Gratitude: The Decade Long Version

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The water undulates in front of me. It is mesmerizing, the flecks of blue and gold, the buoys bobbing up and down. Most importantly, I am alone, a rare occurrence in my life as a mother and wife. The sounds around me are soothing, the road noise, the water lapping against the concrete barrier. Even my persistent headache of many days seems to have abated. I am feeling grateful.

Most years bring on a sense of happiness and contentment around Thanksgiving. The world around me celebrates with grand feasts featuring Turkeys and cranberry sauce. I celebrate annually by looking past on the year gone by, choosing to reflect on the highs that make this journey worthwhile.

This year it feels even more poignant. The press of a new decade, the passing away of the decade that marked me as a parent, a mother. Motherhood is something I chased with a tenacity that I am not sure if I should be proud of. The year 2010 started on a bleak note only to be uplifted with the arrival of Ammu and Pattu into our lives. The years since have been a riotous ride of dizzying ups and downs. As I stare down the end of 2019, I remember mostly the highs, the laughs, the peace, the joy.

This decade brought with it career change. It brought with it the experience of pregnancy and breastfeeding, two things I craved for but never thought I would get to experience. It brought with it the stay at home motherhood, every minute of which I enjoyed. Just when I thought that was my life, I end this decade being back in the workforce. They say the years are long and the decade short and I cannot agree more. The years have whizzed past. The images of the twins in pigtails, gap-toothed and lisping are still blurring when I deal with attitudes and a body consciousness of a teenage child. Laddu is still a cooing baby in my head even as she morphs into a child with decided opinions and stellar taste in food.

The list of things to be grateful for is long. It features all the usual suspects – Saathi, Amma, Ammu, Pattu, and Laddu. This year, it also features the people who enabled the fulfillment of a dream long-held close to heart. Five years ago, I stuck decals on the walls of my dark mudroom, rarely in the eyes of visitors to the home.

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The chalk marks are now faded from those decals. I pass them many times each day glancing at them wondering how foolish I must be to vocalize and visualize what can only be a pipe dream. Yet, today, I signed the paperwork on my very first publishing contract.

I am happy. I am content. I am joyous.

Most of all I am very grateful. It is the kind of gratitude that comes from knowing that hard work is necessary but beyond that, there is something beyond my control that makes dreams come true.

For that privilege, I am grateful.

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