30 Days of Gratitude in a Challenging Year

Lost my dad in the beginning of 2022 and it has been hard to keep my head above the water and carry on. This year was a mixed bag. Ups and downs, hits and misses, losses and gains. Come November, I didn’t want to do this but I’m glad I did because it made me focus on some of the miraculous events that unfolded in the midst of my grief. This post is dedicated to my dad who sure is helping me from the other side.

I love you, Papa and I’m so grateful that you were my dad in this lifetime and I got to spend four decades of my life with you.

Day 1

Here we go again, doing this in one of the most difficult years of my life. It’s hard to find the blessings when you are grieving but they’re there for those who have the eyes to see. Thank you Papa for being the most wonderful dad anyone could hope for. For the countless signs you send my way to let me know you are with me always. For the little miracles that happen when I’m ready to give up. But most of all for your unconditional love. Can’t wait to meet you again on the other side, when my time here is done. So long, Papa. I love you always and forever.

Day 2

Thank you Kristen for making an effort to come spend time with me and for all the healing you sent me, dad, and mom…and even Kulfi. I’m so glad our paths crossed and here’s to many more meetings and in person healing sessions. Love you my friend. Safe travels and catch you online soon.

Day 3

Thankful for delicious food on my table. So much effort goes into prepping and cooking food. Something that I only realized when I started cooking. Thankful for all the wonderful people who have cooked meals for me and fed my soul over the years.

Day 4

So grateful for my Amma. She’s been so strong this past year, when I couldn’t be. Here’s wishing her good health, happiness, and lots of time with her favorite child (*wink*).

Day 5

Thankful for a job that has room for growth, great coworkers, and lots of learning. Plus that delicate work-life balance that’s so important to keep my sanity. Took years to get here but I’m glad I didn’t quit or settle.

Day 6

So proud of my girl who has turned into a “smart independent woman” juggling work, uni, and so much more! She still misses her mama’s cooking and visits whenever she can to get her spicy curry fix. Love you, Anju. God bless you abundantly and keep you safe. And thank you for choosing me as your mom in this lifetime. So blessed!

Day 7

So grateful for this kiddo (he’s taller than me now). Earlier this year I had to leave him by himself when my dad passed away suddenly. He took care of our dog, home, and school work, till his dad got back. He’s no longer the baby of the house, thanks to Max but he’s still my baby boy. God bless you Nitin as you finish school and head off to college next year. Hope you stay close to home like your sister. I’m not ready to be an empty nester…yet!

Day 8

When you’re lazy and the post you did last year is exactly what you planned for this year! Synchronicity at it’s best. Love you Maximus Sierra Benjamin.

So thankful for this goofball, Max. He’s a ball of energy and makes us laugh. Love that he adores the kids and is super protective of them. Love you Max to the moon and back. Hope you have many healthy and playful years ahead of you.

No photo description available.

Day 9

This is Kulfi. The current canine baby back in Chennai. She’s the opposite of Sparky but has the uncanny knack to endear herself to anyone. She managed to invade dad’s bed and used to put her paw on him so he couldn’t get away while she was sleeping. She made a dog lover out of my mom who could barely tolerate dogs. So glad our paths crossed and that we decided to adopt you. We love you Kulfi! You are one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known in my life.

Day 10

Lost this guy in August this year. He went to be with Papa. Excellent guard dog for 13 years and my dad’s baby. Thank you Sparky for guarding our home for so many years and for not biting me or my kids even once. Hope you are in a happy place with Papa now.

Day 11

This lovely girl has been in my life since 6th grade, through college, marriage, deaths, and relocation. Some choice memories are sports practice, long walks on campus discussing P.G. Wodehouse, her visit to Florida when I was living there. Happy, happy birthday my dear Janani. You are too good for this world. Don’t ever change…let the world change. This picture is from when she and her girls showed up for my book launch earlier this year. So so grateful for your constant presence in my life through all the ups and downs.

Day 12

Thankful for this beautiful soul who I’ve followed from birth, to school, college, and the US of A. She’s beena constant support to me through life’s upheavals and triumphs. Praying for me when I’m gutted and cheering me on when I flourish. Love you Shom. Friends like you are a gift from heaven. Wishing you joy, laughter, good health, and everything your heart desires.

Day 13

Happy birthday to my little brother who has been such a support to my mom this past year. He spent more than 8 months with her and took care of business when I was too numbed by grief to function. You’re the son Papa was always proud of. Here’s wishing you success in your career and lots of joy. May Papa’s blessings always be with you and guide you.

Day 14

I’m grateful for good health and the energy to do everything that’s important to me. Here’s to incorporating more healthy habits into my life. Right now my focus is sleep.

Day 15

So grateful to Madras Literary Society, Uma Maheswari, and Lavanya Srinivas for a memorable book launch earlier this year. How it all came to pass still seems miraculous to me. Dr. Manohar Devadoss who received a copy of my book is a Padmashri recipient and the launch happened on World Book Day! A billion thanks to all the lovely people who bought signed copies of my book. Looking back it all still seems so surreal to me. I know without a shadow of doubt that it was the Divine, Dadima, and Papa who orchestrated this.

P.S. This is the third time I’m typing this up. I forgot to add Dadima to the post and she made sure I did! Love you Dadima…feisty then and feisty now!

Day 16

Thankful for my alma mater, Women’s Christian College and for Dr. Lilian Jasper for being so gracious and giving me the opportunity to share my book with her and the current students. What was supposed to be a short meeting turned into a Meet the Author event. Thank you ma’am for welcoming me with open arms and for giving me the beautiful gift of sharing my book with your students. It felt like I came full circle when I stood on the stage of the auditorium where I had been in the audience countless times watching many colorful personalities talk on myriad topics. The picture of the spider lily is for you since you love plants so much and have spent so much time beautifying our campus.

Day 17

This girl is a force to reckon with. Her grit and determination, her work ethics, and principles are awe-inspiring. From someone who almost didn’t get a college education to a PhD now teaching NEET students, she sure has come a long way purely on her own merit. In the midst of her crazy busy schedule, she found time to show up for my book launch. Always a joy to be around you, Jayasree. Here’s wishing you good health, abundance, and happiness. So grateful for your friendship and so glad we reconnected after all these years.

Day 18

These beautiful ladies (Najeema, Ramya, and Reema) trusted me to initiate them on their energy healing journey. It’s such a delight to share something so magical and then see miracles unfold in others’ lives too. Grateful to be able to teach people Reiki and learn so much in the process. Here’s to more teaching and learning in the coming year.

Day 19

Thankful for the means to travel and see new places and faces. Here’s to new destinations and adventures in the coming year.

Day 20

The three of us were thick friends all through college and even though we don’t meet or talk frequently, whenever we do it’s always a riot. Thanks for taking the time to spend a weekend with me, Sheetal. All the laughter and joy was just what my soul needed. Here’s to future meetings and dragging Sheenie along too. Love you both and wish you all the very best life has to offer, always!

Day 21

Thankful for my aunt who spent a week with my dad before his passing and helped my mom when my brother and I were not there.

Day 22

Thankful for quiet moments of reflection. For meditation and insights. For a connection with the divine and for my guardian angels and guides. For so many miracles and signs to keep me going when life gets heavy and complicated. Help me let go and let God lead the way. Trust, trust, trust… that’s been my mantra.

May be an image of tree, twilight and sky

Day 23

Thankful for the many times I was able to volunteer my time and skills for causes that are close to my heart. May we all find it in ourselves to give back and leave the world a better place. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, Team Everest has a host of ideas for everyone including teens.

Day 24

It’s a Thanksgiving miracle! My daughter was sick and wasn’t supposed to come home today but this morning she was fine and all her symptoms were gone! She got here bright and early and we enjoyed our Thanksgiving meal together as a family. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Imma gonna take a nap after tucking into some delectable apple pie.

Day 25

The last of the tomatoes from my garden. Nothing beats freshly picked produce grown with love. Thank you mama earth for your abundant harvests and diverse foods. Rest now until summer comes again with its bounties.

Day 26

Thankful for my aunt and uncle who have supported us over the years. Even though they haven’t been well this year they went out of their way to help my mom when she needed some help when she was in Kerala. Wishing them both good health and happiness always.

Day 27

So grateful for my extended family from my mom’s side. We reconnected during the pandemic and it has been such a delight to get to know each and every one of these talented people. So much love, support, and encouragement I have got from all of them. God bless all of you with the very best life has to offer.

Day 28

Sometimes people show up in your life to remind you of who you really are, in case it got buried under years of aimless drudgery and obscurity. They remind you to shine and do what you have come here to do. They reignite the spark that was extinguished and light a fire under you that keeps burning till your soul creates what it needs to. Thank you Namami for being that person. Love you to the moon and back.

Day 29

Thankful for the gift of writing, for my blog, for my book, for all my readers, and followers. For inspiration and experiences that are worth sharing. And for life…the greatest teacher of all.

Day 30

We made it! If you have been following my posts and participated in giving thanks every day, a big thank you to you! Today, I’m thankful for the blessings that are coming my way on the wings of angels. Sending everyone lots of love and warmth. Praying for peace in every part of the world and for every human being to live with dignity.

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