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Tomorrow (December 12) is my 41st Birthday.  To celebrate I want to write 41 things I am grateful  for.  In this life we tend to concentrate on what we don’t have, and where we aren’t. There is always something to be grateful for and at this time of the year it easy to forget when we are consumed with buying gifts, driving here and there in a frenzy. I challenge you to stop each day of this holiday season to take a minute to think of the things you are grateful for in this life, it is not hard to do, it can be from small things (I am grateful for the bird outside my window) to large things (I am grateful for the money a friend sent me). Recenter yourself and your life and have a grateful New Year.Here is my list of 41 Things (not in any particular order, they are all important to me)…

  1. I am grateful for my mom buying me a plane ticket to be with the family at Christmas.
  2. I am grateful for the sun shining today – feels so good.
  3. I am grateful for my adorable cat Romeo.
  4. I am grateful for my dearest friend Linda, for her being there for me so much, for making me laugh, crying with me and sharing with me through good and bad.
  5. I am grateful for my friend Christina, for her laughing with me, growing with me, spiritually guiding me, and for being an amazing woman and friend.
  6. I am grateful for my sisters, for there emails, phone calls, and caring so much.
  7. I am grateful for Verdugo Jobs Center and how helpful they are.
  8. I am grateful for my feetsie pajama’s and how warm they keep me at night in this cold weather.
  9. I am grateful for my friend Yavonne, for her humor, for taking me to the movies when I need to get out, for her wisdom, strength and inspiration.
  10. I am grateful for Clothing swaps, media swaps and swaps in general.  I have had so much fun at them.
  11. I am grateful for all of my paints, canvases and supplies, that allow me to express myself and do something I truly love.
  12. I am grateful for my god children, Jai and Naia, for there constant love, acceptance, joyful exhuberance, creativity and intelligience.  I learn so much from you.
  13. I am grateful for friend Sam. For his caring about me, for his humor, for his smile that stays with me, and for the sweetness he exudes.
  14. I am grateful for my friend Mary, for our late night phone calls about family, and life, for her dedication to our friendship and for her knowledge about so many things.
  15. I am grateful for nature, for the beauty that surrounds me, for trees, flowers (roses are right outside my apt) and for the beach and mountains.
  16. I am grateful for cotton candy ice cream from Rite-Aid…..Yummmy.
  17. I am grateful for the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition, for what they do, how they inspire me and for being able to see people do care.
  18. I am grateful for movies that make me laugh, cry and think.
  19. I am grateful for my computer and for my friend Mark who lent it to me.  Thank you Mark, you are such and good friend and I am grateful for you.
  20. I am grateful for my Woman’s Artist group and for the support I recieve there.
  21. I am grateful for the Spiritual group I belong to, for the wisdom, caring and joy I get from it.
  22. I am grateful for having an adventurous spirit.
  23. I am grateful for my bed, yes you read right my bed, the best bed in the world that helps me get a very good sleep every night.
  24. I am grateful for all the wonderful gifts I have got for my birthday.
  25. I am grateful for chocolate…oh devine chocolate.
  26. I am grateful for the Really Really Free Market, for what it represents, for what I have got from it and for the people who run it.
  27. I am grateful for Alanis Morrisette. For the vulnerability, humor and growth she expresses in her music.
  28. I am grateful for surprises, oh how I love fun surprises.
  29. I am grateful for the memories I have of my dad, of his hugs, his laughter, and our wonderful talks.
  30. I am grateful for being able to express myself, living in a place where I can do that.
  31. I am grateful for chinese food, especially Wonton Soup from Panda Inn.
  32. I am grateful for the medical clinic that I go to, for the way they are patient, caring and help me when I need it.
  33. I am grateful for the Library, for me being able to use the computer to print things when I need to.
  34. I am grateful for Sunday drives that lead me to interesting places.
  35. I am grateful for being able to be in Santa Barbara to celebrate my birthday with my friends.
  36. I am grateful for the  new curtain rods I got today, they are very cool.
  37. I am grateful for my friend Charles who always remembers my birthday and sends me funny e-cards.
  38. I am grateful for Starbucks Vanilla Frappucino, man I love those little bottles
  39. I am grateful for Charles Schultz creating the Peanuts and especially Snoopy which I just love.
  40. I am grateful for being open to change, for being inspiring and inspired and for learning so much in my life and sharing my wisdom.
  41. I am grateful for having lived 41 years and still going strong, learning more and smiling at the journey ahead.
  42. This is the bonus…going into my 42nd year…..I am grateful for new adventures, for the love I have from family and friends and for dreams coming true.

Thank you for reading my gratefulness, now go share yours 🙂  

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Dear Britney,

Though the chances of you actually geting this is one in a million, I am writing it anyway.

I have been thinking of you lately, hard not to with you being in the news everyday. I haven’t been a huge fan of yours, I don’t own any of your cd’s, I do like a few of your songs though, Slave to You, Toxic and your newest Hit Gimme More. The cuteness, sexy thing bugged me, oops I did it again, that twirl the hair, I am so sweet and innocent thing but trying to be sexy…blah. Then evolved a bit with Not a girl but not quite a woman, speaking the truth about that awkward age in life when you are not a teenager anymore but not a full grown woman yet either.

I have watched you go from cutesy, sexy vixen, confused person. I thought back and rememberd my twenties…oh my no picnic there, confusing, sexual exploration, transformation, sometimes a bit too cutesy and wrapped up in a blanket of constant not knowing. I started to think wow, what would that be like and then add having huge fame, and being folowed every where you go, you gain 5 lbs and it is on the news, you cry in public it is in a tabloid, you where an outfit that is a wild choice and you are bashed nationally. Now this is part of the choice you made when wanting to be famous, but very stressful to deal with. I would have been a nervous wreck if every little thing I did was scrutinized.

Good for you taking chances, changing hair color, style, diving into discovery. I admire your shaving your head, for being sexy, for searching spirituality.

I want to tell you it is okay that you are not perfect, it is okay that you are going through discovery, I hope though that you take all you have gone through and choose to learn from it, You are so much stronger than you probably think you are. Your children love you, but love yourself first so you can be there for them, they need you. Don’t by in the media pressure or let them get to you. You are talented in many ways and turn to those who have come before you, those you admire like Madonna, who have been through this. For a while I saw you approaching spirituality and it seemed to focus you, I hope you go back to that. These days are not easy, hang in there. It does get easier though life is always this journey of growth, clarity comes when open to it. Allow yourself space to not be the center of attention but to look at the center of who you are and there you will find where you need to be going.

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