Grateful heart…or at least always trying.

You might ask where I have been….or, maybe, more likely than not, you have not even thought about missing me, and all my words….. I wouldn’t blame you. I mean, I AM new at this blogging thing AND, then there is even the premise that one might think my ramblings are just that…ramblings. Again, I would not blame you.

For the record, I have been busy. We have been working on an amazing new project that has filled our entire beings intellectually, emotionally, creatively and physically for the past few months…on top of regular work and daily life.  (And, for the record, I wrote another post over a month ago, that I have yet to edit…..)

When my #farmboy and I reunited (we like to say we met on Farmers Only….but, the reality is we dated in High School, went our separate ways and reunited about 8 years ago) he owned a historical tavern in the city. Shortly after I moved to the city he expanded the operations, and opened a very cool and super well received cocktail lounge in the Original Speakeasy in the basement of the Tavern. Together we have run these businesses.

I tell you all this, not to bore with you with our mundane details of life, but rather to explain this next phase as well as to explain how it is I am currently sitting on a porch at a house overlooking the Ocean in St. Thomas.

Back in the dead of winter my man received a call about a restaurant opportunity. He has received these calls in the past…checked them out, scratched his itch you might say, to see if there is any real opportunity out there, that was with in our ability, and moved on. He might talk about them for a day or two…but he always walked away. This one however, stayed rolling in his head. This one, he brought me to. This one…well, we open in a week!!!

So, that’s where I have been. That’s why at night, the usual words that I have swirling leftover from my day, have been missing, as I fall into bed exhausted beyond belief, or lay awake unable to sleep with worry, to do lists, thoughts and freak outs.

Our new place, largely because of our partners, has already received some very notable press…(Chicago Tribune, Chicago Eater AND ummmmm…Food & Wine!!! HOLY DOO DOO!!!!) And, I am very excited about our new venture! It is unique. It is fun. It is a little sassy. And, it is actually a menu of food that I will very much enjoy!

More importantly, as I note here all that our new restaurant is, hopes to be and will be, I must mention how amazingly proud I am of my man. He is ALL that and a bag of chips!

But, how am I in St. Thomas today a week before opening..when there are clearly things that still require our attention? Well, a year ago on my birthday I was gifted a vacation house for a week! Like, for real! So, seeing that our kids are older, we had to plan a year out when they were out of school together and could put in for time off from work. Who knew that in the end, it would be US that had scheduling conflicts. But, we worked our butts off…my man worked 15 hour days leading up to our departure, and we left. ACCCKKKK. We left! And, here we are.

But, in all of this I want to focus on… Life. Joy. Appreciation. Love.

I am making a huge commitment to myself to continue to focus on the positive. To remember what is important. But, I have to admit, full disclosure, I am very lucky. Beyond lucky as a matter of fact. So, how could I ever focus on negative? What in my life is even truly bad? How could I ever not appreciate? Well, I am flawed and very human. Positivity was not always modeled for me. Life was often led with the negative. Not always, mind you, but often. The scary. The worry. The downside. I understand why. I really do. And, another time,  I will tell you why…but, that was what formed me. Trust me, there were many, many positive things in my childhood as well. Much love. Many opportunities. Strong work ethic. 

But why does it seem easier for so many to lead with the negative? To remember the bad. To focus on the “what ifs”? It would seem, much like child birth, that we would be quick to forget all that ugly/unpleasant stuff and concentrate instead on the smell and delight of the new baby? Why is that some of us just can not stop seeing the down?

As we are here as a family, all 6 of us, and all not having grown up together, and all at different stages in our lives, with different needs and wants, it can at times be challenging to keep everyone rolling along happily. As some things are not as perfect as we might have liked in our travels, it can be easy to focus on those things….but, here we are in ST. FREAKING THOMAS! Together. Who knows how many more trips we can take together as a family unit without significant others. Or, even be able to find a singular week when that is possible. Who knows the trials and tribulations one or several of us might face….so, how fantastic if we live in this moment of singular appreciation and joy.

So, my commitment to myself is to walk away from this week in love. In love with myself, my people, my surroundings and my #farmboy. To walk away from this week only remembering the good. The good in the trip and each other. To have an appreciation for each person as an individual and their strengths and not to focus and remember their weaknesses. To feel joy in life and all the opportunity we, as a family, have. To feel joy in sharing with my guy the building of a full life together.

And, even if I am unable to focus on the positives in any given moment for my own self….then, if for no other reason than to never for a moment let my man feel his efforts, his work, his time, his money is not appreciated. Because they are. And, if I might even be so bold to speak for the others, they too appreciate his efforts, even if they do not share/verbalize/show it.

I guess what I want to put out to the universe is partly for selfish reasons as well, as this is what I ask for in return as well. To be appreciated for my efforts of time and love. To be shown and told I am appreciated.

By leading by example goodness and positivity, hopefully, goodness and positivity will be shown in return. To me. And to others in our group by each other and towards each other. 

We actually, on night 2, at dinner had a conversation about social media. It started with famous people and trolls. And, if by being famous, one just has to understand that there will be nasty trolls on social media and one just needs to get over it…OR, if while there is truth to that, that in general humanity must become nicer to one another and if you do not have something nice to say, then don’t say it, even in the cloak of anonymity. 

If you know me, you know I am of the belief that we must bite our tongues, unless it effects our own life, or that of a loved one. We must not feel it is ok to just say mean things at any given moment, just because we can. If we do not like the actions, or choices of others we must choose to not surround ourselves with those images, or people that bring us down. But, instead to surround ourselves with that, that lifts us up. And to focus on the beauty.

But, here is a legit (my daughter says I am using that word too much these days, and to stop it! Oh well….) question…is it possible to be both grateful and frustrated at the same time? How can I  feel disappointment about something in particular, when surrounded by so much goodness? How can I expect more or different when all is good and beyond? Does this make me not really grateful? Does this make me a bad person? 

And, sorry if this offends you, as I truly do appreciate the message a million %, but I am over the tags  #blessed #blessup #gratitude. That however, does not mean I am over the sentiment. I feel like so often we forget to be grateful. So, I am going to put here things I am “LEGIT” grateful for.

*good health mine, and that of my people

*my people

*the joy of seeing all 4 of the kids in a good place in life, doing well

*love…love that I was not sure I would ever find

*sharing of life with my man

*the amazing opportunity to all be here together sharing a trip together

*pride in my daughter for pursuing her master’s

*having a home to return to everyday

*being able to go to the grocery and fill our cart

*the smell of a clean home

*my ability to physically be able to work, clean and work out

*for those of you who have read any or all of my post ramblings, and even more so, if you have commented!

I would love for you to also list anything you too are appreciative of. Tell me about your life.  Let’s share goodness with each other. Let’s remember to tell each other what we appreciate in them the most.

Mad love all. Mad, mad love!

***please note that this was written several weeks and had technical difficulties in posting. It had been posted for about 24 hours and then taken down by me for editing/glitch issues. Hope to have another new post soon***

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