Thanks to our friend Senior Executive Manager Kristina Livingstone for contributing today’s post!
During this time of year, we’re reminded to take a pause from our busy lives, sit down with our family and friends, and give thanks for all we have. As I think about all I have to be thankful for, I don’t even know where to begin. I have incredible family and friends who are always there to support me in everything I do. I’m surrounded by amazing people, I’ve experienced incredible things, and I’ve made memories that will last me a lifetime. I try not to take even a second of it for granted.
One thing I’m grateful for all year long is the opportunity to be a Consultant for Close To My Heart, which I have been for almost 10 years now. This experience has afforded me the benefit of additional income as well as the opportunity to travel to places I never imagined I would visit. It has helped me learn and grow as a person and brought so much more to my life than just income and trips. It has brought people into my life that I would likely have never met otherwise. It has allowed me to be a part of their lives and them a part of mine, and that is what I am most grateful for.
People ask me why I do this, and the reason is simple: I love it. It’s about so much more than the products offered by Close To My Heart. It’s about the relationships Close To My Heart has brought me and the things I’ve learned because of those relationships. I have learned that when we serve others, we receive so much more than we give. I have learned that the more we help empower and show gratitude toward each other, the better off we all become.
Being a part of the Close To My Heart family has brought me to some of the people I cherish most in my life—they have become true family. I have learned from, laughed with, cried with, and grown with fellow Consultants whom I consider to be my closest friends and confidants. I have met customers who have welcomed me into some of the most intimate times of their lives and, in so doing, have shown me how much I have to be grateful for every day.
I recently held a weekend retreat for my customers, and as I was walking through the room looking at everyone working on their projects I felt very grateful that I was there to be a part of it all. I was in a room full of people who started as my customers, but whom I now count amongst my dearest friends. Through their scrapbook pages, I have watched their families grow each year, and I have grown with them. I have seen scrapbooks expand, spanning the entire childhood of countless children. Those scrapbooks have captured first teeth, first steps, first goals, marriages, graduations, and too many holidays to name! I have also seen scrapbooks made in memoriam of lives—some fully lived, and, unfortunately, some that were cut much too short.
Regardless of the scrapbook, each album seems to revolve around one thing: gratitude. We scrapbook the moments of our lives that we are most grateful for, the ones we cherish the most. When we create a scrapbook and record the lives of our loved ones, we create treasures that will tell our stories as they are passed on from generation to generation. To say that I am grateful to play even a small role in preserving these memories is an understatement.
I feel that gratitude is a choice. It’s a conscious effort to wake up each day and choose to be thankful. I have found that serving others through what I do is something I’m eternally grateful for and something that brings me happiness. I have found that when you make serving others a priority in your life, you begin to want less and appreciate more. You also inevitably become the recipient of someone else’s gratitude, and that’s something that is truly priceless.