Celebrating New Year’s Eve
With My Gratitude Jar
New Years Eve 2022 a sweet message from my sweet husband as we usher out the spent year and welcome in an unspent year – gratitude comes to mind…
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and without fail, linked with greater happiness. According to this research, gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, delight in good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
What I personally know about counting our blessings is if we don’t, we might as well not have them.
December 2019 – Elsa (I’ve been her nanny / tutor since 2013) and I had fun at the cookie decorating class in town
December 2019 – Elsa and I enjoy our library – picking out Christmas books while the library cat is checking us out
December 2019 – my sweet husband leaves me a love note in the snow
December 2018 – our dogs, Hope and Joy give us such delight. To me, children and pets – especially dogs, help make a house a home. So glad my husband agrees – as I don’t think we talked about having dogs before we got married!
December 2018 – it is so much fun to see our dogs playing in / delighting in the snow! I very much appreciate having a phone with a camera I can use so easily!
December 2018 – Always I am so grateful for my husband in so many ways – his building skills constantly amaze me – for years now we have been enjoying the sunroom he made by closing in an open deck – he did this over a 3 year period, while working fulltime and simultaneously living life in other ways
December 2018 – I bought stockings for our visit to daughter’s and daughter-in-law’s new house – it was special to spend their first Christmas in their house together
December 2017 – Bruce and I had fun taking Elsa to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, even if Elsa was shy
New Years Eve 1985 I was having such fun snow skiing! I wasn’t ready to call it a day when that was the suggestion. Let’s go one more run! Suddenly I was down on the snow and had a compound fracture – ouch, because my bindings didn’t release. I barely remember being pulled down the mountain on a sled
The uncaring doctor at the ski resort pulled the rented boot off my broken leg. I screamed out in pain! My husband, instead of chastising the doctor, was shushing me!
I was so blessed with the caring, brilliant surgeon who was on call that night. My husband asked him if they could pray and the doctor responded that he thought praying would be a good idea.
Two operations later with a cast up to my thigh I was released from the hospital. It was a 13 hour or so drive home to Tulsa, Ok. I slept flat on my back for the long drive. The surgeon was able to put me back together with just two screws, no plate. He said the screws could be taken out after the bone mended or left in, as I decided. The cast was on for six months; halfway through that time period it was moved to below my knee which had frozen – ouch!
Our 15 month-old toddler was still in the crib. I couldn’t lift her any longer, so the side of the crib was lowered for her to get in and out – fun times! I couldn’t drive. Friends drove her 4-year-old brother to pre-school and wanted him, my helper, for play dates.
Toddler kept herself amused with emptying all the pieces to all the board games and mixing them together. I figured we’d just close the door to that room and sell the house. A more creative way she played by herself was to make a toilet paper casts for a leg on each of her stuff toys. I knew we were watching too much television when she yelled out, “Nathalie Dupree cooking!”
For many, many years that place on my leg ached with rainy or cold weather. However I seldom think about it anymore. I never had the screws removed. The scar and indentation are still there with the reminder that skiing just is not that fun and life can change in an instant. Cherish it.
37 years later
New Year’s Eve 2022
Husband and I have dinner reservations as we have done so at CLIMB for the last several New Year’s Eve celebrations. CLIMB is the only fancy restaurant and the only restaurant that stays open for the locals. All the other eating places are only open in the summer when our population swells with thousands of visitors.
CLIMB New Years Eve 2019
CLIMB New Years Eve 2021
My gratitude jar: all year long I write down moments, events, days, vacations, whatever is especially memorable to me and put the paper into my gratitude jar
This year seems especially full…
There are lots of BIG things like Bruce and I going to Europe in October – getting to be exactly where some of the movie The Sound of Music was filmed
And me getting several writing awards for my picture book Mountain Mutts -Joy’s Tale, as well as 1st place for my newspaper column (with serious column writing)
And being so beyond very thankful for Joy coming back from the brink of death – I’m not yet ready to write about that…but so beyond thrilled that she’s ok again
And seemingly little joys to be thankful for – as it is the little, everyday delights that make life worth living: my husband still doing sweet, romantic gestures after over 40 years of marriage…watching a colorful sunset together…walking the nature trail daily – still happily amazed after all these years that we have this beautiful place right out our garden gate: the river, the woods, the pasture…days when my body doesn’t hurt, days when my soul / heart isn’t hurting…my new friend and walking buddy Elisa. Bruce and my son, a busy NASA engineer with a wife and 3 young children always reaching out to his parents to stay connected – calling / zooming on holidays and on ordinary days and texting with me throughout the week(s) and being pleased for me with my accomplishments…on and on
While it can be hard to let go of the sadness / the wrongs done by others – if we don’t remember our joys – if we aren’t grateful for our blessings, we might as well not have them.
So this evening, I will put the slips of paper from my gratitude jar into an empty zip lock baggie and over drinks, hors d’ oeuvres, dinner and dessert I will share with my husband and our conversation will flow as we remember and reminisce or I explain. Each remembered event then goes into an empty baggie until I’ve read them all. This is a lovely way to celebrate 2022 and welcome in 2023…
How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? What’s a really good memory from 2022? What are you looking forward to / have planned in 2023? I wish you good health and much happiness.
“The most precious gift we can give one another is letting them know they matter.” Julie A R Stephens