With Thanks

It’s 5 a.m. Thanksgiving morning as I write this. My house is full with my hubby, my daughters and a boyfriend, and my brother-in-law. We’ve cooked and laughed and walked and ridden bikes. We did a last-minute outing to get whipping cream, lemon juice, and free-fallen nuts and pine cones for the holiday centerpiece.

I unpacked the china last night, which I had boxed up when I packed the house right before the pandemic hit in preparation for leaving the country. That felt momentous, the restocking of the shelves which have laid bare these past two years. I took this photo first, to document the emptiness, the potential. This piece of furniture — always referred to as “the breakfront” — belonged to my parents. We moved it 900 miles when we moved from New York to Metro Atlanta so many years ago. I used to be in charge of dusting it when I was a little girl. I dusted it again yesterday.

Even while people are here, I head out alone each day for a bit to knock out some miles and steal a little skate session as my usual moving meditation, centering joy. Two mornings ago in 30 degree Fahrenheit (-1 Celcius), while everyone was sleeping, I teetered on the edge of the ramps at the skate park in that split-second of vulnerability when the only way forward is to let go 100%, and I did. It was both my metaphor and my truth in that moment, in every moment.

I’m job/new client-hunting now, looking to grow my business again and commit to some additional positive paying work now that my Peace Corps departure is officially derailed due to COVID-19 (here’s that story). I am getting flooded with opportunities (for which I’m grateful). However, nothing is quite right yet.

I’ve walked away (or, I should say, ridden away) from several opportunities already because they require being in-person in places that are only accessible via car. Having worked remotely for years*, I am open to the idea of an office location now (I loved being on staff at major global corporations prior to my freelance career), but I’m not willing to sacrifice my hard-earned wellness for it.

I’m continuing to take quality-of-life factors into every decision I make, including this. I can’t separate my values from my value to an employer or client, especially one that espouses principles of sustainability.

Rockin’ my Plasket bike basket made from reclaimed ocean plastic! See its road test results here

I don’t know what’s gonna happen next. I do know that the world is a place of abundance. The laughter and love that surrounds me right now makes that clear. I do know that I feel a calling to contribute in bigger ways. To my family. To the world. And I do know, that at both the start of the day and the end, I continue to trust the journey. For that enduring gift of spirituality, I am especially thankful.

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. May your bike rides be safe and inspiring. And may you always know that you are enough, and you are needed at this crossroads of change in our society. Now, more than ever.

Tap in next Thursday as I share my Holiday Gift Guide 2021 (last chance for PR folks to send their products so I can road-test them; Select products will be featured additionally as a Sustainable Pattie’s Kick of the Week — see here for more info).

Plus, don’t miss the year-end Best Of posts. It’s always super interesting to see what the analytics reveal! (Hint: Almost ALL the top posts have been stories about people making a difference — maybe even you!) And then, let’s gear up for new and exciting success stories from all over the world in 2022 here on Traveling at the Speed of Bike (and beyond).