Ali Wren

whole-hearted living, healthy-minded eating

A Year of Gratitude

My word for 2015 was gratitude. I went on a quest to view life through the lens of gratitude for an entire year. Every day, I wrote down at least one thing to be grateful for. Some days, I couldn’t put my pen down. On other days, if I’m being honest, I struggled to name one thing. 

This past year, I learned a lot about gratitude, and life, and love. I feel more grounded, graced, and grateful than I ever have.

I met amazing new people this year, and grew closer in my friendships and relationships. I was able to travel, watch my husband run two marathons, cry with friends as they bravely faced hard things, and celebrate my students’ accomplishments. 

A few highlights:

  • A successful first Whole30
  • If:Gathering and my If:Table friends
  • Sharing my story of anorexia and recovery
  • Mentoring my student teacher
  • Colorado trip with my mom and our hiking adventures in the mountains
  • Adam’s first marathon in Carmel
  • Helping my mom move into her new house
  • Up North trip with my dad and our long talks over the campfire
  • #Wrensflysouth road trip with Adam
  • My nephew stayed with us in the summer
  • Influence Conference in Indianapolis
  • Adam’s second marathon in Columbus
  • Storyline Conference in Chicago

The most scary and challenging highlight of 2015 blindsided me in March: I was diagnosed with melanoma. I never thought skin cancer could happen to me–I had faithfully applied sunscreen, and my skin easily tanned, and hardly ever burned. This season of anxiety and fear tested my gratitude.

But through it all, I found much to be grateful for.

I’m so grateful that my doctor suggested to get the mole on my right shin checked out.

I’m so grateful that my melanoma was superficial spreading, and could be surgically removed.

I’m so grateful for the love and support of countless people. Family and friends from all walks of life sent me daily notes, texts, and emails of encouragement, offering prayer, love, and hope. 

I’m so grateful that my story helped others take a step by getting their skin checked.

I’m so grateful for my health and recovery, even when I feel self-conscious of the 5-inch scar on my leg.

I’m so grateful for my life, even though I was obsessively terrified to be outside this summer.

There really is so much to be grateful for.

What do you have to be grateful for? Find it. Name it. Receive it. Own it. Remember it. 

Love, Ali

About Ali

I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.

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  • Wow. This is so good. I love this idea and think I will give it a shot too. Are you planning to write on the topic periodically all year?

    • Thank you, Emily! I plan to write about my word for 2016 now, which is SEEK.