And just like that, it's February! I can't possibly be the only one who is thinking: how did that happen? Last I posted here was November, for goodness sake! Phew. I will spare you the normal excuses. Busy time, holidays, etc, etc.
What I'd like to share today is a little bit of public gratitude. I also know I'm not the only one to get caught up in the day to day and forget about the bigger picture. I've taken a few days away at the coast in England, and there is nothing like a sunny day at the beach (even in the dead of winter) to make you thankful for where you are and what you have. Fueled by the sun (sun!), fresh sea air, and the ever powerful facelessness of the computer screen, I'm going out in the realm of public displays of affection - not a particularly comfortable place for me. Welcome to the sappy zone! But nonetheless, here I go.
When I think about how few people graduate college, yet alone higher degrees, I blush with embarrassment at how privileged my life is. If it weren't for the constant and unwavering support of two very special people in my life, I wouldn't be here in this uber privileged position of studying for my PhD in one of the greatest cities in the world. I am the luckiest girl the world, and am overwhelmed by your generosity and love.
I am thankful for the course my life has taken, the experiences I've had, and the people who've led me to where I am today. Sitting in a little beach cottage on the southeastern coast of England, I find myself overpowered by this surreal feeling, asking myself: 'how did I end up here'? I'd like to think that the answer is that I was always meant to be here in this place at this time. It's just another step in my path of life.
In this time of droughts and floods and polar vortexes, I am oh so thankful for the warmth and protection of a roof over my head, warm heating, and good food to fill my belly. If things keep going the way they're going -- if you just take the one example of California, one of the major food producing regions of the US, in a severe drought -- we may look back at this time and recall with longing the abundance we had.
I'm also thankful for the changes I see happening in my area of work and passion, and the amazing people who make them happen. San Francisco is putting a soda tax on the ballot. Mexico has adopted one. A campaign has been started in the UK to reduce sugar consumption. Farmers markets and local foods are growing in demand. We are finally paying attention to the food we are eating, where it comes from and what it does to our bodies. It is a thrill to work in this field at this time.
They say in life it is the little things that matter. Little things like discovering the amazingness that is the HobNob, enjoying the beauty of nature and human life, petting two darling puppies on the beach today. I don't dare call it a new year's resolution -- given it is February and that I really despise new years resolutions -- but I hope to cultivate the practice of gratitude more and more. I have a lot to be thankful for.
And now back to regularly scheduled programming...