I feel like I have been blessed, beyond measure, this year.
As I've been thinking, all day, about the things I'm truly grateful for, my mind has gone back to all of the absolutely phenomenal memories I've been able to make this year with people I absolutely adore. And that is precious to me.
Two years ago, The Spouse and I took a trip to Jamaica to celebrate his birthday. On our second to last day, we traveled up to the west tip of the island. While The Spouse was jumping off cliffs like a crazy person, I was safely bobbing in the azure blue water below. I stretched back and floated, gazing up into the sky as the sun began to sink. I remember closing my eyes and thinking "Contentment. This is what contentment feels like." And I tried to memorize it.
The months that followed brought particularly acute struggles and challenges, and I would find myself, closing my eyes and thinking that word "Contentment" and I was right there in my mind, with the waves softly rising and falling beneath me. It carried me through those months.
And this winter, I can close my eyes and think "Contentment." and I'm there, again, in those waves.
But this year has given me more gifts--the kind that nothing can take. The kind that I will carry with me, even when I grow old and die. I'm roasting marshmallows with my children on a summer night and catching frogs. I'm walking the decks of a beautiful ship with my parents, and chasing Alice in Wonderland with Thing 1. I'm gazing out over the bluest skies on the coast of Maine with a dear friend and wishing for time to slow down. And I'm laying on the slopes of a mountain, resting my head on my spouse's shoulder, gazing at waterfalls and glaciers, with the warm sun on my face.
And no matter where I am, or where I go, I am utterly content.