Unless you've been living in the middle of the wilderness or under a rock, you've probably noticed a lot of headlines deeming 2016 the worst year ever.
Although I believe the past years that witnessed the bubonic plague or any world war could easily stomp last year to win the "Worst Year for Humanity" award, 2016 was the worst year I've ever personally experienced.
Between Trump's upset election for POTUS and George Michael dying on Christmas of all days to the entire year being filled with personal and financial challenges, 2016 was definitely the worst year of my adult life. Right alongside 2008, of course, when the Great Recession made getting a job virtually impossible - especially as a new mother.
But instead of sulking - for too long, anyway - I focus my attention on what I'm grateful for in my life. Truth be told. I do have a lot to be grateful for and I like setting the tone for every new year on gratitude.
So here's my 10 Things I'm Grateful For in 2017:
#1 - My son
It's been an honor and a lot of fun to be a mom to my boy. I'm especially proud of how comfortable he is being himself. I hope that self-confidence stays with him throughout his entire life.
#2 - My husband
I'm especially grateful for my husband's commitment to our son. Unfortunately, there are men out there that can easily abandon their own children. How? I have no idea but I take great comfort knowing that is not my husband.
#3 - My sister
She's been a true friend to me. I especially love how well we work together in our ecommerce retail store, 4Real Society. I'm grateful that we have recently decided to expand our working relationship and will be producing creative projects together as well.
#4 - My family
I've lucky to have a family that is there for me. I will never be homeless.
#5 - My friends
I recently saw a meme that said they would rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies in terms of friendships. I have to agree. I don't have any interest in being the belle of the ball any more or winning any popularity contests. I am quite content with the small group of high quality friends that I have. They're smart, happy people who are happy for me when things go well and are there for me when things don't. I can't ask for more than that.
#6 - The Election
Yes, I'm upset with the election results. But, on the upside, this election did reinvigorate me. I'm taking action by doing things I've never done before like attending the Women's March in LA on January 21st. I'm determined to not let anything happen to me without doing everything I can to stop the greatest con job from going down in American History.
#7 - California
I love living in California. Besides having the ultimate perfect weather, it's the only place where I ever fit in. I'm grateful I live here. It's worth every penny.
#8 - 4Real Society
My sister and I launched our retail shop on Etsy this past August and things have been going very well since. We even donated at least $1 from each shirt sale to charities supporting education and the arts. Our ultimate goal is to also support our own creative projects with the profits.
#9 - Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
In 2016, I designed the I Am Female Driven shirt to illustrate the demand for more stories about women and girls to be produced in Hollywood and throughout the world. I'm grateful we have partnered with GDIGM in the sale of the shirt and I'm proud to be donating $3 for each shirt sold back to them in support of gender equality in media.
#10 - Functional Medicine
I have a rare autoimmune disease and I finally found a possible solution to my symptoms in functional medicine. I took the steps to see a functional doctor and took all the tests needed to know exactly what's happening within me. I have been following my new plan to improve my health. I am proud and grateful for the many steps I took this past year to improve my health and hopefully, in 2017, I will be symptom free because of them.
So, despite all the bad things that happened in 2016, I do have a lot to be grateful for and will do my best to focus on these 10 things as much as possible. But I will also focus on finding peaceful and successful solutions to the stuff that isn't going so well in my life. Because having a positive attitude doesn't mean burying your head in the sand when bad things happen. It merely means tackling things head on and finding the opportunity in every failure wherever you can while you continue to move forward.
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