Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

How My Birthday Taught Me More Reasons To Be Grateful

Events of the past two days gave me pause to ponder all the blessings in my life.  In a world filled with tragedy, violence and sadness I think it’s important, now more than ever, to step back and think of everything we are grateful for.  It’s a powerful and important exercise.  Take a few minutes and think about what makes you grateful.  What helps you feel joyful, blessed and ready to tackle each day?  Here’s what I’m grateful for as I begin living, and loving, the next year of my life:

The Chesters

The Chesters

My family keeps me happy and grounded.  They provide unconditional love, and support me in my choice of living my passion.  We hold each other up through every joy and sorrow.  I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without them.

The Original Five

The Original Five

My parents, brothers, in-laws, five nephews and a niece, cousins, aunts and uncles all keep me grateful.

Friends for 50+ years

Friends for 50+ years

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Friends for 50+ years

My friends from childhood.  From playing kick-the-can and surviving a roster of boyfriends through menopause and living miles apart, we are strong, vibrant women facing life together. (Let me add we are all kicking ass, too!) I am grateful for them, and for all the friends I have, both near and far.  They each empower me.

Fabulous women I'm proud to call my new friends

Fabulous women I’m proud to call my new friends

I met a new group of intelligent, fascinating, accomplished and fabulous women.  There’s something extraordinarily special when you can add a new roster of people to your incredible friend list during your Second Chapter.  You are all wonderful, GenFab!

Newton

Newton

IMG_0871

Max

IMG_2225

Smokey

I am grateful the day my 9 year old son insisted we get a cat.  I never had a pet so I was quite hesitant.  Eleven years later I can’t imagine my life without them.  At the end of a gritty, horrible day those furry creatures give you instant love and lift you up.

My birthday blizzard!

My birthday blizzard!

IMG_2312

My birthday blizzard!

I am grateful we didn’t lose our electricity during my birthday blizzard like we did during Hurricane Sandy.

My books

My books

I am grateful for my books and love of reading.

Phyllis, Mary and Rhoda

Phyllis, Mary and Rhoda

I am grateful for my crazy CD collection of old sitcoms that help me relax and  “de-stress” while taking a break from reading. My eyes need a rest!

John Lennon Glasses were groovy

John Lennon Glasses were groovy

I am grateful for the invention of contact lenses.

Sleep at last!

Sleep at last!

I am grateful for more than 5 hours of sleep a night.  What does that feel like?  Thanks, menopause…

My peonies

My peonies

I am grateful for the beauty around me during the changing seasons.

Healing Arts – Empowering Us

I am especially grateful to my blog, An Empowered Spirit, and the path it has led me down toward new horizons, new friendships and the wonderful audience – YOU – in my Second Chapter.  Thank you all for being a part of why I am grateful.

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35 thoughts on “How My Birthday Taught Me More Reasons To Be Grateful

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thanks, Karen.

      We all need to be reminded to take a step back and be grateful, including me.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Cathy

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thanks so much. I do appreciate your comment. You could say I am grateful for it!

      Stay safe and warm,
      Cathy

  1. grownandflown

    Cathy, how lovely that you have taken the time on the day after your bday to express gratitude – you are an inspiration to me to do the same, today and going forward. The GenFab dinner you organized was just about perfect in every way. I wholeheartedly agree that adding friends to your life is a blessing…a wonderful benefit of being part of the blogging world.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      You are so right. Being grateful to those we meet in the blogging world is, well, fabulous! Part of that being the women of grownandflown – you both are wonderful people I am grateful to know.

      Cheers~
      Cathy

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Laura Lee,

      What an extraordinary video on being grateful. I fell in love with it. How did you come upon it, the organization, etc? I’d love to learn….

      Thanks so much for sending it. I forwarded it to my besties that I spoke of in my blog post.

      Hugs,
      Cathy

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Sharon,

      What a sweet and lovely sentiment. I am grateful for you, my friend, and your genius of beginning GenFab, and for inviting me into your circle of fabulous women. What a ride it has been already!

      Best to you always,
      Cathy

  2. Pat

    Cathy, I loved reading your gratitude journal and seeing the kind, smiling faces of those members of your all-star supporting cast. In my darkest moments, I too, count my blessings as a reminder of how much I have to be grateful for even in the middle of personal trials, especially during setbacks. Gratitude is an attitude! Pat

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Pat,

      You hit the nail on the head. Gratitude is wonderful, particularly during times of adversity. We need to lift ourselves up however we can. We are blessed to have something in our life that gives us unconditional love and joy and a way out of some dark moments.

      Best,
      Cathy

  3. Helene Bludman

    I love your list, Cathy! It is good to stop and think about the blessings in our lives. I am grateful for meeting you, my new friend. With your sunny disposition, no wonder you have so many friends.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      I could say the same thing to you, Helene! I am equally glad to have met you my new/old friend. You are a special person and I look forward to spending more fun times together.

      Cheers~
      Cathy

  4. Walker Thornton

    It’s always nice to take ‘inventory’ of our blessings. I used to keep a daily gratitude journal, where I’d jot down a list every morning of all the things I was grateful for–it kept me grounded.

    Thank you sharing and a belated happy birthday.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thanks for the good wishes, Walker, and for the comment.

      I used to have a gratitude journal as well. I wish I had time to keep up with it. My blog is my new gratitude journal, I guess.

      Always nice to hear from you!
      Cathy

  5. Alexa

    Sounds like you have a LOVELY life and had a wonderful birthday! I followed you over from Bloppy Bloggers and am glad I did. I can’t wait to check out your book – I am currently writing a Romance novel called “The Boys I Left in Paris” so we have that little tidbit in common! Happy Saturday!

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Wonderful to meet you, Alexa! So glad you enjoyed my post as well.

      Unfortunately I do not have a book coming out, but please keep me posted on yours. The book “The Paris Wife” is one I am currently reading. It is taking me longer to finish because of all of the writing and social media I do taking up so much of my time!

      Stay well and again, so happy to meet you.
      Cathy

  6. Linda D'Ae-Smith

    Self-reflection is so important. You’ve written a wonderful reminder of all the blessings we enjoy, but sometimes almost take for granted!

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      You are so right, Linda. We all need to take time to reflect on all of our blessings.

      Have a wonderful weekend,
      Cathy

  7. Susan Bonifant

    It was actually – I’m not kidding – relaxing to read about your peaceful, attuned living style. It sounds like you have discovered how little you really need to feel the happiest and I can relate. Also, I love what you named your cats. Also, I’m about to start Paris Wife. Also, you’re the only person I know who is still friends with that many people from childhood. Uplifting, thank you. I’ll be back.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thank you, Susan. Nice to know I was a good source of relaxation for you, which I am sure you richly deserve.

      Thanks for reading and enjoying my post.

      Have a wonderful weekend,
      Cathy

  8. misssrobin

    What beautiful lessons. Thank you for sharing them. I love the way you call this the Second Chapter. I’m 43. While I’m not in the after-50 club yet, it’s entirely possible I’m in my second chapter already. Changing body aside, the contentedness and confidence that comes with age is worth it.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy every minute of the year to come.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Well worth it. In your forties you begin to plant the seeds to prepare you for the fabulousness of being in your fifties and beyond. I know you will be a confident, vibrant and wonderful addition to the Second Chapter Club!

      Cheers~
      Cathy

  9. Emily

    What a wonderful post (and I esp. liked the GenFab part too.:))! I think I need to do this type of reflecting on my birthdays as well. Rather than dreading “getting older,” it’s so much healthier to have your outlook. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      You are quite welcome, Emily!

      I hope you include me in your birthday celebration – whenever that may be. GenFab can celebrate your accomplishments and who YOU are, together, as the supportive group we know they are. You have many gifts, and I look forward to learning about more of them on our journey.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Cheers~
      Cathy
      P.S. It was great to meet you!

  10. Renee

    Thanks for giving us such a warm insight into your gratitude. Happy Birthday and may all the gratitude continue to overflow in your life.

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment and birthday wishes, Renee. They are both greatly appreciated.

      Best to you,
      Cathy

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Connie,

      Yes, you and I are lucky in love both in real life AND on the big screen, eh?:-)

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Cathy

  11. Lil

    Hi Cathy, I just found your uplifting and inspiring blog in a round about way through some very amazing synchronistic searches. Your blog radiates love, empowerment and the healing beauty of being grateful for what we have in life right now. The perspective that we each have so much to give and share is a motto and belief that transcends the challenges in life no matter how small or large. One person Can Truly change the world and make a difference. Thank you for brightening my world and lifting me up with your words and sharing your life. Love, light and abundance of joy, Lil

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