Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Final four

Nov 27: I am thankful for traditions- like tree shopping and decorating, cookie making, family dinners and post-munch walks, holiday games, cheers and toasts. I love them all!

Nov 28: I am thankful for the mentors and guides who have been a part of my life: Mrs. Malkin, the teacher who reassured me that loving books and reading was nerdy AND fabulous. My nana whose loving patience still encourages me to calm my tongue and temper. Toni, whose affirmations, gentle challenges, wisdom and bawdy humor lights me to go further- in spiritual searching, social/political deconstruction, community building, and self care. My parents who root me in the ground and remind me thatbeing myself is a great thing and that family is priceless.

Nov 29: I am thankful for groupon and my kickboxing classes. For my wife who encouraged me to go to class even with a headache. For the instructor who corrected my form and praised my efforts. For the  awesome power of sweat and effort and release.

Nov 30: I am thankful for taking this last month to reflect on my blessings. I am reminded of the kindness that the universe has shared with me and that it is necessary that I take the time to appreciate all the outcomes of that kindness in my life. This is an exercise I'll carry with me and hope to mindfully continue.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post- thanksgiving thanks

Nov 25: I'm thankful that my wife encourages me to go running. I'm also thankful that I can set out for a 2 mile run yet end up on a 3.5 mile outing and enjoy it. Thank you legs and wife and consistent training.

Nov 26: I'm thankful for all of the varied personalities that are my nieces and nephews. From the loud and lovely L6 clan to my favorite two Worrels, my little lovebug Mackenzie and those I've yet to meet. Their jokes, laughter, pouty insistence, cuddles, serious talks and crazy face running spurts fill my heart. And their varied art, dance, theater, music and athletic interests keep us all busy. Love and thanks for getting to be an aunty.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Morning thanks

I an thankful for morning cuddles and giggles. Fabulous thanksgiving wake-up :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Catching up on thanks

Nov 21: I am thankful for quick and painless shopping excursions. And for salespeople who can adeptly tell you where things are in huge box stores like bed, bath and beyond. Makes late monday night sheet shopping so much more pleasurable.

Nov 22: I am thankful for our new bed and a good night's sleep :)

Nov 23: I am thankful for the peace of mind that comes with a 4 mile run. I'm thankful that I pushed myself down the stairs to go on that run and that I was able to clear my mind and enjoy it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nov 19+ 20th

Nov 19: I am thankful for Saturdays in Boston that feel like Saturdays in Maine- slow. With lots of naps.

Nov 20: I'm thankful that my wife and I think similarly and can happily negotiate our way through large decisions- like buying a new mattress and bed. I'm also thankful that while we're watching pennies, that we have the capacity to buy said mattress and bed. And, I'm preemptively thankful for the good nights of sleep that will arrive with the new mattress... no more 3am wake-up and morning back pain!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nov 17th + 18th

Nov 17: I am thankful for my sense of humor. Whether it be sarcastic, witty or just plain goofy, laughter is an essential part of my life.

Nov 18: I am thankful for my mom-in-law. She has become, over the past 4 years, a good friend as well as a supportive second mom figure. I love our chats and walks, having her in my home and visiting hers. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heartfelt thanks...

Today I have to pay homage to my heart. I've been thinking about the power and vulnerabilities of hearts a lot this year- with my mother-in-law, father and mother all having varying levels of heart problems/scares.

Today, after a terrible night's sleep and waking feeling exhausted, I took a day off to get myself on the right schedule before work's long days come looming. Aside from the 90minutes of "extra" sleep I had this morning, the most recuperative thing I've done today is to hop on the treadmill for a run. I decided to go for 3 miles at a steady 12.0mph. Nothing fancy. By the time I hit mile 2 my heart was pounding and I was focused on finding a steady rhythm for my breathing. In 3 counts, out 2 counts. Nope- not working. In two counts, out two counts. My heart rate quickened. In two counts, out one hard puff. Not quite right. Between miles 2 and 3 I struggled to figure out my breathing and my heart kept pounding along. And then something happened- I hit mile 3 and I kept going. And, in that moment, I smiled, my breathing slowed, and my heart (still pounding) became less frantic in its effort.

After 49 minutes and 4 miles finished, I took a slow 3 minute cool down. At my peak rate, my heart was about 168 beats per minute. Within no time I'd cooled down to 85 beats per minute and it just kept falling...

While stretching, I thought about my heart. There was something magical in paying attention to all the hard work my heart had done in that total 52 minutes of aerobic activity. I was proud of my heart. I was thankful for my heart. I felt protective of my heart- determined to take care of it so I could keep enjoying all of the activities that my heart helps me do. And, so I can continue to try new activities that push me and my heart further.

So thank you to every piece of that muscle tissue and fiber that makes up my heart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanks for Nov 14th & 15th

Nov 14: I am thankful for days spent playing like a kid whether that's coloring and painting with my niecelet, running madly down the parkway with my pup, exploring the world as a member of an 8-year old's rock band or a rolling in snow and jumping in leaves.

Nov 15: I am thankful for music. I'm thankful for the rocking and tapping that takes over my body whether listening to bluegrass, rock, country, classical, blues, jazz, electronica, folk or reggae. Thank you to all of the musicians out there :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today I'm thankful for



Nov 11: I am thankful that I have the capacity to visit my family consistently throughout the year. It makes living apart so much easier.

Nov 12: I am so thankful for family traditions. Not just the formal get togethers but the smaller created traditions- the daddy-daughter pre-christmas shopping trips, family walks and feeding the ducks, afternoon tea with mum, coffee  cake with Elaine on the porch in Maine, Friday night red wine and chinese food dates with my wife, Winter Wonderland movie nights with Kim & Sheila. I love the people, the memories, the fun and I'm thankful for all of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for a little person...

I am so lucky that I get to be the recipient of unadulterated smiles. My niece Mackenzie (almost 3yrs old) and I only see eachother every 3-4 months and yet upon every first moment of our greeting she lights up like a christmas tree. And, in response my heart both swells and breaks simultaneously. I am blessed to witness that happiness and experience the sweet joy that comes with her every hello. My thanks to the Universe (and Mackenzie) for letting me know such love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9 thanks...

I am thankful for the all the little moments of beauty. Today while walking to the T (headed on a trip to see my family-hurrah!) I was struck by the blazing beauty of autumnal trees lining the walkway. Their bright oranges, deep reds and golden yellows delighted my eyes (especially set against the blue sky of today). I paused to snap a pic before intentionally crunching and swooshing through fallen piles of brittle color. Took a pic of the subject of that unadulterated pleasure  before continuing happily along my way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dog love

Today I want to say thank you to Bryce. For those of you haven't met her, Bryce is my 5 year old german shepherd mix. This love of my life was introduced to me in February 2004. She was a cute bundle of fur that fit in my hand. During our first year together my primary care doctor found a mass in my throat. As I anxiously awaited surgery and cancer diagnosis, many days Bryce was the only thing that got me out of bed.

Her puppy energy led me to begin running, which in turn reduced my anxiety. Her playful antics and love of soccer kept me smiling.  And, at night, when I was most vulnerable, she curled up with me on the bed.

It wasn't all easy. She was demanding- a true alpha who didn't respond to treats, cuddles or toys while training. Some days, I was too tired to manage alone.

Thankfully, many wonderful folks pitched in. My special thanks goes to friends Ashley and Kat for their support and walking skills :)  And to my then girlfriend, now wife, Heather who invited Bryce into her home, walked her in the mornings to the Starbucks to get me coffee, took her away a few weekends so I could rest and unwind, and learned to love her (despite not naturally loving dogs).

I also met Mindy and Erin, the best dog walkers that exist on this planet (in my very humble opinion). Their thoughtful care of Bryce and their support of me when I couldn't pay the normal rate due to medical bills was beyond comparison. I am so grateful to them.

Today Bryce and I take a morning walk along the parkway. She is the best friend a woman could have- serious, playful, demanding, caring. She is in tune with my needs and isn't afraid to remind me of hers.

As I walk her in the morning sun, soccer ball flying between us, it's impossible not to feel deep happiness, love and grace. I am so thankful for her place in my life and the gifts she has given me along the way.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful in the 'hood

I am thankful for my neighborhood. Walking my dog late last night I passed a front lawn strewn with little kid bikes and thought, "yeah, theft is low here". And then a woman power walked past me and I realized that I too feel safe being out in the dark evening alone. As I walked past my neighbors and fellow dog owners' homes I realized how lucky I am to live near a greenway for walking Bryce. That I get to chat with so many folks each day while I'm out on my walks. That this neighborhood fits me perfectly. I am thankful for my neighborhood.

Thanks for Nov 5th + 6th

Nov 5th: I am truly thankful for my wife Heather.   While we've been together only 4 1/2 years, she's loved me through sickness and health already. I am thankful for her patience and playfulness, for the little things (like the tea or coffee she brings me every morning), and the experiences we  share. I am thankful that she had finds me attractive despite my pants size (has loved me 20lbs heavier and 10lbs lighter than I am today). I am glad to have found a best friend a well as a partner, cheerleader, coach and companion. I love you H.

Nov 6th: I am thankful for the community of family, family friends, friends and colleagues who support my wife and I in our relationship. Your recognition and celebration of our marriage, which we are able to enjoy as residents of a state that recognizes gay marriage, means so much to me. Thank you for your  active presence in our lives.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday is a friend-filled day

I am thankful for my friends. Those I see twice a year, those who live in our neighborhoods, and those my wife and I get to visit when passing through or on destination (e.g. winter wonderland) weekends.

My dear friends know my fears and histories, joys and challenges. I hold each of their gifts and stories and the memories we have together dear. They carry me through.

To all my friends, and especially to my besties (Em, Deb, Sheila and Kim) thank you. I love you all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks: Day 3

Nov 3: I am thankful for my brother- who has always been my best friend (even through rough years). Thank you for being my active ear and silent shoulder, for teaching me new skills and old lessons. Thank you for driving my car to Boston and for driving me to and from the airport. Thank you for sharing stories over cold beers and for avoiding the topics we know turn into arguments. Thank you for being a brother every  sister would be lucky to have and for fostering a relationship any sibling would benefit from. I love you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


On a blog that I've recently started following, the author is taking on 30 days of expressing her thankfulness in this month of November and Thanksgiving.

This year has been a ride, and I admit that I've not been as thankful as I should have been to the Universe for all of the people, experiences, places, things and beings that surround me and fill my life.

And, just as I need to focus more care on my Self, I also need to focus more energy to acknowledging and appreciating all of those blessings around me.

So, here are my first two posts for Nov 1st and 2nd.

1. I am thankful for my mother. For having me and raising me. For becoming my friend. For sharing cups of tea with me across kitchen tables. For fixing my kitchen table and building me side tables. For taking her time (and often time off work) to build our relationship. For trusting me to support her and challenge her. I love you mum.

2. I am thankful for my father. For raising me and teaching me. For letting me (still) curl up next to him when I need to. For showing me patience. For pushing me to push myself. For becoming my friend. For taking me on daddy-dates and teaching me (over and over again) how to golf. I love you dad.