Overwhelming Gratitude

Recently I was hit by a tidal wave of emotions.  A blast of gratitude so strong that it overwhelmed my ability to process it for a few minutes.  That in itself is an amazing gift, but when I started to look at everything behind it, I was actually in tears – happy ones of course!

Motorcycle travel.  I’ve written a great deal already about my summer riding and the amazing trips I’ve been blessed to experience this year.  There is still another to come and I can’t even describe how excited I am for Alaska.  That has been a dream of mine for over five years.  The bonus for me in all of it is that after I found my beautiful Sassy last year, I feel like I have the best bike possible to travel on.  Sassy doesn’t travel to every destination, but renting the same or a similar bike has made all the difference in how I enjoy motorcycle travel.  Also having put a good bit of miles on in the last year has helped build my confidence and my skills.  When I look back to the beginning of last summer I can’t believe how terrified and unprepared I felt.  Or maybe I should say that I am grateful for all I’ve learned and how the miles and people who have been patiently teaching me made such an impact.

Dear, dear friends.  To me, there is no substitute for a trusted group of friends who you know will have your back and you have theirs.  Some live farther away, but each of them is a treasure in my life.  I’ve always been a person who values a small group of close, trusted friends over a large group that I know less well.  In the last couple years I have been fortunate to add some new friends to my world.  I am grateful for the joy that each of them brings to my life.

Best riding partner, ever!  Yes, he is also a dear friend, but I feel like he deserves his own category.  We literally met on the side of the road and rode together the very next day.  Our riding styles are compatible, we learn together and from each other and have grown to trust and lean on each other.  It is a joy to ride with someone that you know so well you can anticipate how they are going to handle most situations.  When we get it wrong, we talk it out and make adjustments for next time.  I can and do ride by myself, but the miles I’ve put on with my riding buddy are some of my favorite and I always look forward to our next adventure!

Cool job.  It isn’t just my job, it’s the company I work for, my boss and my colleagues.  I prefer to focus on the positive so I’m going to say that this job is what I have dreamed of for many years.  I feel valued and heard.  We treat each other like adults and everyone values their work life balance; that isn’t just a phrase on the website to apease HR.  My boss appreciates what I bring to the team and actively encourages me to grow in my field.  He asks which direction I want my career to go and how he can help me reach those goals.  When I request time off he always approves it right away and then makes a point to ask how my trip was when I return.

Decent finances.  Yes, these trips cost and I realize I am fortunate to have the means to afford them.  I had plenty of years of working two jobs just to pay the rent and support myself. Thankfully those days are gone and hopefully never return.  I also worked a ton last year and took only one week off because I had no paid time off or holidays.  This year I am reaping the rewards of that and I appreciate every paid day off that I have!

After this incredible summer, I’m not sure what I will set my sights on next.  At this point I am trying to be open to whatever adventures may come my way for next year.  I know that this will be one to remember for a long, long time.

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