Thanksgiving Grateful List, A-Z ……..
Thanksgiving Day Gratitude List (A-Z)
A- This journey would have to start with the London Heathrow airport experience. I barely remember being there…LOL…as the anticipation of our first hug after weeks of Skype, texts, chats, and phone calls the nerves were intense. That airport will forever be remembered as the place time stood still.
B- I’m 39 years old and had reached a point in my life where I had rationalized a great deal about my life. I had lived in the spirit of adventure to the highest. I’ve seen a lot of things in my time on this planet, met a lot of people from all walks of life , and had some great jobs I sought out and tremendous mentors along the way. I also had a lot of heartbreak, misery, and figuring things out on my own. If life is the ultimate teacher consider me well taught. What I had yet to step into was what I see as the ultimate purpose, the ultimate role for existing. Having a child in some capacity (adoption/biological/step) was my unfulfilled dream. This year was the year I found out I’m going to have a baby, a miracle in my eyes that defies every moment until then. While still early in her pregnancy, we go in for our first ultrasound Monday to see how this growing little baby is doing. Overwhelmed at the thought of seeing that image on the screen. Overwhelmed…..
C- Canal boat experience the first eight days that Sunniva and I met was a defining element of what we are about. We learned by living in tight quarters on a narrow boat in January English weather that we worked in harmony, faced obstacles with grace, and our adventurous spirit in life had finally found a real comrade. That trip is one that I’ll never forget and the first place we laid our heads after hugging Jan 16th in London for the first time.
D- There are two magical times of the day. It’s been coined “The Space Between.” Just as the sun rises and the sun sets the air gets very still and the energy heightened. I’ve been blessed to have seen many sunrises and sunsets and look forward to many more. I especially find joy in getting up early, having a cup of coffee and as my mind and spirit centers for the day, watching the dawn sunrise. I don’t do it enough but perhaps that’s one reason I deeply appreciate it.
E- I was trolling my timeline to look at things and how they happened last year in such a surreal fashion. Saw the first timeline postings of several of Sunniva’s friends and a New Years Eve that I put on her mom’s, Elin Helseth, and almost a year later it’s interesting to look at. –
“Happy New Year Elin! I can’t wait to meet you and I hope you TRUST that this will be an amazing year in EVERY capacity. Rich with experience, growth, and love. Blessings to you and your family. Peace, Jared”
It’s hard to keep this one short but I have something in mind for Christmas to go deeper but man, I have to admit I was very nervous landing in Norway with that first and only one week planned here. Sunniva and I knew this relationship would be exactly as you see it a year later from the moment we caught eyes. Based on life circumstances I knew it would be a tough sell for Elin. She let me in her home and become part of this family in a short time. I hope that we’ve all in some ways seen rich experiences, growth, and love. My belief is that in five years we’ll all look back and have lots of laughs and great memories of what all happened. I’m grateful for all I’ve learned by being around Elin. In a fairly tight space in a first year marriage with a new stepdaughter my perspective is likely very different but I try to step into her shoes as much as I can. An American with a different way about him, and while I don’t doubt she saw the intensity of us, it was still me being in the midst of a dynamic already in place …and I know the adjustments were not easy. I am deeply grateful for her allowing us our space, building stairs, making noise, borrowing her car, getting Gabi to school and picked up so many days…and this list goes on. I hope to pay it back in the future in ways I can’t quite say yet, but trust that I will.
F- It’s impossible to not think about family in general on Thanksgiving. They are there for you when times get tough, they are there for you when you celebrate victories in life, and they are there for you till the end. Friends can fade over time, but your family will not. I think at different phases of life we all get annoyed by family and see what is different versus what we share in common, but as you age you realize what the term family really means.
G- When I met my wife I had no idea I would be blessed for the connection and special spirit of her daughter, Gabi. Both are indeed miracles in my life and the gratitude for this 4 yr. old and what she has already taught me through the mirror that our children are, is intense.
H- Something that I admire the most in other people, the thing my eyes are really tuned into when observing people interact in life is humility. I don’t care what spiritual path you walk, humility should be the goal of the work put in.
I- I didn’t think I could ever match the Intensity I have for life, until I found my wife. Learning that it’s about how to harness and not suppress the intensity has been a profound aspect of the catalystic change in my life today. Embracing intensity and grateful for channeling it in the right ways I am very grateful for.
J- When I first started to keep a diary almost daily, I was only ten years old. It’s been almost 30 years and I’ve kept fairly consistent records of my own thoughts via the practice of journal writing. I’m very grateful the last couple of years as I slowly was heading into a new phase of life, to begin going back through a decade worth of writings to establish and recognize patterns. In the game of life, understanding oneself is the crux of evolution in our spiritual growth. Without consistent journal writing I may be same guy I was 5 years ago, and that’s not a window of time I would want to hold onto.
K- Tremendous and incredible thanks to my mother, Kathy Adair. She sat with me the day before I boarded the flight to London and could see deep in my eyes that this was the real deal. “Are you coming?” she asked with a smile. “I think so,” was the only answer I knew. Having your child suddenly move to Europe just as you think you might have them within an hour of home I was deep in love with someone half a world away. She has been a big supporter from day one, largely due to my long history of being unhappy on the back end of my last relationship. The hospitality we got during our 21 day trip to the US we are forever grateful, helping to pay for Gabi’s plane ticket there, and giving us a few months in the US at the lake house to get our footing as we explore what is next for us we are so grateful for. My mother and I have been through a lot together, seen plenty of pain and worked through a great deal over a long period of time…landing us at a point where I think she is ultimately just incredibly happy to see me happy.
L- Whether in Texas, Arkansas, or Sweden… Long Hikes are something that never gets old. There is something about being alone in the woods and exploring trails for hours until your legs almost go numb and you reach that place of no thought, that place of deep connection with Mother Earth that rocks your world. Good for the body, mind, and soul…. long hikes will never get old.
M- Marta Youngblood is one of a kind. Certain people are put on this planet to change lives and lead by example. This lady is a dear friend to me, a mentor of sorts, a personal think tank, and source of deep inspiration for Solgave. She is finishing her dissertation on her PhD, carrying a full time job trying to make a difference as head of STEM for Arkansas after shifting out of a journalism career, and a wife among other things… and YET STILL, finds time to help Sunniva and I with our own dreams. She finds pride in helping people see dreams through. I’m very drawn to leaders who walk silently wanting no credit, and deeply pushing those around them to reach for the stars. Without exaggeration over the course of this year she has probably sent suggestions on probably 40 ideas for Solgave in terms of resources out there, research we can connect to, ideas on E-book projects, and so much more. Dreaming of a world where people who make a difference, especially kids, get noticed is a driving passion of hers. Remember the name, because you’ll be hearing it on a much larger stage one day. Grateful to call her a friend. –ADDENDUM As I was typing this section Marta tossed an article from Entrepreneur Magazine answering some questions I had posed about expanding our blog as a business. Another example of selfless tossing of nuggets of potential help to not just us, but so many others and proof of why I wanted to recognize her in this blog.
N- While we live on the Swedish side, my wife is Norwegian. Having lived in Europe now almost a year I have to show some deep thanks to Norway. It’s an incredible country; only 5 million people that live here, but a tremendous sense of pride that they carry. Being part of the May 17th celebration was something I’ll never forget. I’ve written a lot about what Norway has taught me in the past, so I just want to express deep gratitude for what I feel will from now on be a second home country to me. With a new child on the way and Gabi and Sunniva’s family holding roots here, the Norway and US bridge is already being built.
O- The outdoors is something that has been a vital part of taking the healing elements of nature and letting them work their magic. Always close to Sunniva and I’s heart, the outdoors is a place we both find our spiritual connection to the universe deeply woven into.
P- Progress does not have to be fast moving, it’s better to have sustained and steady motion in one direction. This year I have had incredible progress in so many ways I have to give thanks.
Q- On our honeymoon night we got to stay at the Quality Spa Hotel in Stromstad as a gift from her father. We only had one night to get away after a wedding we planned only 4 days earlier, but it was a tremendous experience for us and a night we won’t ever forget. From the dinner, to the music, to the incredible view and room, very grateful for the memories of this night.
R- As part of the Solgave story and project, our horse Rowan was in many ways the first brick that we laid in the foundation. A horse in need of a new home as he was facing some dire conditions being underfed, we took him on in hopes of using him as a therapy horse. What he ended up teaching me was a tremendous amount as we did so much groundwork; exercise to get him back to full health. The lessons I learned from Rowan were intense. Very grateful that he came into our life and also now found a home and owner that matches him perfectly.
S- Sunniva. My wife, my best friend, and now the woman carrying our first child. Watch out what you wish for, because you may just find it. Keeping no secrets, matching our energies toe to toe, we embarked on a deep journey of self-discovery shedding much of what we thought at the time was “us” to see through the mirroring eyes of one another every dark nook and cranny of the soul. It’s almost impossible to know how to describe the power of this kind of relationship where you can observe yourself from outside your body because the behaviors, emotions, and thoughts are so freakishly close together. We live intensely. We go as deep as I dreamed of going with a partner. Never in my life would I expect to find a match so perfect for me as I have with Sunniva.
T- I have to say I’m grateful for trains in Europe. The first experience I had on a high-speed rail was heading to the canal boat near our drop off point of Willington. I got to see the famous Kings Cross Station, and St Pancras. Also on our recent trip to Oslo we got to take when my family was in town. Just an incredible way to see this part of the world and memories I won’t ever forget.
U- I have to give thanks the UNIVERSE for being part of all that is. Taking an astronomy course right now and having my eyes on the stars it’s particularly on my mind to be grateful for the earth, the moon, the sun, the Milky Way galaxy and the universe in its entirety. We are made of star stuff, and gratitude if you reach deep enough should involve the universe, the cosmos.
V- Grateful for the voice that Facebook and ultimately Solgave.com have allowed us to have. It led to many creative projects, partnerships, and vehicles to share our voice around the world. Grateful…
W- Waking up every day of this last year are some of the greatest heaven on earth experiences I’ve yet to find. Typically the three of us get some cuddle time in bed before prepping for the day. It’s a time of day filled with love, laughter, and bonding. Remembering every day is a chance to see the world with new eyes, waking up each day allows us to use that gift and see things as if we’ve never seen them before. Waking up has never been better.
X- The men playing the xylophone on the corners of streets in Halden, Fredrikstad, and Oslo in Norway are always things that bring a smile to my face and for that I’m grateful. There is something magical about walking the historic streets in Europe and hearing the xylophone being played in the background
Y- Yesterday is not a place we keep our thoughts when our eyes are on the future, but it’s a place to discern and learn so that tomorrow can be better not only for us, our children, but for the world. Yesterday, an important day to recognize where we can become a shade better in the long process of self development
Z- As I’m running out of time and energy at this point in my A-Z gratefuls on Thanksgiving Day, I want to give thanks to Zen. A way of being. A state of mind I work towards. The vision of Sunniva and I in rocking chairs with silver hair and grand kids in front of us playing as a very Zen couple in old age is how we see growing old.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day and remember it’s a day to be grateful for so much in our life!