Archive for Gratitude


A lesson in gratitude…

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Yesterday afternoon I was getting on Highway 39 from route 6 and there at the on-ramp was 70 year old Pedro with his thumb in the air. He knew I was going to drive right by him and he still smiled and waved. At the next exit I found myself heading the other way to pick him up.  His small sign made from cardboard and permanent marker said “El Paso” which was on my way to Peoria.

I will never see him again, but in the 40+ miles we spent together, he created a permanent place in my heart.  He got laid-off from a construction job laying stone in Pennsylvania and it took him 11 days to get here. He lost his wife to cancer in ’78 and  is the last remaining of his brothers and sisters. He is on his way to see his daughter in San Antonio, TX.

He had been standing there since 5am.  I said I couldn’t believe he went over 8 hours without someone stopping and he said “I’m just so grateful to be alive.” The man just spent the night under a bridge for shelter from the rain, someone stole his sleeping bag the night before, he has only 55 cents in his pocket, and the first thing he talks about is how grateful he is. He went on to say that he understands that people are just scared. He said, “I’m scared too, I don’t know whose car I’m getting into”.  I remember my fear when we hitchhiked into town to get groceries off the AT.  Usually people only think about the fear of who they would be letting in their car, not how afraid the person is getting in to it.

I left him at the edge of route 24 in El Paso with 20 bucks and a hug.  I hope he makes it to his daughter. It’s interesting to me that the people that have the least seem more often than not to be the most grateful. I guess for most of us we don’t really appreciate what we have until we don’t have it.  I feel blessed when I get a reminder to be grateful for what I have without having to lose someone or something to remember that.  Thank you, Pedro. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

P.S. Don’t worry mom, I don’t normally spend my time picking up strangers.  This time I just had a good feeling 😉


Categories : Be Happy
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Thank You!

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 I started this blog just under two weeks ago and in addition to the comments on these pages, I have had some amazing responses on facebook, text, email, etc. that I will log here.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
4/2/11  Emily Lake: Your blog is amazing! I’m so happy for you and this Kurt dude- his ‘isms’ are hilarious!
 4/2/11  Brian Seargeant: Season, I really enjoyed your website. You are one special woman. Your openness and vulnerability and zest for life are contagious. I especially liked your comment on hanging out in the personal growth section which I can relate to. Also Wayne Dyer is one of my favourite authors. His book on taoism is also real good. I felt a lot of emotion when I did the three circles and realized that my passion is personal growth as well for myself and others. You are great!!!
4/1/11  Christie Stride:I was checking out your blog, looks like you put a ton of work into that, love how motivated and high on life you seem. You sound so happy, congrats on all your success, happy for you! congrats on the engagement too, can’t believe your wanting to move to mississippi, i’d kinda like to go to tennessee, we will see, maybe someday..what you are doing sounds awesome, keep up the hard work!

 4/1/11 Jeff Monroe: Congratulations Sweets. It looks wonderful. You are my atheletic inspiration.

4/1/11 Maribel Serrano: Czin!! Wow, it’s almost been a year since we both left Lululemon. You look great and I’m very happy to see you are living your dreams. Thanks for friending me! Oh, I love your blog btw. ♥

 3/31/11 Janean Long Mileusnic:Thank you also for sharing your blog with me. I thought I would log on and skim over the “kurtisms” you mentioned, but I found myself completely immersed and devoured everything you wrote from top to bottom. I proclaimed to my computer: “wow…….I really like this girl!!”. I don’t usually talk to my computer but I think it was glad I wasn’t swearing at it.
 3/31/11  Mary Jo Grange:Thanks for sending the link to your blog; I looked at it briefly this morning and it looks so great!

 3/30/11 Jessica Hildreth:You are such an inspiration. I FINALLY had a moment to read your blog post (I’ve been wanting to read it since I saw this note you sent me) Well rounded, well written blog post my dear. I would love to see that in The New York Times, or New Yorker magazine- seriously. I’ve done quite a bit of research and read article about Landmark/Lululemon experiences. Yours is an accurate portrail. I completely related to it.

3/28/11 Julie Stevenson: seas, i know we just chatted but I wanted to tell you that I was really impressed by the insightfulness you demonstrated in your blog post, “the truth about lululemon.”

3/27/11 Sarah Schmitt: I love your page! When I read your thing about your feet I could not stop laughing.

Categories : Thank You!
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I just had a conversation with my own feet…

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I know how the title sounds, which is why this post earned it’s spot on the confessions page instead of the gratitude page.  Yesterday when I was hiking the wopping 6.5 miles  (that’s sarcastic to hikers, but real for those of you who haven’t walked a mile in years) my feet were starting to hurt because it has been so long since I have been hiking.  My reaction to the pain was to be totally bummed out considering I was still a few miles from the car.  But, then I looked down and saw how tiny, feminine, and dainty my feet are.  And how these were the same feet that carried me over 2100 miles, and all at once consistently for 6 months.  I remember taking my shoes off after hiking a few days in endless rain and on blisters when shock and horror came over my face because there was no discernible feature that anyone could recognize as actual feet.

 I have put my feet through hell and they just continue to do their thing, and they do it well.  After getting lost in these thoughts I realized where I was and that I had just been looking down at my own feet while walking and smiling saying “thank you” (and other affectionate things that would have made someone think I was talking to a small pet).  Immediately my gaze drifted in every direction to make sure there wasn’t another hiker within earshot.  I was safe.  So yeah, this is an embarrassing confession but it’s also about giving my feet some love.  And it’s funny, after I did that they didn’t really hurt for the rest of the hike.  Not only do I appreciate all the wonderful things they have done for me, but I expect them to carry me along every inch of the AT once again next year.  (They just don’t know that yet).  😀

Categories : Confessions
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That Free Thing

“"We don't see things as THEY are. We see things the way WE are." ”

Raymond Charles Barker