State of Grace

I had grand plans for Thanksgiving break this year: work on my website, write AT LEAST one blog post, start (and finish?) my Christmas shopping, visit with family and with Adam, unpack my boxes from my parents’ recent move, bake! bake! bake!... oh anddd train and write final papers and begin studying for finals. Sounds realistic, no?!

The Alexanders do Thanksigiving

The Alexanders do Thanksigiving

Well, this post is evidence that very few of those goals were accomplished. I did, however, manage to hit the priorities: quality family time, good eats, solid training, and even some paper writing. I have since made it through finals in one piece, so all in all, great success!

I’m not sure if it’s the fresh country air, proximity to the water, or quality mother-daughter time I’ve been able to enjoy over winter break thus far, but as crazy school days fade into the distance and the holidays approach, as nightly news reports continue to include one shockingly tragic story after another, I find myself reflecting on the many things in my life that I can be thankful for this holiday season – my health (feet included!), my fitness, my education, my friends, my fab fiancé, my family – and I find myself counting my blessings more and more.

Nothing like fresh winter air and the sounds of the CT River lapping at the shore to ground you!

Nothing like fresh winter air and the sounds of the CT River lapping at the shore to ground you!

“Giving thanks” is something that receives so much attention from Thanksgiving through the holidays, but where does that festivity go the rest of the year? I am a huge fan of #GivingTuesday, and I loved seeing all the chatter on Twitter and elsewhere about the day this year. But this holiday season and beyond, I am challenging myself to make everyday a #GivingDay. Giving doesn’t have to be money. For me, today, it was sharing a smile and a jovial conversation with a complete stranger at the local coffee shop and another at the YMCA post-swim. And really, I believe it can be anything from simply checking in with an old friend to thank them for happy memories, to taking a couple minutes to help someone cross the street, to volunteering some time to a group you are passionate about. Now, I extend the challenge to you

Happy holidays! And happy giving :-D