#HappyMaker

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.

My Thanks Giving Celebration!

Every November my favorite holiday comes around – Thanks Giving. I LOVE this holiday! Now, before anyone decides to engage in discussion of the historical realities of “Thanksgiving”, please note that my favorite holiday is Thanks Giving. I enjoy the celebration of friends and family gathering to recognize and celebrate what they have, who is part of their life, and to revel in the simple joys of good food and company.

Thanks Giving Plans
This year, I plan to celebrate Thanks Giving by giving thanks to thirty people. Each day I will send an emailed, handwritten, or social media “Thank You” to those I am thankful to have met, known, learned from, and those who have otherwise influenced my life.

Some will be people who aren’t aware of their impact on me. Letters will go to people I haven’t spoken to in a long time. Some occasions of thanks may reflect on a difficult experience, but one that taught me something critical. I will be liberal and also very intentional with my thanks. 

Join Me for Thanks Giving
If we all found one person to thank for being a part of our life – and shared why that was important – each day for thirty days, think of how much joy we could share! Give thanks to one person a day or a week – take the time to share with people why you are thankful for them.

I will build my initial list and hopefully continue to add names throughout the month. Honestly, my hope is to have so many names on the list that it takes more than the month of November to thank them all. This way, I will continue to cultivate a habit of Thanks Giving into the New Year.

Let the fun begin! Who will you thank first?

HAAM Benefit Day: Live music in unexpected places

HAAM Benefit Day - 9/24/13

HAAM Benefit Day – 9/24/13

Your coffee meeting, lunch with friends, and haircut on your way to picking up groceries can all help Austin area musicians today.  Today is HAAM Benefit Day – live music in unexpected places that support the musicians who live here in Austin!

Live music is not an anomaly here in Austin, but what makes today unique is the talent playing in places like the Frost Bank Tower, Whataburger, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and just about every Whole Foods location.  They come out to play not for tips or the usual nighttime audiences. They are out playing to help support a nonprofit that works so hard to support them.

What HAAM does for Austin musicians
The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) provides Austin’s low income, uninsured-working musicians with access to affordable health care – not just for the emergencies, but preventative and wellness care. Most of Austin’s working musicians are self-employed which presents challenges to securing health insurance that provides them with preventive health care to keep healthy and working – here in our city and around the country.

While we can all agree Austin’s status as a live city capital is great for the reputation of the city, it also is an important contributor to the Austin economy. The impact of the more than 9,000 working musicians to our economy includes:

  • Almost $2 billion in economic activity, more than $38 million in local tax revenue each year.
  • 18,148 jobs.
  • Tens of thousands of visitors from around the world brought annually by Austin City Limits Music Festival and South By Southwest. (Source: TXP, Inc., City of Austin, 2012)

How Austin musicians work for HAAM
Today, the musicians are joining HAAM to provide concerts throughout the city to help raise money to support the nonprofit that supports them. Some proceeds from the sales today at these locations will be donated to HAAM so they can continue to provide access to health care to our Austin musicians. Learn more about how you can be a part of the HAAM Benefit Day.

Visit one of these locations and hear some Austin music the way no tourist will – discover a new musician you may not have heard before.