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Explore: ABCs of Appreciation, 2011

The Reverb11* prompt I'm using today is Sunday's from Yoga Freedom: Gracias (Thanks). Appreciation and acknowledgement are corner stones to building trust and deepening relationships. Write a thank you note or poem to someone who impacted your life in 2011.

With my own spin on this instruction, here's an ABC list of what I appreciate from the past year:

Allison makes our family more interesting; I appreciate my 8-year-old's fun and complex personality.  

Blogging: With a few months of blogging under my belt now, I better appreciate the time and energy my favorite bloggers put into this medium.

Carol, to whom I'm deeply appreciative for her dedication in caring for my grandparents. She's going through her own grief journey following the death of my Gramps in late March. See also Grandpa.

Dollars: Though I could always use more cash in my pocket, I appreciate that I have enough for life's necessities. This 99-percent calculator helps put things into perspective, too.  

Eighty-nine three, the Current has filled my days in 2011 with great music and interactive fun like the weekday Coffee Break and Nigel Tufnel Day.

Family & friends, as usual, have played a valuable role in my life in this past year. 

Grandpa: Aside from years of memories we shared, I appreciate the many "I love yous" Gramps and I were able to exchange before he died on March 28.

Health: I have to appreciate my general good health, without which much of this list would not be possible.

Ice cream, zanzibar chocolate: During an October bicycle ride, we cyclists stopped to refuel and enjoy an ice cream treat. Zanzibar chocolate ice cream is The Absolute Best Ice Cream Flavor, rich and chocolaty and uncontaminated by marshmallows, nuts or fruity add-ins.

Joel: my husband of 16+ years, who supports and encourages my creative ventures. (As a coincidental example, this morning, Joel sent me a link to Seth's blog post for today.)

Koshiols: my clan, who said goodbye to our patriarch in March. See also, Grandpa.

Lauren, adjusting comfortably to the middle school experience, constantly impresses me with her self-motivation, confidence and smarts.

Minnesota State Parks that we were able to visit in July following the 15-day state government shutdown.

Neighbors who do what we can to help one another.

Online communities including facebook, twitter, Path Finder and #Reverb11/#WEverb11/#Resound11  

Path Finder: Participating in this 5-week guided self study course introduced me to some new habits that help enrich my daily life.  

Quilter, long-arm: I appreciate that B&J Quilting finished the job on my quilt project in time for me (hopefully) to complete the final touches in time for Christmas.

Readers of Learn+Explore+Share: Thank you for reading and engaging in my little corner of the Web!

Sailing in the Apostle Islands with Captain John of Dreamcatcher Sailing was a pleasure-packed excursion.

TEDxTC, which I had the privilege of attending last month.

Ukuleles seem to be everywhere this year, like here and here and here and even here.

Vikings: Yes, the Minnesota Vikings have lost all but two of their games this season, but I appreciate coach Leslie Frazier's investment in rookie quarterback Christian Ponder and in the team's future.

Working out three or four times a week is (usually) etched in my schedule, and I'm fortunate to be able to do what I want (cycle, zumba, yoga, run) when I want. See also Yoga, Zumba.  

X-ACTO knife: With my dive into creating art collages this past year, my shiny X-ACTO knife got a lot of use. I recently bought an off-brand replacement blade that's just plain junk. I'll stick with X-ACTO brand from now on.

Yoga: At the fitness center where I work out, the yoga instructors are top-notch and focused on centering yoga principles in addition to the fitness aspects of the poses.

Zumba: Sometimes Zumba is a cardio workout, but primarily it's just fun. There's something rejuvenating about Zumba that helps motivate me to leave my warm house to spend an hour dancing to salsa music in the middle of the winter.

Thanks for spending time browsing my ABCs of Appreciation, 2011. I invite you to make a list of what you appreciate from the past year, too. Share your list with me in the comments here or connect with me on twitter


* Gwen Bell started the Reverb initiative in 2009 as a daily reflective prompt through the month of December to guide participants in reflecting on the past year and imagining what's to come in the new year ahead. With friends, Gwen repeated Reverb in 2010; for 2011, Gwen has invited individuals to host their own Reverb initiatives. You can find prompts along with lists of 2011 participants at #Resound11 and #WEverb11. Another source for prompts is Yoga Freedom. (There are probably hundreds of other blogs offering prompts!)