Gratitude Basket 2017When my dear friend Nancy gave me a beautiful West African basket a few years back I decided to use it in a special way.

Starting on January 1st, I toss mementos for the year into the basket.

Then, late in December I empty the contents onto my office rug and savor them once again.

My heart sings as I recall Broadway shows and concerts (Come From Away and James Taylor top this year’s list).

There are ticket stubs from fun outings and trips: Legoland with my Magical Mystery Tourgranddaughters and travel to Scotland, England and Charleston. (Tops: The Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool!)

Booklets and note cards highlight professional success: an ATHENA award nomination and coaching inspiring clients and TEDx speakers.

Sadly, the memories aren’t all happy. Photos of dear friends whose lives came to an abrupt end were also in my basket (missing you: Janie, Michelle and Ree).

Mostly I treasure heartfelt cards (yes, thankfully people still write meaningful personal notes) that remind me I am loved and valued and that I am lucky. Oh, so lucky.

I am lucky to have reached 65 still able to play on the floor with my granddaughters.

I am lucky to have caring and intimate friends (and to have reconnected with two friends from the past: Gail and Lisa).

I am lucky to have a loving family that can laugh, cry and talk politics without rancor.

I am lucky to have resources to enjoy entertainment and travel (not that resources are a requirement).

I am lucky to have time to give of myself to good causes (shout-out to my newest causes: Good Grief and Mary’s Place by the Sea).

After reliving these memories I honor my commitment to not accumulate stuff and toss out these mementos. I really do!

It’s not easy, but I’ll have a photograph of them to return to when my aging mind wonders what the heck mattered to me in 2017.

And now my gratitude basket is empty and ready to be restocked with new memories.

So, I’d say that it’s up to you to decide how you want to remember 2018. Rather than making resolutions that won’t stick, grab a basket to capture gratitude for memories that will.  What would you say?

Check out my most popular posts from 2017:

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