Giving Thanks

As I sit here and listen to the sound of the wind blow through the leaves on the trees and the train’s horn in the distance, I am reminded of all the things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for the people I have met who are now my family, and those who have welcomed me into their family. I am thankful for those I have learned from and the lessons that have helped me become a better person (remember, it’s all relative). I have loved and befriended some amazing people – I am thankful for the moment I met each of them.

I am thankful for each time I had the luxury to sit down and listen to the wind in the trees or the rain hit the window panes. I am thankful I get to choose what I put in my fridge, cook in my kitchen, and eat every day. I am thankful I live in a house I chose and that I could make it a home for my dogs and me to live in. I am thankful I can open it to my friends and family to call their own as well.

I am thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow each day – and the luxury to squander that occasionally (I really need to stop doing that). I am thankful I learned to stop and appreciate mistakes I have made because they taught me something.

I feel thankful for the little moments. And that I recognize and appreciate these moments for how important they are.

I am most thankful that I am here at the edge of a new year, day, hour, and moment – and all it has to offer.

I am thankful for my life and all the possibilities ahead.

Embark on Change – it’s in the Air

I’m in Miami for Independent Sector’s Embark!

Sitting here in a 38th floor apartment, wrapping up things so that I can focus on the conference for the next few days, I have to say: I am really looking forward to spending a few days in the company of the people who work with nonprofits, foundations, and companies advancing the idea that thinking about our challenges in innovative ways is how we will create change for the future of social justice and social good.

The opportunity to hear from people who will inspire me to think and question the “usual” ways of approaching social challenges is only beneficial if I then follow up by making a difference in the small corner of the world that belongs to me. I am looking forward to hearing from these speakers and those that I will meet through the course of the next few days. I am looking forward to how these ideas and the spirit of people engaging in the world around them in different ways will inform the work I do, my involvement in the community, and how I live my life.

I sense change in the air. It might just be ocean air here in Miami, but I think it’s change – and it’s going to be amazing.

– NJ

Good-bye David Letterman. Love, Me.

This New York Times​ piece outlines why I have loved David Letterman​ my whole life. He reminds me of my Dad, and in some degree of me… though I am a MUCH lesser version.

David Letterman

David Letterman

There are people who have an idea about who they are, what they are willing to compromise (or not), and whether they are willing to move past the blowback of that. Good or bad, my Dad was unapologetically true to himself most of his life: spoke his mind, held his opinions, did his best, felt politics for politics’ sake was bullshit, and let the chips fall. Good or bad, this was how I was raised to be.

I think this is what I have loved about Letterman. He’s not the funniest host all the time. He’s not going to win a Mr. Congeniality prize all the time. But: You got HIM. I suspect with him, you know where you stand. He is willing to be the 12 yo boy who loves talking to the guy who plays drums. He is curious, interested in those that are interesting and perfunctory with those who aren’t. Heaven to me.

And so, I think we lose a little joy, transparency, and heart with David Letterman retiring. It’s a tough year for an old #NerdBot broad like me … Letterman and later this year Jon Stewart.

But I want to say, to the man who will never see this: Thanks Mr. Letterman, it’s been a joy.

– Narissa