by Kim Jackson of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings

The photo above is the view from my balcony. This is what I get to stare at as I sit outside, enjoying the warm air and writing this post. You can’t see them, but just to my left, and at the bottom of that hill are a family of deer, grazing busily—but glancing up at me occasionally to ensure I’m not going to interrupt their meal with any human silliness. This is my happy place; surrounded by nature and shrouded in quiet—save the sound of animal paws scurrying across the forest floor. It’s an easy to place to reflect, and to remember to be grateful.

My son, my only child, my baby—he turned 13 this past weekend. To celebrate, I took him on a surprise trip to NYC to eat, shop and hang out for the day. He had a blast, and his excitement and level of gratitude were priceless. I know the time is coming when he might not want to hang out with me, so I cherish these moments when we’re still buddies and I’m still one of the cool people. I remember when he was just a chubby little munchkin with a head full of curly hair, who loved to curl up and snuggle my neck. And I hope that I relished those moments enough while I had them, because it seems now that they went by before I could blink.

I encourage you to be present in your life—with your children, in your relationships and in your careers, or with whatever is most important to you—because things can and will change in an instant. As much as you muttered “I can’t wait until the kids grow up” or “I’m so ready to take this courtship to the next level” or “I want this promotion”—you’ll miss the sweetness of the moments when your children still needed you, the excitement of when you were newly dating, or the lack of stress that preceded your promotion.

While change is inevitable, if we take a moment to be still, be quiet, and be grateful, it will be much easier to enjoy where we are right now. A great exercise to help us to get to where we are going is reflecting on where we’ve been.

Happy Thursday. I hope you take a moment this weekend to acknowledge all the things you have to be grateful for.

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PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman’s beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously.