Thursday, January 17, 2013


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Sometimes it helps to sit back and take stock of all the little things we're grateful for, or the things that speak to us during the day. Or the week. I think this can be especially helpful when things are busy, hectic and we're on the edge of overwhelm. 

Yesterday, I stumbled across this Mary Oliver poem called "The Place I Want to Get Back To." As synchronicity would have it, I found it just a few hours after a friend and I had been talking about gratitude.  The last few stanzas say:

For twenty years
                 I have gone every day to the same woods,
                    not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
                         Such gifts, bestowed,
                                can't be repeated.

                  If you want to talk about this
                      come to visit. I live in the house
                           near the corner, which I have named

Things that touched my heart this week:

  • My daughter drawing a beautiful photo of her and I with a larger-than-life flower between us. On the back, she wrote, "I love you, Mom."  Later that day, I had a meeting with the writing group. As I got out of the car at the venue, F stopped me and said, "Mom, you have that picture I drew you, right?  If you get lonely, or you miss me, then just look at the picture."  
  • After asking the company driver some important things expats should know about Myanmar culture, he began listing off every Buddhist festival. His English isn't the best, and my Myanmar is nearly non-existent (I know, I'm bad), and he wasn't really asnwering the question I asked; however, the next day when I saw him, he handed me a piece of paper with every month of the year and each corresponding Buddhist festival for that month. In English. In beautiful penmanship.  Despite misunderstanding each other, it was clear how important it was that we take an interest in Myanmar.
  • Spending time with one of the most prolific children's books writers in the world and her lovely, funny daughter.  They traveled from the United States to generously share their experiences, knowledge, and skills with students ages 4-18. I was in awe all week and am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to watch and listen. Though the lessons were aimed at children, any adult would've learned a tremendous amount. I did. I am also touched and grateful that my daughter - at just six years old - is fortunate enough to attend a school that puts on a special event like this.  She has no idea how lucky she is.
  • The generosity and thoughtfulness of friends.  Many times this week, my friends - in Yangon and abroad - showed up for me in these ways: coffee; making charts + lists; listening; reading; writing; reminding me they're there for me; being my cheerleaders; giving hugs; making big plans. I am blessed with beautiful, kind-hearted, loving friends.

So, what touched your heart this week?   What are you grateful for?


  1. Lovely post, Becky. I am a big believer in expressing gratitude. The drawing from your daughter is just precious and what a full, rich life you have. I have to say I am very grateful for my friends these past few weeks. They have really helped me through a rough patch. I'm glad you have a good support system, too.

    1. Thank you, Janice!

      I've been thinking of you a lot recently. I am so sorry for your rough patch... I am glad for your friends. :)

  2. Beautiful post on gratitude Becky. Love the one of the drawing your daughter made of you and her together.

    This week I am grateful for recognizing that I couldn't keep doing so much. I'm learning to say no, to disconnect more and what is best is that I'm reconnecting in different areas of my life that are most important right now. That is what I'm most grateful for this week finding balance in my life again.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I loved that drawing from F, too!

      Oh, I totally understand what you're saying about not doing so much and learning to say no! What a beautiful thing, to find that balance again and reconnect in ways that best serve you right now. I think this is a hard lesson. It's hard sometimes to sit back and really focus on what is best for you and let other things go. Maybe that was part of the reason we both didn't do the blog circle this month. :)

      I'm happy that you're listening to what your needs are: after all, we're both on a self care journey!

  3. I am grateful for so many things, but at this moment, you Becky and your wonderful experiences that you are so willing to share. <3

    1. awwww. You are very kind, Indigene. I am incredibly grateful for you and the supportive, thoughtful words you always leave me. They truly brighten my day.

  4. Thank You Becky for making me pay attention to those beautiful small things. Today I am going to look my best because of you. Gracias!

    1. Hey, Lisa! Yay! De nada, mi amiga! <3

      Have a beautiful day!


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