Gratitude 2015

Posted on: January 1st, 2015 by

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions; instead, I set goals throughout each year and try my best to follow through. So, rather than make New Year’s resolutions on this first post of the New Year, I am expressing my gratitude.

After all, I have much to be grateful for.

Family. I’m so blessed to have wonderful people in my family. Arielle and I — plus our cats and a goldfish — form a great family and a loving household. Of all the children in the world, the right one for me was placed in my arms on a hot day in China.

Ari Gotcha Day

I love her immeasurably. We are not only mother and daughter, but we are friends. I hope she continues to confide in me and come to me with her problems, and that our lines of communication stay open.

Although my family is a distance from me, I’m still close to them. I’m lucky my parents are still alive. We speak on the phone weekly, and I know how lucky I am to hear their voices on the other end and to visit them. I’m fortunate to have an aunt who forged a close relationship with me from the moment I was born. We are close to this day and have Skyped.

My only sibling, my brother, is a rock star. He has been a supportive, rational force throughout my cancer diagnosis and treatment, and he was present for two surgeries. Though I did radiation and chemotherapy alone, he made sure I knew how much he loved me.

I’m blessed to have a sweet sister-in-law, whom I consider a friend. And I’m grateful to have two wonderful nephews, one who is in high school, and the other an adorable two-year-old.

Though my grandparents are deceased, I was fortunate to know them well. They taught me a lot, and I am so glad they were in my life for a long time.

Friends. I have amazing friends — both in-person and online ones. I wasn’t in the online arena when I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, but my in-person friends supported me.

NED. I’m so grateful for having no evidence of disease for a good number of years. I do not take this stroke of luck for granted.

Medical team. I have amazing doctors and nurses. I love them all.

Career. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher and a writer. When I was 13 to about 18 years old I wanted to be a veterinarian, but truth is, deep down inside, I really wanted to be a writer. I’ve been lucky in college to have an important mentor, my freshman English professor. He nudged me — OK pushed me — to become an English major. Although I initially resisted, I ultimately gave in, and it was the best decision I made.

I now teach English and Humanities at a local university and get to write, too. The best of two great worlds. Through my writing, I am able to connect with others. Teaching gives me the opportunity to help students, and I’m grateful for that. I’ve been able to provide a safe place for students who confide in me about their personal challenges. I’ve helped students in dire circumstances, and I find it amazing — and a blessing — that students feel comfortable enough to confide in me. I enjoy inspiring others to keep learning and to aim for success in all aspects of their lives. I’ve also taught students the value of giving back to the community.

My readers. I’m grateful to you, dear readers. Your reading my posts and your comments mean a lot to me. Happy New Year from Calling the Shots; may your year be filled with joyous moments.


What are you grateful for?

Would you like to share any New Year’s Resolution(s)/goal(s)?

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12 Responses to Gratitude 2015

  1. Kathi had this to say about that:

    I hope you & Arielle have a wonderful year. xoxo, Kathi

  2. Sharon Greene had this to say about that:

    Beautiful post on gratitude! You are very lucky to have a supportive family of origin and to be blessed with a daughter who you consider a friend. May your blessings continue to multiply throughout this new year and for many years to come!

  3. Claudia Schmidt had this to say about that:

    Have a wonderful 2015, Beth. xo

  4. Lily had this to say about that:

    Beth- I love this poem. Happy New Year!

    Life I am the new year.
    I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
    I am your next chance at the art of living.
    I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.
    All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me,
    waiting for you to search it out with more determination.
    All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve
    is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.
    All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will,
    all the faith that you claimed but did not have —
    these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened
    by the touch of a strong purpose.
    I am your opportunity
    to renew your allegiance to Him who said, “behold, I make all things new.”
    I am the new year.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Lily, this is a wonderful poem. I really appreciate your sharing it. I hope 2015 finds you with many blessings.

  5. Scott Johnson had this to say about that:

    Great post Beth and wonderful poem Lily. Purpose for this year is to repair the damaged relationship with my cancer care-takers. It’s become a playground spat turned to crisis and a great opportunity to practice not being the aggrieved party but an initiator of a positive new relationship. Happy New Year Arielle! Is your Mom tied to that steel I-beam for eating the flowers off you cake?

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Scott, thank you for reading and commenting. I like your idea of trying to make peace with the medical powers that be.

      I laughed about the being “tied to that steel I-beam” comment! Interestingly, I never explained to my readers why the I-beam is so significant to the theme of my blog. It symbolizes strength, but because it’s rusty, it also symbolizes vulnerability. It ties into the train, which is atop beams. The train has other symbolism. One day, maybe I’ll post about it.

      Have a great 2015 Scott!

  6. Nancy's Point had this to say about that:

    Hi Beth,
    I don’t do New Year’s resolutions either. Setting goals seems more doable for some reason. Thanks for sharing about some things you are grateful for. One thing I am very grateful for is our friendship. May the New Year be good to you and Ari. May it be good to us all. xx

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Nancy,

      I’m so grateful for our friendship, too, and I treasure the time we met in person. Thank you for your kind New Year’s wishes. I hope the new year brings joyous moments to you and your loved ones. I also hope 2015 will be good to all of us.

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