Hello, my name is Gratitude
As the weather turns cooler, I often turn inward, seeking warmth and clarity after the active, overtly outward living of spring and summer. November marks the beginning of such spiritual shenanigans for me with the blustery days leading up to our big day of Thanksgiving. I spend time everyday giving thanks and taking names. This year, I took the idea of reflection a step further with a series called “Hello, my name is Gratitude” on my blog - daily posts dedicated to reintroducing gratitude into my life and, by extension, my readers’ lives. Here’s a few of those posts, a montage of gratitude, if you will. Cue the 80s soundtrack.
I am grateful for coffee talk. Once a week, my friend and I meet at Frank’s Restaurant and talk over copious amounts of coffee. We’re working on month three of coffee talks and, I gotta tell you, there’s something to the whole coffee, friends and talking mix that is simply Right and Good.
The folks out at Frank’s are some kind of wonderful, but I think we are their first regular coffee talk customers. Behind those sweet smiles and welcoming words, I can see some trepidation over what we could possibly be discussing week after week. We bring our own flavored creamer and we usually order a plate of very bad for us, but oh, so good, fried foods to share.
No agenda, no books to discuss, or lives to save. Not a lot of complaining or purpose driven soul searching. Just two friends, enjoying one another’s company over cups of coffee, a little respite for mamas who give as much as we have, as often as we can to our families and friends. Coffee talk helps keep my mama mojo flowing and reminds me to just be Beth in everything I do.
I am grateful for doovers. I used to get caught up in the mistakes, the regrets, and the intensity of living, friends. Then, I em- braced a wonderful concept from childhood, the doover. An unwritten bylaw of youth, an axiom of the gods, a tenet of universal rightness, the do-over is our greatest gift to ourselves and others.
I give myself permission to screw up. I give myself permission to heal. I give myself permission for a doover any time I need one. Hair grows back and life goes on.
I get do-overs. I make sure my kids know this about life and living, so they’ll be gentle with themselves. Maybe it’s a poorly written essay or a cake that won’t rise. Maybe it’s a stalled career or a failing relationship. Maybe it’s the mother of all bad hair days. Whatever it is, we all get as many doovers as we need to get it right. Isn’t life incredible, friends? Do-overs and all.
I am grateful for my friends. Soul sister friends and bestest friends. Friends I only know through facebook and friends I haven’t seen in 20 years. Band parent friends, former student friends, couponing friends. My friends are the family my soul craves!
I think life is all about making connections with other people. I make connections often and deeply. From the person in front of me in the grocery store to the mom sitting on the next park bench, I’m gonna reach out and make a connection. Odds are if I talk to you, we’re gonna be friends. Maybe wave at each other friends, but maybe — just maybe — play together friends. It doesn’t matter. Every friend I make is a soul friend.
I am grateful for warrior women. Warrior women who put on uniforms and march out into that good night. Warrior women who leave their families behind, so all American families can be safe and free. Mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends...warrior women.
Wahatchee means “war woman” and is the name the Creek Indians gave to Nancy Hart, a rough and rowdy redheaded Georgian who took no guff from the Tories during the American Revolution. This original Wahatchee stood over six feet tall, cussed, smoked, drank, and was feared and respected by the Native Americans who lived around her homestead. She became my hero the moment I learned her story. I whisper the word wahatchee aloud whenever I need a little extra courage and spirit to get me through the day.
To all you modern day wahatchee who have served and protected Americans and to all the wahatchee still serving and protecting, I offer you my heartfelt gratitude. I celebrate you and recognize your sacrifices. I respect and admire you, my sisters, my wahatchee, my friends. Today, I won’t whisper the word wahatchee; I’ll shout it loud and clear in your honor...WAHATCHEE!
I am grateful for my daughters. Collectively known as the Fabulous Hallman Girls, they embody all that is right and good and wonderful about this journey. Champions of the underdog. Bearers of kindness. Harpies. Saints. Sinners. The Teenager with her eagle eyed sense of being and self. The middle-Little with her old soul doctrines and quirky sense of how. The Little with the wit of a curmudgeon and the charms of a princess. My daughters, my fierce warrior women, my loves.
I am grateful for Johnny Hallman. He rescues me when I am a damsel in distress; calls me on my BS; kisses me when I need/want kissing; plays drums like a rock star; kills bugs and takes care of gross things; needs me; wants me; loves me; fathers our children with patience and kindness; teaches me something new almost every day; is the smartest man I know; teases me when I take myself too seriously; puts up with my dog; puts up with me; makes crude jokes like a 12-year-old boy; and is the most handsome man on the planet. I am grateful he picked me. Grateful beyond words.