Though it’s built on dubious (historical) ground, the sentiment – taking time out to celebrate gratitude – has always called to me. It’s in the air this time of year: the days shorter, twilight sky creeping into the day, long nights providing ample moments for reflection and thought. Instead of inviting regrets, I make room to acknowledge the good and the bad, and appreciate them both.

I’m grateful for the wisdom that comes with age. This year, I had to make a big decision – I’ll tell you about the details another time, pinky swear – but I know if I were younger, I would’ve just let the situation unfurl into entropy, thinking that the opportunity was enough.  But I’m in a place now where I can see the long game and understand that a moment in the present can have repercussions years down the line.

I’m grateful for my memories– sweet remembrances I can call on for moments of comfort; difficult moments I can use to help make decisions. 

I’m grateful for my creativity. There are days when I’m tired, or stressed, or uncertain, and feel steadied knowing that the limits to my body and life don’t apply to my imagination. When I’m designing jewelry, or embroidering, I find solace in moments of exploration and creation.

I’m grateful for the internet. Yes, it can be a wasteland that makes one lose faith in humanity. But it can also be the opposite: a place to connect, and share, and learn. And what is life without quality memes?!

I’m grateful for the changing seasons. A familiar upheaval every year. I’ve always felt so connected to autumn – it’s objectively the best season, with ideal temperatures and excellent decor (the leaves!) – but as I get older, I’ve started to identify with it even more. It’s a season to pause and consider; it holds the promise of change. I find myself making big decisions in the fall, ready then for the rest of the year to unfurl before me, excited to see what the autumn air has inspired.

I’m grateful for my family – biological and otherwise. I’m surrounded by a web of love and support, and even in my quietest moments, I feel the threads encircling me.

I’m grateful for you, the beautiful people who wear my pieces and talk with me at shows and connect with me here.

So listen: it’s one thing to make a list, but it’s something altogether more difficult to actually take the moment, and feel gratitude. I try to do this all year long, but it’s not always realistic. That’s why this time of year always calls to me especially strongly – the world reminds us to be thankful and reflect. It’s not meant to be easy – it can be overwhelming and difficult – but it’s important and worthwhile. Sometimes, it’s just an exercise with no objective. Other times, it can be the groundwork for something much larger.  As Eckhart Tolle said, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance."

The world is weird and hard, and there’s ultimately so little we have control over, but we can take these small moments to try to understand ourselves and the people around us. What better use for the long, dark days of winter than to think of those we love, and try to put some thanks back into the universe.

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