It’s been an interesting and sometimes challenging year for the team at Savoir Faire. We have seen the highest highs and the lowest lows. Three of us have gotten married this year. Several of us have lost people we loved. One of us has a new home. We’re all a little unnerved about what’s going on in our country and anxious about the future. It’s hard not to be. However, the antidote to anxiety is gratitude so I asked the team to take a moment and tell me what they were feeling grateful for as we head into the long Thanksgiving weekend. Here’s what they said:
Writing about “what I’m thankful for” is kinda difficult. It’s hard not to be cliché or to come off as a little smug, especially when much of the world (sometimes even people in our own towns) struggles for basic needs—food, shelter, clean water, safety. However:
- My house is small and needs a bit of work…but it is warm and dry and big enough to host friends and family for dinner, a Patriot’s game and lots of laughter.
- My car is old…but she gets me from A to B. And though she groans and moans and squeaks a little, I truly enjoy driving her and spending time with my husband as he patiently teaches me how change her oil.
- I can’t run a marathon and my knees hurt…but I have shoes on my feet, and I can walk my dogs, breathe the air deeply, and not worry about my safety. I can see their tails wag and can smell the trees, fresh cut grass or a fireplace.
- I don’t save lives…but I work in a field that challenges me to think strategically and creatively from the comfort of my home and my footie pajamas.
- I can’t control the weather…but I can splash in a rain puddle, make snow angels and bask in the sun, sometimes all in one day in New England.
I’m thankful for being gifted with the ability to help businesses use Internet technologies to achieve their goals. That’s a professional one. I’m thankful that I have created opportunities to succeed both professionally and personally and evolve as a person to understand what’s most important: family, friends, health and making the lives of people I care about better.
I am thankful for my family and friends – those that are close, those that are miles away and those that have passed on. I continue to learn from family and friends near, far and in the heavens. I count my blessings every day for my most amazing husband and his daughters, my beloved son, and the home we have made.
Our home is our foundation for our future, for making new memories, for a life we will continue to build upon and share with others. Everything in life happens for a reason…we don’t always know what those reasons are, we don’t always get answers as to “why” but I am thankful for whatever life throws my way.
I continue to look at each challenge as an opportunity and choose to learn from life’s experiences. And I am thankful for the wrinkles on my face, the new aches and pains I get as I age, and the time I have here on this beautiful earth to share with those I love. Not everyone is blessed with the privilege of growing old. I am thankful that my mother taught me to “always take the time.” It is her legacy. Time is precious and ultimately the one thing I am most thankful for. Yet, we don’t know how much time any of us have.
Time: it presents me with the opportunity to appreciate all of life’s precious moments, to reflect on what I have, to dream big, to count my blessings, and to give back to others. It is the best gift of all.
This year, I am especially thankful for my new stepdaughters and in-laws. My husband and I were married in early October at Cranmore Mountain in New Hampshire, and it was an absolutely perfect day. I’m equally as thankful that the stress of wedding planning and coordinating is over, and that I don’t plan to EVER do that again! Although my 89-year-old Nana wasn’t able to be at the wedding, I’m thankful that she is alive and well, and never fails to make me smile.
I’m also thankful that my mom is in good health. She went through radiation over this past year for a mass on her lung, and although it was all very scary, she is doing exceptionally well. I’m thankful for all of our family pets, including our dog, Honey; our cat, Elvis; our five chickens and their abundant egg production; and our hamster, Snowball.
I’m thankful for the ability to work with such a great group of people at Savoir Faire. I’ve never worked with such a hard-working, kind and knowledgeable team of individuals. Not everyone gets a chance to do what they love and get paid for it – Never mind getting to do it with a group of people that are so passionate and dedicated to their work as my teammates are.
Finally, I’m thankful for what promises to be a day full of laughter, good food, and quality time spent with family.
I’m thankful for my husband Patrick. Without him, I would not be upright and speaking in coherent sentences after enduring this year. He is my rock. He is my support. He makes me laugh every single day.
I’m grateful for my friend Tom, who single-handedly made my wedding possible this year. On February 20, he sat down with my parents and Patrick and me thinking he was helping us plan a wedding for Memorial Day weekend. He had fabrics and color swatches and sample dishes and menus ready and told me we had to make our selections that day so we could pull it all off by May 29. Instead, I opened our meeting by telling him that – because my dad was sick and we had just received news about his treatment – we were moving the wedding to March 19. He responded with grace and calm; I think his full answer was, “alright. Let’s go.” Then, he planned and executed a wedding that was perfect in every way – beyond what Patrick and I had even dreamed of. He gave my family a most precious gift whose value could never be measured, and I’m not even sure he knows it.
I’m grateful that my dad could be at my wedding and truly enjoy the day, from breakfast to the after-party. I’m thankful for the super-secret dance lessons we took that allowed us to surprise everyone in attendance with a foxtrot to Frank Sinatra that brought the house down.
I’m grateful for the time I had with my dad before he died this summer. He faced cancer with grace and humor and he showed me where I get my optimism from.
I’m grateful for my home – which we call our nest – how warm and comfortable it is and how much we enjoy living here. I’m grateful for the little black furball down on the couch, who I love more than is reasonable and who I am sure loves me back. This one is a little random, but I find myself frequently grateful for a level of “wealth” that means we have no budget at the grocery store. We can buy the food that we like to eat and the quality of food that nourishes our bodies and minds and keeps us healthy and productive.
There are many more things I am grateful for – friends and family; opportunities to travel and follow my dreams; and the ability to generally live my life the way I want to – but I was stopped in my tracks earlier this year when I realized that I finally knew I had truly “made it.”
I realized that this year would not have been possible without my team. They made it feasible for me both to be distracted by many and major personal issues, and also to successfully run a small business.
On my wedding night, Janna and Ben were saying goodnight and I told them Patrick and I were taking Monday off but I’d be back in the office on Tuesday. Ben said “we’ve got it handled. Take some more time.” Earlier this month, at the end of my rope and planning a few days out of the office, Amy said, “don’t worry. We got it. Take the time you need.” My team has been my greatest gift in 2016.
One of the things that has surprised me most this year is that, despite all my personal ups and downs, Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications is thriving. We’ve grown more this year than in the past four years – combined. We’ve brought on clients that we love and we’re doing work that we love and feel good about. I’m thankful for those clients and I’m thankful for the work I’m able to do for them.
But mostly, I’m thankful for my team:
- I’m thankful for Janna, who is more talented than she will allow herself to believe. She takes on any project with an attitude that makes a “can-do attitude” look like a slacker. She is a rare and amazing person.
- I’m thankful for Ben, who is a genius about subjects that are nearly incomprehensible to mere mortals and who has taught me so much. His brain is the perfect complement to mine and we make a hell of a team.
- I’m thankful for Amy, who in a surprise move this year evolved from one of my oldest and best friends to a key business colleague. I’ve said for many years that things would be easier if only I could clone my brain into another person. I had no idea that Amy was that person! I’m thankful for the confluence of life circumstances that makes it possible for us to work together.
- I’m thankful for Lisa who we interviewed in January and decided not to hire for a position. Shortly after that, though, we asked her to do a little writing for us and, since then, she has grown to be our key content person. Anyone who knows me knows that writing is pretty much my fundamental skill so it’s not easy to be a writer on my team. Lisa is making it look easy so I’m thankful that we passed over her for a position that wouldn’t have fit in order to find where she really shines in our team.
- I’m thankful for Natalie, who moved to the West Coast this year and continues to write for us.
- I’m thankful for Kara, who works on projects for me when we’re at full capacity.
- And, I’m thankful for Adra, who pitches in when we need public relations support for our clients.
I could go on and on but there are a few things to get done today – including finishing three new business proposals – before it’s time for turkey. Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from the Savoir Faire team!