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1900 - Automobile Club of Southern California founded; first car in SCV appeared 1902 [story]


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Jan 4, 2014

JenniferFischerWith a New Year upon us, I’ve decided to look back and select 13 things I am grateful for from 2013. I hope it will encourage others to ring in a new year with a focus on gratitude as well as the typical hopeful wishes that always seem abundant in a new year.

1. Family – I am particularly grateful for a joyous holiday season when I was able to see so many family members, and my children were able to spend time with relatives they rarely see.

2. Health – Another year of good health as a family. I had many friends lose loved ones this past year, particularly in the last few weeks. I also was part of a free film camp for children with cancer. Both of these experiences remind me to be grateful for the good health of my children and loved ones.

3. Courage – I am grateful my husband and I took risks this past year with our company and had the courage to do so. Through the beginning and middle of 2013, our company went through many transitions, and there were times when we weren’t sure what the outcomes would be. Yet we kept working hard, re-focusing our goals, and made our way to a positive place for our business.

4. New Friendships – When you hit your mid-30s, it can be easy to think you already have all of the friends you need, and that new friendships are not that important. This past year, however, some new friends came into my life who inspire me and motivate me to be a better person. I am grateful for these new friendships.

5. Old Friendships – Of course. This year, I have also re-established relationships with childhood friends and have seen some of my childhood friends grow and blossom as their lives have taken new directions. For this growth and these connections, I am grateful.

6. Community – Every year, I feel a greater connection and get more involved with my community. I am finally feeling like California is my home.

7. Budding Friends – Another note about friendships. In this case, I am speaking of the budding friendships I see my two young sons making. With my oldest (4) now going to preschool, he is beginning to have his first real friends, and he has developed a friendship with a neighbor boy who is 3. My 2-year-old is starting to make his own friends, too. I love watching their friendships involve.

8. Service – This year, I focused even more with my family on serving others. We often sought opportunities to give back to our local community and beyond. I have truly felt the positive influence this choice has made on our lives.

9. Safe Travels – My husband traveled quite a bit more for business this past year, and my brother moved back to the U.S. from Thailand. I am grateful that both of them had safe travel experiences.

10. The Kindness of Strangers – I am grateful for the kindness of others and find myself even more moved when I am treated with exceptional kindness from a stranger – whether it is a helping hand at the supermarket as I load two kids into the car, or someone in my community who helps by sharing wood chips or outgrown toys with our family.

11. Frequent Flyer Miles – My mother lives in Texas but gets to see her grandchildren fairly often, thanks in large part to her frequent flyer miles.

12. Libraries/Books – This past year, I set goal to read a book every week and stayed pretty true to that goal. The books I read provided needed respite from daily life at times, inspired me as an artist at other times, and kept me centered at yet other times. I am grateful to have read so many fabulous books this year and to share the joy of reading with my sons.

13. Writing – I have truly come to love my blog writing and my weekly column. Some weeks, I get behind in writing, or I’m tired and feel I might not do my best, but I am always grateful for the opportunity to connect with others through my writing.

I hope you had much to be grateful for in 2013 and find yourself entering a new year with a heart full of possibilities. Happy New Year!

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Loved this. Only problem is that I have to think of something else to write. Thanks.

  2. I enjoyed reading your gratitude list for 2013. Practicing gratitude is an excellent way for us to focus on what is good and beautiful in our lives. I also enjoy random acts of kindnesses. I love when someone opens a door for me, or gives me a genuine smile!

    Hope you wlil visit my blog and share something you are thankful for throughout the year!

    Linda Davidson
    http://www.sharingthanks.blogspot.com

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