by Jennifer Tolle Whiteside
My cup runneth over, and I am not talking wine glass here, although my life does seem rather wine-soaked recently with all the holiday gatherings. Rather it is my appreciation and gratitude that are freely flowing. In this busy time filled with expectations (some realistic and some unrealistic) joy, anticipation, fear, surprise and sometimes frustration -- I find myself calmed by the belief that all is fine. Even if my holiday shopping, baking, cleaning, planning, carding and calendar-making are not done, I remain surprisingly calm. Is this yet another manifestation of getting older? The result of dedicated yoga practice? Some unknown and yet undetected physical ailment?? My view is changing, and I am incredibly appreciative of the state in which I have found myself.
I live in my own grateful island sometimes, but this season I am just incredibly appreciative of so many things: renewed friendships, family and the incredible team of people I work with every day on both the board and staff. Our generous fundholders -- old and new -- our partners. They say that practicing gratefulness grows your capacity to feel grateful. I have been quite busy reaching out through thank-you notes, holiday cards and acknowledgments, and I think they are right. The act of expressing appreciation has grown my capacity to feel it.
Today I appreciate the opportunity to serve you through the North Carolina Community Foundation, humbled by the generous and committed folks who make up this family. I cannot wait for 2016 and the adventures the year will bring. Until then I am just sipping from the cup.