Friday, January 1, 2021

Counting Sheep in 2021

Original artwork done for me when I started the blog but never used it.
Drawn by Amaya Criswell

As 2020 comes to a close and my stay in Israel nears 6 months, I have been reflecting (like many others) but also been listening to myself--and I am tired of what I hear. Since I moved in August my attitude has slowly deteriorated from an uncomfortable optimism to a cynical self pity which I finally heard clearly while in Dubai visiting a friend for the holidays. 

Perhaps it was the irony of being so grateful to be in the UAE, the place where my life abroad began with 4 solid months of hiccup crying, doubts, misery and trauma. When I saw the Burj Khalifa 2 weeks ago from a taxi on the way to the Sheraton Grand from DXB I was delighted! Our stay at the hotel was equally fabulous and I found myself comparing my apartment in Israel to conditions in the UAE. Needless to say, the UAE won. But after hearing myself over and over again say, "I wish my apartment in Israel was....", I caught on to myself.  The attitude has to change.

Thus I begin another year of gratitude as I did several years ago. One post a day highlighting something I am grateful for. All of us had a hard 2020 and I'm not saying I didn't struggle without good reason, but I also believe that it is not what happens to us that determines our happiness as much as our reaction to what happens to us. 

And so I welcome 2021 with an attitude of hope and gratitude, determined not to let my circumstances dictate the amount of joy in my life.

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