Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Month 11: THANKFUL

For Month 11, we want to share our gratitude for this strange year, despite it all. Wishing you all a restful holiday. Get your tax credit donations in, and fire up your enthusiasm and goodwill heading into Month 12!

JACKI: “Thankful” can be an overused term that easily loses its meaning (I mean, not as much as #blessed, but that’s a different story for a different day), but as I look back on the past 11 months since we gave birth to 48 Months, it’s the word that rises to the top for me. And here we are, in this month of thanks, on the precipice of hitting the one-year mark since our world was fundamentally changed. While each day brings a new cringeworthy headline, there are also so many stories of hope, courage, and perseverance. Instead of focusing on a new organization for this month (stay tuned for December though!), we wanted to share some of the things we’re thankful for, and hopefully inspire you to take a moment to be thankful for your blessings. Kidding. 
In no particular order (and not including my family because of course I’m thankful for them, except when they make my house a mess):
  • Pod Save America: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….this podcast gives me life and I’ve learned so much. Please join me in becoming a Friend of the Pod.
  • Strong Women: This whole #MeToo thing is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, but because of the courage of so many women, I have hope that it WILL get better. 
  • Cristy: My 48 Months (and life in general) partner in crime. She couldn’t get rid of me if she tried and I will never stop being thankful that she came into my life. 
  • AZ Charitable Tax Credit: Arizona is politically wacky. But we somehow have an extraordinarily generous dollar-for-dollar tax credit program. If you donate the maximum of $800, you get that ALL back on your AZ tax filing. It literally could not be easier. Join me in making a difference for an organization that you love.  (More information can be found here: http://azcredits.org).
  • 40: I had a big birthday this year and got to celebrate with many of my favorite humans. Being surrounded by amazing friends is the cure for almost anything.
  • Body Pump: You are my workout spirit animal, you keep me sane, and stop me from punching things. 
  • Donald Trump: Wait, hear me out. I will never be thankful that this monster ascended to the highest office in the land, but in the spirit of finding bright spots, I have now given my time, money, or goods to 10 non-profit organizations in my community. I doubt 48 Months would exist without President Trump, and for the opportunity to become more involved in my community, I am thankful.
  • Kim Crawford: You get me through the highs. You get me through the lows. You just get me.
  • YOU: We don’t exactly have advertisers beating down our door to try and capitalize on our insanely high blog traffic. But, that’s not why we do this! To those who take the time to read our stories, and join us in helping local non-profits – thank you! We’re inspired by the stories we hear and we can’t wait to keep sharing them.

CRISTY: Echoing much of what Jacki said above. President Cheeto Tiny Hands is a sociopathic, sex-offending excuse for a human being.  However, here we are, and despite it all, there’s so much gratitude for 2017.  When we started this we said MAYBE HE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and we’ll eat the crow. Nope. Will be serving up standard turkey fare this week. No crow in sight.
But seriously. Practicing gratitude is an exercise that I try to work into my routines (some days more successfully than others). Generosity of time and resources always… ALWAYS.. boomerangs back and in ways that cannot always be anticipated. If I can impart one piece of 45-year old lady advice, this is what I hope is heard.  Give wildly and without hesitation. You’ll feel young, alive and like your footprint on this earth matters. Give slightly beyond your comfort zone and see what happens. Please try it and let me know what happens. I’m so serious about this.
Here’s my grateful list. Like Jacki, my family isn’t on the list, because #duh. Unlike Jacki I put her first on my list because I’m an amazing friend like that.
  • Jacki/Jax/JLen: She’s the Kim to my Crawford, the sour to my sweet (kidding), the Pioneer to my Woman, and the general icing on my cupcake every single day.  Thankful doesn’t begin to describe what she means to me.  
  • NPR: I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times or my middle age, but many days I’ve got NPR on instead of music. Singing along to the (wordless) Morning Edition theme song loudly in my kitchen is a particular favorite of my children. Unbiased, need-to-know headlines delivered by the voices I trust. It’s a lifeline in our sea of chaos.
  • Together We Will, Northern Arizona:  My Resisterhood!  I have met some of the most powerful, committed and funny women that I have every known since Election Day.  We rally, protest, raise money for causes that Donald Trump hates, tweet, drink wine, and plot the destruction of our enemies every damn day.  You know who you are and you rock my world.
  • Public School Tax Credit.  Like the Charitable Tax Credit (see above), Arizona tax filers can give $400 (joint filers) or $200 (single filers) to any public district or charter school in Arizona. Schools use the money to provide the “extras” to their students. Education in Arizona is a drought and these tax credit dollars are welcome sprinkles of rain. It’s a win/win dollar for dollar tax credit.  Visit https://www.azdor.gov/Portals/0/Brochure/707.pdf for more information.  Write your check before 12/31/17 so you can claim the credit on your 2017 state tax return.
  • Haven Montessori:  I have worked at this lovely school for almost ten years.  After a few successive retirements, basically the cheese stands alone, and I was promoted to the Executive Director position this year.  The current state of the world has reignited my passion for the work that we do. Children are the future, we have to give them the tools they need to deal with the problems they are being handed.  Maria Montessori developed a curriculum addressing the whole child, with a strong emphasis on citizenship and community. Every day we work to instill these values in our students with the hope that when they leave us they will have the confidence, and a lifetime love of learning, that enables them to tackle the issues they will face.   My work is a labor of love and I am grateful to my core for the talented teachers and staff, the supportive parents, and the amazing children I am privileged to know.
  • Orange Theory Flagstaff: I ran for years and trashed my knee. I put on pounds, and Daffy Donald and his band of morons sent me into a high calorie downward spiral.  I joined OTF in August and I report at 5am at least 5 days a week to work out my stress, my anger, and get my body healthy. I’m grateful for the community, the coaches, the loud Top 40 tunes, and the copious amounts of sweat. 
  • Game of Thrones: Yeah, I binge-watched all seven seasons starting in August and just finished. It changed my life.  #WinterIsHere #ButNotInFlagstaff #YouKnowEverythingJonSnow
  • SNL and Alec Baldwin: Too many great skits to name that keep us laughing through our tears.
  • The Women Writers, Comedians, Artists and Activists.  Sara Schaefer, Tess Rafferty, Karen Fiorito, Lindy West.. SO MANY MORE I CANNOT NAME.
  • Family and Friends: I lied. I have to mention them. My husband, my kids, my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews. I’m #blessed with more goodness in this respect than any human probably deserves. My mother lives on in the love and fun that we have with each other, as well as our commitment to community service. I have the merriest band of friends that has roots in every part of my life. I am eternally grateful for all of you
Where is your gratitude this holiday season? Where will you share it? Please post your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving from 48 Months! Only 37 more to go!! 

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