let the thanking begin

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It’s not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts.

Rachel, feeling grateful and late, as usual.

I’ve always wanted to be that person who could pen a quick return thank you card. This practice, this art of the thank you card, is one of those things I believe you learn as a young person, likely from your mother whose library contains several Judith “Miss Manners” Martin books. I do not come from a home that taught me this. My beloved did. It is one of the things I marvel most about her and her family—the swift thank you reply. A thank you card, handwritten and heartfelt, is I think one of the most beautiful acts of kindness I know of.

I’ve made new years resolutions about doing this, I have at least 100 different actual thank you cards on my desk. I keep forever stamps on hand and little piles of momentos all around my house, in obvious places so I won’t forget, and I don’t; these piles just grow and turn into little guilty reminders of who I could be if I could only set my priorities straight.

Which brings me to today, reflecting on setting my priorities and making different choices. When we decided to dive headlong into this rabbit-hole of health, we had no fucking clue what we were actually signing up for. Time, suddenly vanished, consumed by lists, cooking, planning and the shuffling of schedules to make our workouts happen 3 times a week (or more). Friends, patiently wondering if we were in fact the busiest people on the planet, impossibly wanting to make plans but inevitably postponed or worse, just unable to commit. Meanwhile, you all have been cheering us on in cards and comments, notes and emails. We’ve gone off the rails, and there you are, waving and hooting along this unpaved path. Friends, don’t let anyone try and tell you differently, setting priorities that puts you as numero uno is hard work.

But today, I begin again. There are so many people to thank, so many little moments that I am sure if you saw your name here you would have NO IDEA the impact you’ve made on my life. Going forward I will try to tell some of these stories, peppered along side of some “what’s next” and progress posts. I hope my endless thanking won’t bore you all, as your encouragement still butters my biscuit.

So for starters, a huge thank you goes out to our friends Courtney and Tony. The image here is of a card we received in the mail just as we were starting this whole fitness/healthy escapade. It quotes J.M. Laurence saying “It’s not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts.” Now THAT is some Gospel truth. The card included a gift card to Whole Foods along with some words of encouragement for the crazy ass shit we had just signed ourselves up for. I am sure they had no idea how much their words and friendship would come to mean to us. When I think to myself “can I do this, can I go on? Can I get up and work out even though I am dead ass tired?” I often find myself thinking about these two. They are capital B busy people. They travel, have kids, and each have a bunch of people who demand a lot of their time. Good Lord gravy if they can do it, I can at least try. Their presence and kindness has been like the unassuming accountability partner, without all the checking in and “non-judgement” judgement.

And so, it began, with friends by our side and a thoughtful card in the mail. But this certainly wasn’t THE beginning. No, this whole thing actually started just over 7 years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, looking for a new house. But that is another thank you, in a different post, after my sweetie takes her turn writing.

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