Most Popular Posts of the Year

I don’t pay much attention to analytics for The Daily Grace, a silly thing, really, since I am marketer by trade. But as I’ve scrolled through my own Bloglovin feed this week and noticed all the “Best of 2016” posts, I thought it might be fun to look back over the year to see what most struck your fancy.

Here goes!

 

A Letter to my Daughter Graduating from College

This one I first posted in 2015! It was popular then, and not surprisingly finds a new audience with each new crop of graduates and moms-of-graduates. 

 

 

An Interesting and Surprising Life

An interesting and surprising “most popular” because it is actually something I wrote in 2012! Tim I and were binging Friday Night Lights at the time and I was struck by a letter written by Tyra Collette about her college dreams. Also interesting? I wrote my own list of dreams for the post, and in the four years since have realized many of them. 

 

 

This is Us

I declared my love for this new television drama in October after the episode in which Kevin talks with his beautiful young nieces about our undeniable connection to each other, about the colorful tapestry that is life. It’s a message that bears repeating time and time again.

 

 

The Question to Ask When You Don’t Know What to Do

It seems I’ve waited all my life to learn this, and it’s been a solid guide to me since. True. So very true.

 

 

Rumination on Home

Poured from my heart to the page, this one is my favorite of the year.

 

 

The Right Words to Say

Writer Hannah Brencher gets to me in a powerful way, with her honest perspective and raw sensibility. How grateful I am for the lessons I learned from her in April.

 

 

Perfect Moments

My favorite photo of the year, and the story behind it is even more lovely. How I treasure my friends.

 

 

You’re Gonna Wanna See This

What a joy it was to revisit this story! On one of our first weekends in the mountains we discovered a ground nest of baby birds that (miraculously) survived the Great Weed Whacking that cleared an overgrown hill beside our house. There was an additional post later that tells Part 2 of the tale–one of  courage, adventure, and more than a little precious. Find it here: And Then This Happened.

 

It has been an honor to spend time with you, dear friends, via the pages of The Daily Grace. I am so happy you are here, and I wish you a joyful 2017 filled with more beautiful moments of grace than your heart can hold.

XXOO,

Cathy

 

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An Interesting and Surprising Life

photo: Rhonda Spillars Austin

 

We have become a bit obsessed, my husband and I, with watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of the TV show Friday Night Lights. Set in a small Texas town, the story centers on the trials and tribulations of the town’s high school football coach, the players, and their friends and families. My husband, Tim, is drawn to the “consistency” of Coach Eric Taylor. I love Tami, his wife, a woman who is never afraid to speak the truth.

But I have to say it is Tyra Collette, a beautiful young rule-breaker, with whom I am most captivated. As she looks to graduate and break free of the generational strongholds that bind her, I cheer her on like a fan in the stands at a Dillion High School football game.

Late last night Tim and I made it to the end of Season 3, graduation approaching for many of the primary Friday Night Lights characters. Tyra had struggled mightily, not only with creating the possibility of college, but also with her application essay. As she read it aloud to her friend, Landry, tears began to stream down my cheeks as if I were there in that room with her:

Two years ago, I was afraid of wanting anything. I figured wanting would lead to trying and trying would lead to failure. But now I find I can’t stop wanting.

I want to fly somewhere first class.
I want to travel to Europe on a business trip.
I want to get invited to the White House.
I want to learn about the world.
I want to surprise myself.
I want to be important.
I want to be the best person I can be.
I want to define myself instead of having others define me.
I want to win and have people be happy for me.
I want to lose and get over it.
I want to not be afraid of the unknown.
I want to grow up and be generous and big hearted, the way people have been with me.

I want an interesting and surprising life.

It’s not that I think I’m going to get all these things, I just want the possibility of getting them.

College represents possibility. The possibility that things are going to change.

I can’t wait.

How I admire that girl for seeing beyond the walls around her, for wanting an interesting and surprising life, for pushing hard to get it. How lucky I was to not face those same challenges at 18 years old. As far back as I can remember, my parents gave me that greatest of gifts: You can do anything.

Now I am 53 years old—a reality that shocks me as if I hadn’t seen my late October birthday coming. I am so grateful to have lived this interesting and surprising life. But so much more is ahead.

I want to write a book.
I want to sell a painting.
I want to go to Africa, and Alaska, and Spain.
I want to learn to meditate.
I want to re-learn the oboe.
I want to grow corn.
I want to be good at roses.
I want to make it back to the mountains.

I can’t wait.