Hello there, friends!
We are happy to bring you another guest post today with Michelle GD! Week after week, Michelle has shared her gratitude with our community on Instagram (using our gratitude hashtag #htfgratitude) and hers is among the voices we believe are complementary to the spirit of hello there, friend. She's one of our biggest supporters and we are happy that she's sharing with us today. So, let's dive in and get to know Michelle!
Michelle GD is an artist living in northern Virginia. Using writing and photography as forms of meditation, she explores the connections between the beautiful and messy bits of life. She leads students through the exploration of dailyness in online writing and photography workshops. In fact, she’s got a creative list making class coming up in a few weeks! You can find her at her website and on Instagram @michelle_gd.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day involves hanging out with my kids. As a homeschooling mama, I’m fortunate to spend the better part of my days with my son and daughter, ages 15 and 11 respectively. Some days include driving and dropping them at classes or sports practices or friends’ houses, but the majority of the time, we’re together. A typical day includes shared meals and schoolwork in pajamas. A typical day includes impromptu walks, soccer ball kicking, and plenty of silly (and serious) conversations. I strive to create space in a typical day to include bits of writing and photography for myself. A typical day is pretty comfortable.
What does gratitude mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your everyday life?
Gratitude, for me, is a quiet consideration of dailyness, a feeling of fullness and appreciation. When I’m quiet and grounded, gratitude is visceral. I try to notice the details of my life and, in the noticing, gratitude has a way of staying with me. It’s a presence.
I write gratitude lists in my journal…not everyday, but most days. It’s a lovely way to center myself and I sometimes like to read through past gratitude entries; they’re stories in and of themselves.
Since the kids were very little, we’ve maintained a practice of sharing our gratitudes at bedtime. This is shifting as my son often stays up later than me now! But some nights, I ask him to sit on his sister’s bed and join us. I love when we all do it together.
How do you stay connected to those you love?
Whether email, text, phone, or real-time, I stay connected with those I love by being present in my interactions. Connection is that simple…being present, listening, allowing for a back-and-forth sharing. It’s simple/not simple, I suppose…it’s not always easy to be present and it’s not always easy to truly listen. But I try.
What’s inspiring you right now?
This book: One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher. I’ve read it before, but I come back to it from time to time. There are so many nuggets that speak to me. It’s about writing…but it’s also about life.
What is on your bedside table?
A lamp that used to be in my son’s bedroom when he was younger, a small digital clock from my college days, loads of love notes from my daughter, lip balm, a diffuser. On the floor, leaning against my bedside table are (a lot of) (too many?!) books. Some include: the Gail Sher book mentioned above, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hahn, several volumes of Mary Oliver, Ted Kooser, and Jane Kenyon, and At Work by Annie Leibovitz.
On Monday, Michelle will be taking over the hello there, friend Instagram feed and sharing more with us. We hope you take the opportunity to check in and say hello to her!
Thank you, Michelle, for sharing with us! We're so grateful for you! xo.