2012 Year-End Gratitude

When I created this blog, I made a vow that at the end of every year I would write a Gratitude Recap.  Today is January 9, 2013 and I am looooooooooong overdue in writing.  In fairness, it is Q-end and I work with fund managers so there’s a lot going on. The avalanche of work I have will not subside until January 25th.

I will admit I have had various drafts in my head since December 24, 2012; however, I failed to keep notes so I keep losing thoughts on what I’m going to write about.  While riding the train home, I’ll start a really great post (again, my head ) and then by the time the train arrives at the station, I exit the train, walk home and suddenly POOF, the awesome post is gone…   😦

I’m still at work and taking a break from my Q-end responsibilities with the hopes of getting something written so I can scratch this off my personal To Do list.  So without further adieu, here is my 2012 Gratitude Recap (or asiRuniBreath says, “Attitude of Gratitude” – don’t you just LOVE that???).  

Ok, deep breath… cracking knuckles…here goes nothing:

First, I would like to thank all the bloggers who are following my blog.  The fact that I picked up any traffic at all is a miracle in itself – and to that, I amforever grateful.

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to own four homes. I am currently living in my 4th home  and still own my 3rd (the 3rd is technically a condo not a house but whatever!).  When I think about our economic climate and the hardships people are facing (and have been facing for some time), I am grateful that I was able to purchase my 4th home in January of 2012 during such turbulent times.

I am also grateful for SMA who has been patiently helping me update my latest purchase.   To give you some back story:  January 2012 I purchased the most adorable 1915 home.  The previous owner had lived there for 75 years (and passed away in the home). She was 2nd generation Italian who raised 4 children in the house, all of whom are now in their 60s and 70s.  Suffice it to say the house was loved. The first time I walked through it, I could feel the positive energy.  All of the previous owners things were still in the home: furniture, dishes, clothes, crucifixes, statues of Mother Mary – you name it, everything. It was like a shrine. I felt as though I was walking through my Nonna’s house.  I knew I wanted this house but it was over priced, way overpriced.  By using the power of positive thinking and meditation/prayer, I envisioned the house as mine.  Four weeks later, I received a call from my Broker. She said the sellers reduced the price.  Through the power of positive attitude and boat loads of gratitude the house is mine and I couldn’t be happier.  I believe humility and gratitude carry a person a long way. I believe in the power of gratitude and the house solidifies my beliefs. If you toss out positive energy, positive energy will come back to you. If you toss out hate and negativity– hell bent on hurting someone, well then that shit will come back to bite you on the ass ten-fold.

Moving on…

I am grateful for Wheeza (nickname).  Wheeza is my GBFF and no one *gets me* the way Wheeza does. If I am having a bad day and send him an email, he always manages to brighten my mood – he has a gift for finding the humor in everything. We understand each others boundaries and we don’t need to see/speak or hang out all the time to know we are still good friends.  Wheeza and I have known each other for a very long time (20 years) and I cherish my friendship with him.

I am grateful for AMF.  She doesn’t always *get me* the way Wheeza does but AMF has a good heart and soul. She would do anything for you and as I mentioned in last year’s Gratitude Post: she always manages to remember significant dates in my life.  She is a walking diary, I swear.  One thing I’ve always admired about AMF is her humility. She doesn’t show hubris. You’ll never hear her say, “Oh I’m a good person.” Or “I was raised right.”  My belief is: if you have to say it, you’re not.  She doesn’t have to say it because everyone knows she’s is a good person. She cares deeply about the people in her life and she always manages to make time for everyone.

Yvonne.  Ah, Yvonne…my sister from another mother.  I have known Yvonne for 30 years (OMG! I just did the math and cannot believe it).  She and I are like ships in the night but when we catch up, we always pick up right where we left off.  Yvonne is fiercely loyal (she’s a Scorpio) and if anyone crosses me, she always comes to my defense.  If I go to her with a problem, she will analyze it like a courtroom litigator and come back with advice. I always enjoy catching up with her and listening to her latest escapades. She could write a sitcom.

I am grateful for the people in my life who have taught me to take the high road.  Recently I learned a former friend is bad mouthing me to all and sundry.  The old me would have lashed out but this new, more relaxed me, learned that it isn’t worth it.  I was advised to “feel sorry for her” and to take into consideration that something must be missing from her life to make her react in such a hateful way.  I’m not sure I feel sorry for her but I do pity her or anyone who fosters hate and hits below the belt.  Life’s too short and as someone who lived through a trying time in 2010 (medically as well as lost a brother) I know first hand that it aint fucking worth it!

I am grateful that I can get up everyday and see the sky, clouds, sun, birds, trees, and squirrels. Snuggle with my furry babies, breath the fresh air, walk to the train, garden in my back yard, dance ballet at my Wednesday evening ballet classes, have use of both arms, legs and four sense. I worked with a woman who is blind. She taught me so much about being grateful for what I have.  Despite being blind, she can sew, cook and she never ever missed a day of work, ever!  I think about that every time I contemplate calling in sick.

I am grateful for the skills I learned by attending culinary school as well as work experience I gained in the field as a pastry cook. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything – totally worth it.

I am grateful for the food in my fridge and cupboards – I know many are suffering and most don’t’ know this but people are starving in this country, never mind 3rd World Countries.  Every time I go to the grocery story, I make it a point to pick up something for my local food pantry.  A huge jar or PB as well as a case of Cat Food can help a person and animal in need.  My local food pantry director told me most people forget to donate food for animals, but as you can see by this blog, I never forget my furry friends.


Well folks, it’s 6:25 p.m. and I need to start packing up and head to the train.  I’m beat and my brain feels foggy so I am going to end this recap.  If I have more to add, I will.

A domani (until tomorrow),



My beautiful friend Yvonne sent this to me so I decided to share:

Friendship is a mirror that reflects the grace of God. Throughout my life, I have countless opportunities to be a friend and to make new friends. Each friendship is an occasion to experience God in action–to behold kindness, peace, happiness and love in each person I meet. Each friendship is also an opportunity for me to reveal my highest and best qualities. My friends and I balance one another’s strengths and weaknesses and enjoy a comfortable camaraderie as we walk our life’s paths. My friends know me and love me, lift my spirits by their presence, and help me find my way in the world. I gladly reciprocate. Each friend is a blessing in my life. Each one has helped me become the person I am today. I thank God for my friends. A true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin.–Proverbs 18:24


Before 2011 comes to a close, I would like to dedicate this blog to some very important people in my life.

First and foremost, I am grateful for Azz (deliberately not using his real name or his association to me).  He and I were born in the same generation (the 60s) and are only 2 years apart in age.  We share so much in common that at times we often felt as though we had grown up together.  We have been together since 2000 and not a day goes by that we don’t laugh over something we both agree is funny or stupid. I think it is safe to say, we share the same warped sense of humor and love for animals, especially cats.  In fact, we can barely get through a day without speaking in movie quotes – one of our favorite movies (among many) is: Shawshank Redemption. We love to quote Brooks Hadlen, “It’s all talked out.”  Whenever Azz and I have a difference of of opinion on something, one of us will use that line and then start to laugh which immediately lightens the mood.  We never argue, as arguing has never been our thing. Thankfully, our similar sense of humor has carried us through the good and difficult times.  Words cannot express how much I appreciate Azz for being there for me throughout the years, but more importantly, during the mid to latter part of 2010 – all of those ER visits, waiting around for a diagnosis –waiting while I underwent a 5 hour surgery and then waiting again as I underwent yet another procedure. All those nights he would lie awake with me trying to ease my discomfort.  Not once did he complain. Some men would have run for the door or hid behind their work but he didn’t. He was there for me.  And I cannot forget how he was there to hold me up as we stood at my brother’s funeral on a rainy, cold, miserable November day.  I also want to thank him for teaching me the power of taking the high road when someone does something to try and hurt me or us.  He taught me that it is better to walk away rather than to react because as he says, “It’s what they want. They want you to react.” By not reacting, you stifle them.  The other night Steve told me that he would marry me all over again. That I was “a good woman”.  I was so touched by this that I realized I really do have a lot to be grateful for. And for that I say, thank you for being a part of my life.

Next I would like to show my gratitude for my long time friend Yvonne.  Yvonne and I met many many years ago (it was the early 90s).  Despite the fact that in 2000, she moved to the other side of the country, we have always remained in contact and we always manage to pick up right where we left off.  As I have told her on many occasions she has always been my voice of reason.  If I want an honest answer, Yvonne will give it to me w/out pouring sugar on it.  Like Azz, she taught me to take the high road. Yvonne is fiercely loyal and always has my back. When I am caught up in a conflict, Yvonne enables me to see through it, take it for what it is and move the Hell on. There were times when the distance between us felt like less than a mile, even though it was more like 3,000. I’ll never forget the summer she stayed with us and we went to Friendly’s where she proceeded to drink, not one, but TWO, Black & White Frappes with nary a care for what anyone would think or say. That’s another quality I love about Yvonne. She doesn’t give a rat’s fuzzy butt-hole what ANYONE thinks. If you confide in her, know that what you have told her will stay in confidence and if by chance you have a falling out or don’t see eye-to-eye, don’t think for one second she will reveal your confidences as a means to lash out at you cuz that aint her style.  I won’t reveal her age, but if you met her, you would think she was in her early 40s and she is not! If anyone on this planet is aging gracefully it would have to be Yvonne. I was recently talking about her with a former co-worker (Tom) who also worked with Yvonne. In fact, at one time, the 3 of us worked together sitting on the same floor.  Anyway, Tom and I were chatting about Yvonne and the topic of her house came up (this was the home she owned in Portland). Tom commented on how beautiful it was. I told him I remembered her apartment in Quincy and how even though she did not own it, it was decorated like something out of House & Gardens.  Tom agreed. I even went so far as to say that Yvonne could make a cardboard box look good. And if you don’t think I have Yvonne in the back of my mind when I’m decorating my own home, you are wrong because I do!  I have my own mind, style, & taste on what I like, but I can hear Yvonne’s voice in my head.  Yvonne is impeccable. If you need advice on what to wear for a special occassion, how to decorate your home, or how to respond to a situation consult with Yvonne. She is the modern day Dear Abby.  Yvonne is of Serbian descent, but there were times when I felt as though she was my Italian sister.  She is the sister I never had but always wanted and I don’t often feel that way about women.   The world needs more people like Yvonne and I for one am grateful to have her in my life — without her there would surely be a great void.

This blog wouldn’t be genuine if I didn’t mention Kenny, who I affectionately refer to as “Wheeza”.  Wheeza and I met when we were in our late 20s through a mutual friend that I had gone to high school with. He and I often laugh about how we are no longer friends with the person who brought us together.  Like Azz, Wheeza and I share the same warped sense of humor (he calls me Woozan) and not a day goes by that we don’t email one another movie quotes.  In fact, just like Azz, most of the time, all Wheeza and I do is banter in movie quotes. It goes without saying that Azz and Wheeza are kindred spirits. Wheeza says it is because they are both Aquarians.  What I love about Wheeza is that he enables me to see the ridiculousness in things.  Like Yvonne and Azz, Wheeza helps me to see that that taking the high road is better than stooping to someone’s level.  Furthermore, like Yvonne, when Wheeza and I get together, it is like we are picking up right where we left off without the feeling of time apart. And like those mentioned above, my life would be empty w/out Wheeza.  I should also mention that Wheeza has a biting sarcastic wit that is unmatched by anyone else I know. And like me, Wheeza has a blog called http://stupesinsipsrants.wordpress.com/   if you care to check it out.

And then there is AnneMarie, who I call AMF.  AMF is an oak.  I met AMF back in 1997. We were both working at Schwab Capital Markets.  I left Schwab in 2000 and she and I have kept in touch ever since.  What I admire about AMF is she always manages to see the good in almost everything – she is not one to dwell on the negative.  When I am having a moment where I feel as though I am on the ledge, AMF always manages to talk me down saying “It isn’t worth it” and 100% of the time she is absolutely right, it isn’t.   Another quality in AMF that I admire is her ability to make friends like the drop of a hat.  She attracts people.  And it goes without saying that no matter how busy AMF is, she always manages to remember the little or big details in my life.  While I was out on medical leave, she constantly kept in touch with me understanding that I did not want visitors, without taking it personally.   AMF is an old soul – she is wise upon her years; people who meet her instantly like her and wind up becoming her friend.  I introduced her to Wheeza and now they are friends and they way they interact, you would think they have known each other for years.  In closing, AMF is the person who brings people together.  Just like Azz, Yvonne and Wheeza, not having her in my life would cause a great void.

Andrea!!!!  Wow! I have watched this girl grow and morph before my eyes.  I met Andrea back in 2005 when I was a culinary student doing my internship.  She was a server, working part-time while going to college full time.  The first time we met, we immediately hit it off.  Andrea keeps me young.  She reminds me of what it was like to be young, trying to find one’s way through the world.  We had lost touch for a very brief period of time but reconnected in 2007 and have remained in one another’s lives since.  Sometimes Andrea is like the daughter I never had. Other times she’s like the younger sister I wish I had.  I look forward to watching her grow as she moves through her life.  I have a feeling we may see her on TV or read about her in a local Newspaper.

Last year, before I became sick, I reconnected with an old high school friend named Kristen. Like most of the friends in my life, Kristen and I picked up right where we left off 20+ years ago.  Kristen is one of the few people I know who truly knows how to live life to the fullest. Nothing ever gets her down as she is forever upbeat and positive.  Kristen also has this incredible ability to see through people.  Whenever I share an experience with her, she can sum up the situation like a courtroom attorney and spew the facts in such a way that you often wonder how you couldn’t have seen it coming.  Kristen is someone I admire a great deal who I hope will be able to teach me how to live life as fully as she does.

I for one believe in signs.  In the early part of 2011 my friend Terri, who I grew up with, contacted me via email to say she had started her own business.  Terri has given me so much wisdom.  This woman is beyond this world. It is as if she lives within several realms. She is so spiritual & insightful; she can read me like no one else. Terri wants everyone to succeed and will go above and beyond to see to it that you do.  Thanks to her I have broken through barriers and road blocks, basically, fears and doubts that were keeping me from pursuing my wants.

And lastly there is my mom and Nonna, who I accidentally omitted when I drafted this post last night.  I could write an epic novel about both of these women but suffice it to say my skill and ability to cook stems from them. Our lineage goes back to the old country: Italy and although I am 2 generations removed from the old country, I learned so much from the tough-love women in my life.

From a work standpoint, I would be remiss if I did not mention the awesome Admins I work with. During December 2010 my position was elminated but thanks to LD, I was fortunate enough to land.  Through her I met and an awesome group of Admins – all of whom took me under their wing, showing me the ropes.  It is important for Admins to work together, to have each other’s back – in fact, it is critical in order to succeed.  Without this group of wonderful ladies, I often wonder if navigating my way through a new position would have gone as smoothly as it had.  And now that I am coming up on my one year anniversary in joining the Co. I feel it is also important to mention two insanely funny ladies who manage to make me laugh all the while keeping it real, and those two ladies are Rebecca and Erica.  When my tongue is tied, Rebecca manages to understand what I am trying to say no matter how inarticulately I express myself.  As for Erica, although young in age, Erica is light years ahead of herself.  Erica has more maturity and intelligence than women twice, three times her age.  Everyone who meets Erica instantly likes her. Then again, how can you not, she’s just so darn adorable! And I do not mean that in a Lesbian way, not that there is anything wrong with Lesbians.  Lesbians are smart, they are not bamboozled by men the way we straight women are. Ha-Ha!

And then there is my gratitude to JR and Bill for their infinite patience in teaching me all there is to learn about Judaism, not just the religion but as a culture, and a nation of people…

And of course I cannot forget about Maureen. Maureen taught me to look at situations with a more positive lens. She taught me to not immediately go to the “bad place” but to take a step back, reset myself, and then approach the matter at hand.  No matter where I am in my life, I will always remember this advice.


This blog could go on and on as I have so many people and things to be grateful for…

In closing, I read once that the average person will own 3 homes in their lifetime. Well I am living proof of that statistic because on 01/12/2012 I will be closing on my 4th home and I for one am very excited (and grateful).   I am grateful to God for hearing and answering my prayers.  I am grateful for having wonderful friends. I am grateful for their wisdom in teaching me to rise above negative situations, learn from them and move forward, and to not waste energy dwelling in the past. I am grateful for my wonderful job working with an awesome group of people. I am grateful that I have my health. After losing a brother and undergoing two surgeries my view on life has completely changed and to that I am grateful.  I am grateful that I can see, hear, eat, talk, laugh, walk, run, and dance.  I am grateful that I have food on my table, clothes on my back, a roof over my head and 6 snuggly loving cats.  Lastly, I am grateful for not having any regrets. Well that’s not true, I do have 2 regrets but to me these are minor.  Regret #1: I wished I had gone into the military like my dad. He was a Navy guy, and served in Korea.  Regret #2: I wished I had gone to college full time, versus going part-time at night while working full time.  I regret missing out on the college dorm experience. These are not earth shattering regrets, certainly not anything to lie awake at night over, but if you were to ask me what my regrets are, those would be it.

It is hard to believe 2011 is nearly over and 2012 is fast approaching. Where did the time go?…  As I look around grateful for all that I have, I look forward to the New Year that will be filled with new experiences and lessons, lessons that will carry with me into the future.

© 2011 GiRRL_Earth