Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude with a Holiday Blog Party


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."  - Melody Beattie

Ah....Thanksgiving, the holiday where we reflect upon all for which we are thankful.  No gifts, no cards, no parties, no have-to's, no fanfare. The day is all about celebrating what is already there - it's simply a no pressure day, a restful day dedicated to – Gratitude.  Not a day to add or acquire, simply to relish the contentment of what is already present. 

There's been a lot of flutter around the world of the blog, bloggers out there displaying their gratitude lists, as they seek their inner souls for all the good in their lives.  I love reading them, learning more about the special things to those we read about often - things more than just their training.  I, too, have been thinking a lot about gratitude lately, as I do every year at this time.  I like to take some quiet time around this holiday to be still and catalog my blessings…reveling in thankfulness for things for which I am blessed.

Having a bum heel for the past 7093 8 months, not able to race at all nor even run close to my half of my potential, I could be grateful for many thing, such as:
  • I haven't slit my wrists.  Yet.
  • I haven't fully taken up knitting as my only hobby.
  • I haven't bought 50 pair of boots, combing the internet in my running hiatus.
  • I haven't adopted a dog.
  • I haven't discovered a fondness for ironing.
Yes, all these things I am grateful for, and many more. 

Yet I'll admit it, I have somewhat of a less than gleeful heart this Thanksgiving, not because I do not appreciate all the good in my life, I have plenty and I am very thankful for all, but my heavy heart is because it has not been easy to sit out many, many months unable able to run much, unable to train for the marathon which I hold so dear to my heart, unable to get that thrill by clicking "submit" on a race registration website.  Watching everyone around me training and racing their guts out, doing races I so long to do, yet cannot, has been so demoralizing and discouraging.  My disposition has been pretty much in the toilet - 8 months (really, it's 10 months when you add in that lung fungus I got back in February) I have seen all my previous hard work to get in prime marathon shape slowly slip away from me.  I am a marathoner, it's part of who I am, and I miss it dearly.  It has NOT been easy. 

On a recent, SLOW run this past weekend, I had a mindbender thought about gratitude - and decided it was time for a little gratitude adjustment.  What if I could wrap my pea-brain around being thankful for things that don't normally fall into the blessing category.  I mean being specifically thankful for the things that seemingly do not go right at all: An idea that failed.  A goal that was not met.  An injury.  An illness.  Loneliness.  Reversals.  Struggles.  Weaknesses.  Addictions. Temptations. Setbacks of every kind and every degree.

These types of things do not typically make it onto one's gratitude radar.  Why should I think about them at Thanksgiving?  Why should I consider them at all?

For all these things, the obviously good and the not so obvious, I am going to try to be a little more thankful this week.  I will be thankful I am able to run - some, thankful my heel is starting to cooperate - some.  I'm going to be thankful I did not get the job a couple weeks ago because it really wasn't the job I wanted, therefore my door is now open for the one I do want (when I find it).  I'm going to try to appreciate the little things…the gestures, sentiments and details often overlooked.  I think I owe it to myself to try. 

It is hard to imagine a people more blessed than us here today. We truly enjoy a bounty unimaginable to most throughout the places and ages of the world. This is something worth recognizing and considering!  And what could be more rewarding, and fun, than during the upcoming holiday season to remember to share the goodness in our hearts with those whose lives we are brought together by this common thread - the blog!

Hang with me a second...

I'm not one to get heavily into the holiday spirit - I admit it.  I stress over the rat-race of the onslaught of holiday crazies: putting up a tree, trying to get cards out (quiet "mightly" Kovas!), over-indulging in too much holiday sugar.  The list goes on.  So I thought it'd be kinda fun - in keeping in line with the grateful theme and all - to take a little time out of our crazy upcoming days to do something nice for all of us who have supported and encouraged us along the way, to show our love - our gratitude - to one another and do a little holiday blog world card/gift exchange!!!!

WHAT?? - me, ME, organizing yet something else to add to the chaotic-ness of the holiday madness?  It's all part of being thankful - thankful for all the warm friends I have met through this blog and all I have learned through everyone else's.  I think it will be fun.  And good for us all - to appreciate, and celebrate, the one thing that has brought us all together in the first place. 

So here's what I propose with this little holiday blog gratitude adventure (and it's very late and I'm really tired, so if something doesn't make sense - I promise to work out all the kinks in the upcoming days (hear that Kovas??  I'll be blogging again in DAYS!):
  • Leave me a comment if you're interested in a card and about a $5 gift exchange a with fellow runner/tri/cyclist blogger.
  • If you took the time to read this entertaining blog, then you have time to do this exchange.  No excuses!  No time-outs!  No substitutions.  Oh....sorry, that's just a coach pep-talk getting mixed in :).
  • Canadians (and other farther away places) can partake, just don't forget the U.S. dollar exchange rate.  And your gift may be a bit late, just let your blog buddy know you're from lands afar.
  • Leave your email address in a comment, or send me an email if you want your email private: runlikeagirljp@gmail.com
  • Do not renege on this once you commit.  Last year, I signed up to do the "Secret Santa" at work - something I usually ba-humbug at, but I was trying to get into the spirit after enduring a pretty crappy fall and thought this was a good attempt to lift my spirit.  The rules were simple: send little gifts for an entire week,place them in your work mailbox with and little clues as to who your Secret Santa was, then on the last day of the week a larger gift was given and the secret was reveled as to who your Santa was.  Um....I got some gum on day one .... and then nothing again.  Ever.  Totally sucked!
  • I'll take sign-ups until December 8th at midnight.
  • I'll then scramble up all interested bloggers and draw names - each of you will get ONE name to send a card and small gift to.  I will email you who your holiday blog buddy is.
  • You cannot ask me for a new name after I send you one.  I don't care if they haven't commented on your blog in 3 years, yet you do theirs daily.  This is your holiday blog buddy, love them with open arms!
  • I'm going to have a holiday giveaway for all those that enter this fun-ness - and. it. will. be. FUN. dammit!!  I don't know what the giveaway is yet, more on that as I think about this, but I'm certain it can't beat that scorpion sucker - which somehow got lost in my house (sorry, Jesse - at least you got the gift card!).
  • I'll remind you every blog post, so don't worry, you won't forget!
  • Spread the word of the exchange on your blog PLEASEEEEE!!!  The more the merrier!
  • Here's some great gift ideas below:


Holiday Boxer Shorts!  Sorry, body
parts not included.

Holiday GU or Bars!


How about a festive ornament??

Don't forget your host - runwithjill!
Other ideas could be $5 gift cards to Starbucks or the likes, a bottle opener from Jamoosh's lounge perhaps, running stickers?!?  Chia seeds?  Just a word of caution, though - I recently sent a gift card to a guy I've been working with for a very long time as he finished his first marathon in the onset of a lot of physical and personal obstacles.  It was stolen.  Yes, envelope sliced right open and card removed - sad, eh??  So might be best not to send a thick card envelope and instead put gift in a padded envelope or small box.. 

Who's in????  Come on, it'll be fun.  Maybe.

A VERY happy Thanksgiving from my blog to yours!!

82 comments:

Kate said...

Ok, I'm in. I'll send you my address later. Great idea!

Your gratitude list reminds me of something I've seen on the Internet before aboutthe things we complain about really being reminders of all we have to be grateful for: I'm glad my pants are too tight bc it means I have enough to eat, I'm glad I have to get up early when everyone else in my house is sleeping bc it means I have a job (two very personal reminders today), etc.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Julie said...

Count me in too!! You already have my address:)

I am heading out for work but will come back to comment more later:) Have a great day Jill!!!

Jennifer said...

All right I'll bite- I'm pretty sure you already have my email!

Being Thankful is a blessing in it's self. Not everyone is able to see past their own little world to realize that "Thanks" is sometimes all it takes. Hugs!

ShutUpandRun said...

Oh you know you can count me in. I love this idea. Running sticker? Who said running sticker?

Teamarcia said...

Totally in! And look at you organizing! So impressed!

Christi said...

Please count me in! I think this is a brillant idea!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I'm in. And still in shock there may be another post in DAYS! (Since you didn't so it this time, it will be an awesome opportunity to really sing the praises of The Mighty Kovas). Not sure if you have my email address.

Irene said...

I'm in. What a fun idea! I think you already have my address, but if you need me to resend it I will. :)

Fondness of ironing? Is that even a possibility? I think I used my iron twice this year, and both times were last week. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shellyrm said...

I'm in! But do remind us please I have a terrible memory! (I am my MOTHER's secret sister this year at church and I have been terrible. I feel sooo guilty...we have our reveal the middle of December. As embarssed as I will be, my mother will not be surprised because she already knows, I forget everything!)

Great idea to help us get to know some fellow bloggers and spread some cheer!

Terri said...

Brilliant idea. Love it! Please count me in. You can e-mail me at trp100329(at)cs.com. Thanks so much for organizing it!

Terri said...

Oh, and I'm totally cool with an overseas trading partner, if need be - I ship things overseas all the time to my son, who's serving in the Army.

Karen R said...

Neat idea! I will send you my email address.

Thanks for organizing this!

Adam said...

I'm in!!!!!!! I think that you know my email address.

*Crosses fingers that I get underwear*

DRog said...

In!

misszippy said...

Jill--Great idea, creative lady! I'm in: misszippy1@gmail.com

Hmmm, now to start thinking of the gift.

And I think you have a great attitude, regardless. Being away from the hobby you love is tough--being away for 8 months is awful!

Petraruns said...

I'm in! And you know my address my lovely.

This was a WONDERFUL post. Honest, heartfelt and all the more valuable because your gratitude was not all easily won. Oh honey you HAVE had a really tough year. You have. You will also be okay, of that I am SO confident. Much love, me

onelittletrigirl said...

I did three of these last year and two were a total bummer- one never sent me a gift and the other sent me something so completely not me (because she had never and still has never read my blog). Thankfully, the other one came through.

I spend a great deal of time finding the perfect gifts for people and I would love to get in this- I reallllly hope others get in and commit :) You have my email :)

Emz said...

Loved this post Jill.

And
Yes, I'm totally IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emz said...

Wait as long as I don't have to buy for Kovas, I'm in. ;)

Kovas Palubinskas said...

EMZ is mean.

marathonmaiden said...

hahah i loved this gratitude post. i tend to roll my eyes at the typical ones. and i am so in! marathonmaidenrunner@gmail.com :)

Molly said...

I. Am. In.

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

sorry to hear about your bum heel =( But yes, still a lot of things to be thankful for. I'd like a one year supply of GU pls! LOL! Happy Thanksgiving, Jill =)

funderson said...

In like Flynn... cbcynthea@hotmail.com...

Tara said...

Hahaha! Ok, I'm in. I feel sorry for the poor sap that gets paired with me though. I can't even remember to send out my own mother's birthday card until the day after her birthday.

I am grateful that I don't knit too.

Karen said...

Love it! Count me in :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Woooooooooo a partyyyyyyy!!!!!! I am in like flynn

Tri_diesel@yahoo.com

Aimee said...

Count me in too! This sounds like a really fun idea! :)

lindsay said...

Hey that's not fair - the us dollar has been sinking in your heel-toilet so all the foreigners will only have to spend like, $0.02.

And I have been getting card-shaped mail lately that comes to me pre-opened as well. That is so nice of the postal service, saves me the hassle of opening the card.

I guess I'm in but dang it you better rig mydrawing for someone I like. ;)

Run Jess Run said...

This sounds like a great idea!! Count me in!! My email addy is runjessrun99@gmail.com.

Jenn said...

Once again making me smile:) Ah-the blessings in disguise! I love the outlook of being thankful for setbacks. Oh, please don't slit your wrists! You have way way too much to offer!! I just love your thought provoking posts-they always make my day!

Count me in!

Meg said...

I appreciated your sincerity in your posting today, you have been through a lot this year, Jill and darn it, it's NOT FAIR! You know that we are very similar on so many levels but the one area that is VERY similar, is our need to run and push, it's just in our blood! Having that taken away is painful, frustrating and just plain horrible. I know, I've been there lately. However, you have such a fresh and enlightened attitude on what you've been going through and how you can change your whole outlook. I am so inspired by you.
Please, don't start knitting or my hopes for you will be dashed. However, there is NOTHING wrong with boot-buying...nothing at all!
HUGE hugs to you...

Meg said...

Oh, I'm in on the gift exchange, that sounds fun!!! Great idea.

ajh said...

I'm totally in on this. Thanks for organizing it. You have my email. Loved your thankful (tongue in cheek) list. It can be hard to be grateful. Hadn't thought of appreciating that ironing is not a hobby or taking up knitting. I am having a hard time as I wind down the month thinking of ideas. I may have to ask you to help me!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Ok - I'm totally NOT in the Christmas spirit, but maybe this will help. Count me in.

Sherri said...

This sounds awesome! Count me in!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am still trying to absorb this heavy Thanksgiving gratiude blog! DEEP!! I haven't figured out how to get my blog started yet so that probably automaically diqualified me from this exchange. Darn, I feel like Charlie Brown on his holiday special, good grief JB, Happy Thanksgiving! BB

John and Becca said...

Yeah! Why not! Count me in lastoskie@hotmail.com

HappyTrails said...

My Gratitude List has your name on it - so thankful to have met you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :-)

Black Knight said...

Count on me but I need your help to understand how I can do it from Italy.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

sounds good! I'm in.

so I actually started the gratitude journal on my blog when I was injured. It SUCKED but taught me so much about how I think by forcing me to slow down. I love the quote you used, never heard that before.

Anne said...

I'm in! I'm in!

And a very heartfelt thanks to you too, Jill, for being such an encouraging person and reliable blogger.

Bethany + Ryan said...

FUN!!!! I'm in!!! :-)

Chris K said...

I gott a little confused on the whole contest thing. But, whatever it is, I'm in. Please ensure that Kovas gets me. I want an iPad. Thanks Jill. Thanks Kovas.

Andrew Opala said...

HORY CLAP batman! I'm in. If you set me up with a Canadian blogger I can send them a Tim Horton's gift card! You already have my email.

If I get you: what flavor of gum do you like? Do you have any dental work I need to consider?

LMC said...

Great post Jill. I am really impressed with your attitude and perspective through everything that you have had to deal with this year! I have to believe that you will be back, in full force, cuz you won't let it be any other way. Carry on girl...and please do not either slit your wrists (too messy) or take up knitting (too boring)!

I'm in on the XMAS gift thingy! Thanks for organizing it for us!!

Patrick Mahoney said...

Sounds really cool. I'm in.

17281posse (at) gmail.com

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I'll play too! babyweightmyfatass@gmail.com

Thanks!

Trish said...

Love it! Saw this on Kovas' blog :) I'm in! Woo Hoo! (sorry, I am one of those love the holidays people. freakish, i know!)

Trish said...

Forgot to leave my email...

ketelcopia@charter.net

canyoncairns said...

I'm in! eliza bethla cy 62 at gmail

:)

Raegun said...

I'm in!
raegun.runs [at] gmail [dot] com

Karyn said...

i am in... what a great idea!
runningmumma at hotmail dot com

lindsay said...

am i supposed to send you my real address ? i was thinking about this yesterday on my run. you have my email address so, just lemme know.

Heather Vance said...

Sounds fun! Count me in!

Heather
heatheroni83274@yahoo.com

Caratunk Girl said...

Hey Jill! Great idea. I am in! You have my email I think? manfarr1974(at)yahoo(dot)com

Katie A. said...

I read the whole thing - and not just cuz I love ya, but because you're one of the best writers in blog land. Loved this, I have a gratitude list much like yours ;)
Okay, I'm all over the gift exchange, sign me up. You have my email, give me someone good! LOL!
Call ya tomorrow! xoxoxoxo

Staci Dombroski said...

I think that sounds great. Sign me up! My email address is sdombroski@hotmail.com :)

Robin aka 'trtl.rnr' said...

Count me in, friend! YOU are on my Thankful list...always!

And, thanks for coordinating. I thought about doing one, but didn't get past the thinking part. *sigh*

trtl.rnr@gmail.com

p.s. your 'dream' job will find you when the time's right.... i promise!! (turtle wisdom) :)

C2Iowa said...

"and. it. will. be. FUN. dammit!!" How could one refuse? I'm in.

Laurie said...

I think this sounds like a lot of fun! Count me in too please.

ordie.higgins@gmail.com

Jamoosh said...

OK, I am in. I think I can purchase one sock for 5.00...

Morgan said...

Count me in, I did this last year and it was so fun!

redheadrunning@gmail.com

Running and living said...

yes, I am in, too! avranceanu@partners.org

Melissa said...

I'm in!!!
littlemp@gmail.com

Lindsey said...

What an awesome idea. I hope people post what they got!!!

Kadie said...

I am in! What a great idea!! theresheruns@gmail.com

Velma said...

I did this last year, and it was really fun!!! I will take the people no one else wants :)

Nice work on the turkey run!

The Green Girl said...

I'm in!

mary at therunninggreengirl dot com

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Count me in! Great idea!

racingwithbabes@yahoo.com

Adrienne said...

Fun fun, I'm in. AdrienneHJensen (at) hotmail (dot) com

Sarah Mann Willcox said...

Fun! I'm in! Smann351@gmail.com.

Neeks said...

Sounds like fun. I'm in. missneeks@live.ca

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

Hi There!
count me in!
I'll email u my address!!

woo hoo!

MCM Mama said...

I'm so in! My email is mom2shoo@gmail.com

bobbi said...

What a fun idea! I'm in - bandthejs@yahoo.com

Quinton J said...

Big Q is IN:

quinton.jacobs@amec.com

EricaH said...

Sounds like a great idea. Count me in
erica_haggins@hotmail.com

Darlene said...

I'm in!!!!!!!!!
dsc59@nycap.rr.com

Laura said...

Count me in! lcdenner@gmail.com

Tortuga_Runner said...

Fantastic idea, I emailed you privately!

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