As 2022 winds down, I’m looking back with gratitude. I am a firm believer in the importance of gratitude and I’m not a fan of toxic positivity. In other words, I’m perfectly comfortable saying that my bike crash in June was awful and that I’m grateful for my body in ways I had not previously appreciated.
Read on for the top five things I’m grateful for this year and (hopefully) some interesting insights as well.
I am Grateful for My Helmet!
It saved my life. It gets the top spot on the list. That’s pretty simple.
Even with a helmet, I had concussion that kept me off screens and on the couch for a solid two weeks. It was another few weeks before I was easing back into work and about two months before I was back to full speed.
When I was a physics teacher, one of my never-hidden ulterior motives was to teach my students why helmets, seat belts and air bags save lives. It’s all about making your body (or head) come to a stop a bit less abruptly. When I started reminding my own kids about momentum and kinetic energy just a few days after the crash, they were pretty sure I’d be just fine!
Just a little public service announcement: always wear a properly adjusted helmet when you ride a bike. It should come about half way down your forehead and not be easily pushed back.
My Clients — I am Grateful to YOU!
Trusting anyone to take your picture is a leap of faith. Paying someone to photograph you and your family means putting a lot of trust in the photographer. I appreciate that my clients do just that.
It is an honor to photograph you. Thank you for trusting me to help tell your story. I sincerely appreciate those who value my work.
I’m so Grateful to Live in Vermont!
Next year will mark 20 years since I moved to Vermont and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I moved here for Nordic skiing and graduate school. Ironically, I haven’t done much Nordic skiing the past few years, though I really miss it. As for graduate school, I did use my ecology degree when I started teaching biology in addition to physics. But, I don’t use it professionally these days. Funny how life works!
Over the years, I have fallen in love with Vermont. I love our landscape and our seasons. Both inspired me to become a photographer and are part of nearly every image I make. As an endurance athlete and lover of the outdoors, it is hard to imagine a better place to live.
The longer I live here, the more grateful I am for my local friends and our larger community. There’s nothing like riding in the back of an ambulance to a top-notch local hospital to make one feel deep gratitude for our community.
More than ever, this year I’m Grateful for My Health.
It feels so cliched and middle aged to be grateful for my health. But, I am!
I am grateful for the body that lets me exercise and do yoga most days. I am grateful for the mind that lets me run a business, create powerful and beautiful art and parent my children. I am grateful for the body that recovered (with a few scars) from a big crash.
I’ve always been a healthy eater. If anything, this year has left me more steadfast than ever in my resolve to care for my body as best I can.
I Appreciate the Chance to be a Work at Home Mom
First the honest truth: home educating my four children and running a profitable business is hard. The days are long. There are no paid days off. There are no substitute teachers. Parenting is hard. Working is hard. Being a working parent is really hard. If you’ve read this far, you can probably relate.
Yet, I am grateful to have the chance to make my own path for myself and my family. Our transition to home education was a very unexpected twist that has turned out to be really good for my kids. I love that we do not rush on Monday mornings. When we find a good book, we read all the books in the series. Ours is a learning lifestyle that follows the seasons rather than school bells. I love that it gives us the chance to move at a comfortable pace. Plus, I can put that ecology degree to use on nearly every hike with my kids!
And, the responsibility is immense. Enough to keep me awake at night. Often.
Yet, I have two jobs that I love: teaching and photography. I coach my kids and I help other families tell their stories. I meet my kids where they are and gently (I hope) encourage them to stretch and grow. I meet families where they are and give them a chance to be seen.
In both jobs, I am attuned to the seasons. I build connections. And, I tell stories. For that, I am grateful.