#AtoZChallenge | W is for What Remains (#gratitudeandshit)

stormtrooper bunny easter jubes home

These pockets of in-overbookedness don’t happen often.

AtoZ2019WRather than get a jumpstart on 53 things that needed jump-starting, I didn’t jump. And I sure as hell didn’t start. Not right away. A day brimming with a promise to put me ahead in everything where I was behind curtained sharply into a back-to-the-pillow nosedive.

The car got washed, the chicken, cooked (not grilled.)

And it’s 1:21 on Sunday morning, sleep time for another day of possibility, but I’m instead forging ahead to maybe close at least one gap – this A to Z Challenge. W, X, Y, and Z remain. One day remains in this weekend.

In this soccer season, two games (unless we miraculously make the state playoffs.)

What will I do with it? Be grateful for that extra sleep. For a clean car. For tardy gratitude, even #gratitudeandshit. I’m grateful for the universe-induced rest. For the gumption to want more. For the patience to settle for less.

What else has me feeling all #gratitudeandshit in late April? Well, you see …

me pillow 2018 expression target
This made me laugh! And they spelled it right. (No, it wasn’t by my kids. Probably. I don’t think.)

1-Time with my team. I don’t care about the score. I sat down after another crushing loss and just told them. I. Don’t. Care. About the score. We put such a finite point on expectation. And before you know it, the season is almost over and you already miss it.

2-Aspiring writers who wander into my path. I so hope Marissa reaches back out. That I can help Jill. And so many other friends who just need someone to guide and believe. I’m here. Let’s write. The world needs your voice.

3-Time spent on the shore. Part of it was searching for sharks teeth with the family. Some was sitting alone, closing my eyes, and feeling the ocean in front of me. Recording it so I could bring back the sounds, which bring back the feel, for meditation at home.

c3po funko pop
Madison and Sutton brought him back for me from California. Cool, huh?

4-Time before a match to talk to my team. Often, I miss the mark. I think I’m not the effective pre-game orator I once was. But it comes from the heart, like lumpy cookies that won’t end up in Better Homes & Gardens but are still delicious and fulfilling.

5-A clean desk. It’s a new look for me. My former boss challenged me. If I could keep it clean for two months, she and a colleague would each spring for $10 in snacks for me. You know how long $10 in snacks could last me? At least an afternoon!

6-Progress. I can see it. I can feel it. I’m still sickeningly sick knowing what I have left out, but there’s less of that. And less sickeningly sick. Even if I figure out how to get a true handle on it all, it’s in these struggling times I make the biggest gains.

us christmas tree 2018 holidays home
What? Our Christmas tree was beautiful last year. As always.

7-Being closer to who I want to be. He’s in here, somewhere. He’s not one to be writing a post that should have gone live Saturday, at 1:35. He’s the one who would have had this scheduled, social media planned and for this a day ago.

(Note: I went to bed right after finishing that paragraph.)

8-Plans. Even when bumpy. For example, writing this post. It’s taken a longer and more circuitous route than a wristwatch from Wish. It’s written in pencil and hope! Just like all else, I aspire to do.

9-Connections worth waiting for. I read a quote this morning that says expectation is the root of all heartache. It’s that narrow focus to success I mentioned before. Also, we can’t control how others react – only how we do.

me virginia cheerleaders belk bowl new friends bank of america stadium
I made a couple of new friends while covering the Belk Bowl last season.

10-Little burger stands that stand the test of time. Any mom-n-pop joint. There’s a love in the recipes you can’t get from a chain. There’s a way someone’s grandmother made something delicious that someone decided to share with the rest of us.

What about you? #gratitudeandshit is a good thing, even if it’s late coming. What are you grateful for?


A to Z Challenge:

A is for Almost (and also At Last)

B is for Baggett (as in Laura, the actress, and #GirlsRock interview)

C is for Cursive, Cats, and Chinese Restaurants (Go Ask Daddy about them)

D is for Drawing the Line

E is for Every Day Gratitude

F is for Fieri, Falling in Love, and Focus (Weekend Reads IV)

G is for #GoAskDaddy: An interview with realtor Kristen Foxx

H is for Habit of Peace

I is for I Shot the Sheriff, Item Lifting and other Illegal Activity (Go Ask Daddy)

J is for Journalist, a #GirlsRock Interview with Esther Robards-Forbes

K is for Kickass Kindness (to go with #gratitudeandshit)

 L is for Low Self-Esteem, Life Sucks, and Electric Lit (Weekend Reads V)

M is for Manifest your dreams? No thanks. (Here’s why.)

N is for a new path (and why you don’t need one)

O is for old people, other police dogs and one business day (Go Ask Daddy!)

P is for Patience (and how to procure it)

Q is for quality (and other #gratitudeandshit items)

R is for Ruining our lives, but also rules for divine timing and happier parenting (Weekend Reads VI)

S is for Superpowers (a guest post from Cindy of Simple Steps)

T is for Three Hundred Writing Prompts (Guilt)

U is for using up all your subs (Go Ask Daddy)

V is for Virtually anything

rohn quote gratitude


  1. I used to do a daily Grateful 10 at the end of the day. I need to get back to the practice. Thanks for this inspiring post.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Really puts things into perspective, and steers me to a more positive mindset, Sharon. Glad you liked this! I’m grateful the A to Z Challenge brought us to each other’s spot.

  2. I’m ever so grateful for the talented healers helping me make it through a beyond challenging Kundalini Awakening. And I’m grateful for my family who doesn’t understand what I’m going through, yet are as supportive as they can be.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It must be incredible to know such support! And your family’s presence is the very essence of being there for someone.

  3. Grateful for fabulous news from #1 Son today. He’s in a much better place than he has been in a long, long time.

  4. my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/ says:

    Smiling at all the photos and yes had a giggle at the first one! I love gratitude posts and your list is great and filled with good things.
    Spending time by the sea is so relaxing isn’t it?
    I used to do a gratitude list in a notebook and then got into the habit of doing gratitude posts every Friday or so. But thank you for the reminder (and that lovely quote) because I need to make it a daily habit again.
    Hope you have a great week.

  5. I have a long gratitude list lying around here somewhere… I really should take it out and look at it again. :-/
    Today I am grateful for the fact I only have 1 test to study for while other students have 3, 4 or 5 finals this week. I do not envy them. Nor all the hours they are taking to get college D.O.N.E. I feel THAT pain… but I am also glad I have the summer to recuperate.
    Looking forward to last 3 installments. Promise not to do them all at once next time.. LOL! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m grateful for your gratitude list, even if it’s awol! Good luck on your test! I’m considering going back to school.

      1. School has been awesome for me. I learned a lot about myself as well as the subjects. I enjoy being mentally stimulated and being around youngins. They make me feel young! 👩‍🦳

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d take Courtney Wright 101.

  6. My friend died suddenly last month, and since I was the closest thing she had to a daughter, I was called on to do things that weren’t my place, like searching for her car in the middle of the night in the downtown core, choosing her final clothes, speaking at her service, cleaning out her apartment. But I’m so grateful that I could do these final things for her because I love her. xo

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      What an incredible experience, Jenn – and I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. What a gift you were able to give back to her. xo

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