First — If you’re struggling with all the sales emails, you’re not alone!

I’ve had enough!  This year I’ve felt nearly assaulted by all the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, BOGOs, 30%,60%, 90% offs, Big Reveals, and awaiting deals to amaze me, emails!

So, I unplugged this weekend.  Maybe you did, too.  I know I was missing out on super savings, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.  If you persevered and nabbed your treasures online and are done shopping, there is a wee part of me that is a bit envious, I’ll admit, but this year I’ve decided to do my December gift shopping old school style.

You see, I’m lucky to be surrounded by boutique gift stores. The historic town where I live is decorated in tree wrapped lights, holiday music wafts from inside the shops and there’s no one “shushing” me when I sing along to old favorites.  It’s magical.

The holiday list I’m using is for who I want to find a gift for, not what to buy.  I’m trusting inspiration, intuition and a little luck to guide my choices, not savings or deals.  Unhurriedly browsing the shops, I delight in being able to pick up, really look over and imagine giving it to the recipient.  Holding it helps me feel connected in a way I didn’t realize I missed when shopping with my keyboard.

And this year is especially important for me to feel connected to those I love.  November ended remembering four family members who had passed this last year.  During our annual Thanksgiving gathering we told 51 years of stories, browsed through photos, shared memories and spread ashes on what now feels like sacred ground.

Despite these losses, I feel pretty darn grateful.  And I’m finding it hard to share these feelings without it turning into a cliché or sounding trite.  If I were a religious person, I would say that the greatest sin would be to waste our gifts and talents.  So, when I say I am “thankful,” it’s not only for what has passed, or what is now, but for the opportunity to continue to honor my life by hopefully making a meaningful contribution and positive difference in the world moving forward.

Veering a bit from my typical blogs, I’m going to get a bit personal and share with you examples about what I am feeling grateful for.  Maybe they will help you to appreciate this past year if it has been anything like mine and maybe even help you start the next year with a different perspective.

I’m grateful to still be participating in life in general

Four memorial services remind me of this clearly.  I am not afraid of dying.  It happens to everyone and very few get to choose their time, place or circumstance.  But please, for the record don’t put me in a jar and keep me immortalized on a shelf, mantle or piano.  Or crush my remains into a diamond or mix them with soil to grow into a tree. It’s ok if that’s your wish.  For me, spread my ashes on the sacred ground of my forefathers and let the earth do with me what it will.

I’m grateful for my health

My number one focus this past year has been on my health.  It’s been on my list for several years, but this year I simply got tired of seeing it continue to be ignored.  I am in a much healthier place this December.  I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, cut sugar out of my diet, don’t drink alcohol, walk weekly, finally sleep better and all lab tests taken this year have come back healthy.  Honoring my health is hard for me so I hope to continue this into the next year.

I’m grateful for my kids

Another obvious one, but I truly am so amazed at the people they have become.  And although people sometimes try to give me credit for that, I put it all back on them.  After all, otherwise I would have to take credit for when they weren’t so amazing, and I’d rather not do that either.  They are kind, loving, smart, passionate adults.  And I have to admit the fact that they are self-sufficient, responsible, independent and seem to be happy is all icing on the cake of parenting.

I’m grateful for technology

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the internet.  With its unlimited potential, I can connect with people all around the world.  Get answers to the zillion questions that race through my brain and share ADHD resources with people I have never met and even speak different languages.  I am able to work with clients all over the globe and train students in the International ADHD Coach Training Center ( to be able to decrease the stigma and increase the awareness of ADHD in their communities and cultures.

I’m grateful for Amazon

OK maybe this seems odd, but Amazon makes my life so much easier.  It saves me time and probably money by letting me shop for those nonperishables and having them delivered to my door.  And let me just say…I for one appreciate the “smile” on the side of the box when it arrives at my doorstep.

I’m grateful for a renewed appreciation for nature

I am not, nor will I ever be someone who yearns to travel miles into the wild, cook rehydrated meals over a camp stove or beam with pride over callouses from my hiking boots.  Camping to me has always been staying at a Motel Six.  Having said that, I have begun to take notice of what I call everyday nature.  Things like pink evening sunsets, the way the mist hovers between the tall evergreen trees on the lake, the smell of sea life when the tide is out and the consistency of birds at the feeders I placed outside my living room window.  These everyday nature moments calm, settle and ground me.

I’m grateful for you

Because of you, I feel like I am making a difference in the world.  You let me know how I continue to change your life, share something you didn’t know about ADHD and have given you hope.  Every day I feel privileged because you make me feel like I’m doing something important.  I believe the work that I do as an ADHD Life Coach and trainer is a calling.  Something I didn’t even know was a profession but feels like I was uniquely designed to do.  And because of you, I have been able to create this place for myself in the world. So, thank you.


Want some more guidance on how to handle the holidays? Check out:

10 Tips to Better Manage Your Time During the Holidays

Adult ADHD: Getting a Handle on the Holiday Havoc

3 Ways You Can Make a Difference in the Lives of Others With ADHD


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