365 days have passed since I started this project, and I’ve reached the end (a Day 366 or 500 or 780 just doesn’t seem right on a blog with “365” in the title). I wasn’t sure where this year of my journey would take me, and I didn’t imagine anyone would want to walk alongside me. To the folks that followed this project, “liked” certain days special to them, and even left comments: Thank You. I started this blog to grow, as a means to learn to appreciate something (often many things) that each day brought, despite whatever circumstances tried to suppress gratitude. More than a year ago, I convinced myself of a major lie — that some days were just “bad” days and needed to be wished away as quick as possible. This was incredibly dumb of me. Admittedly, through this project there were many days that were difficult and that contained challenges and snares to depress my mindset. At the same time, I could always find at least one thing for which I had gratitude. Sometimes, I was struck by the beauty of nature (so often taken for granted); other times, the compassion towards me from friends new and old was obvious. Each day, Caden and Callan do wondrous things, and Marnie never ceases to amaze me with her sacrificial love for our family. There are so many things and people around us for which to have gratitude.
I miss Mom every day. This project didn’t change that. It did teach me to be thankful for what is here now and to look with thankfulness to what is to come. I hope these postings have brought some encouragement or challenged outlooks similar to what I had more than a year ago. I do not believe anyone is immune to sorrow, and many folks may face situations similar to what happened to us two years ago. Train your mind to consciously seek out the blessings in front of you each day — they are there — and learn to give thanks in all circumstances. You will be amazed at how often loved ones now gone show up in these blessings and how your gratitude will become contagious.