runneth over. :)