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Gratitude Schmatitude

Em and I planned the gratitude blog series ending with a post to reflect on the past year. A post that would also give consideration to our next trip around the sun together. And in my mind, it was positive and uplifting... and would go up before the new year actually hit. But 2022 crashed into existence with everyone holding their breath and hoping it might be a shift from the last few New Years ...and then the most monumental of losses. It left us breathless and grieving and unsure about how this year could be anything but sorrowful. But in honor of the man I (we) lost, my office buddy, and my eternal sounding board... I think I better finish the series - like I said I was going to do. So maybe this final gratitude blog post will ring true with the realist in each of us, and set a different kind of tone for the year ahead: self-aware, practical, authentic, and as ready as you can be.

Entirely due to my past life in the mental health world, my social feeds are curated toward a lot of mental health groups and collections of people intentionally on a journey toward healing. A lot of times, it’s a good thing. It can be grounding and encouraging to see snippets of others who are “doing the work.”

But there’s a term that crops up a lot that really *grinds my gears*

…and that term is “dysfunctional families.” To ME it implies that there are families (and humans who make up those families) who get it all right. Those who manage to avoid inflicting any pain on the people they are closest to. And if we examine it a step further, implies that those families are full of people who are able to always avoid FEELING hurt or slighted by others (since a fully actualized person would have accountability for their reactions and assumptions, in any level of conflict). That doesn’t lay blame, it just means that we humans are messy little things. It means conflict, especially within families, always has a multifaceted bigger picture. One where most people really are, honestly, truly doing the best they can. And probably sucking a little on the way (yep, you - and me - too).

Once, when I was a teenager, someone I looked up to said, “Most problems are more quickly put to rest when you can give the benefit of the doubt AND stick to your morals.” This sentiment rings true with the way my grandpa lived his life, what what he encouraged me to do, and a theme that has undeniably underscored many parts of my life: grace.

This year started in the worst of ways. And it feels like I'm supposed to give a forced platitude about what was good and what will be ok, with a white knuckle grip on being grateful and jaw clenched in determination. But in the spirit of 2022 vibes, I'd like to offer something a little simpler.

I am grateful for grace.

I am eternally grateful to be on the receiving end of grace. Whether that be a text I failed to respond to, an invoice I overlooked, or when the aloof part of my personality slips loose and inevitably offends or casts an unfavorable impression. But, I am also thankful I can give grace. I can be a soft place to land, take a minute (or twenty) to just have conversation, discipline my kiddo with unconditional positive regard, or facilitate someone else's shine. These kind of things fill me up and make me happy. They make me think I just might be able to be a little more like the man I miss every minute of my workday (and beyond).

At Thomas Honey, we market who we are in hopes of letting our customers in to a deeper understanding of our family. It's not a thing to air dirty laundry or an outlet for when times aren't easy. We're marketing our family business, not curating a mini reality show. When thrust into the spotlight, the resulting highlight reel can seem... less than authentic. There are days when this big beautiful group of people fit firmly into a description of "dysfunctional," and maybe that's why I hate that concept so much. Because at the core of the people I call my family, is a group of very normal (well, sort of) humans who just do the best they can. And that is...and will always be...more than enough.

So here's to the rest of your 2022 brimming over with the ability to see another's best. To a year full of chances to find and stick to your compass. May you give and receive endless moments of grace that return you to the person you want to be (or be like).

Peace, love, and really good honey, y'all


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