the power of grateful

Thoughts for Thanksgiving from a grateful heart.

In the Americas, especially the US and Canada, today is Thanksgiving: the day to look back at the hardships we have endured and to count the blessings we enjoy, especially having gotten through those hardships.

The food is part of it, the family gatherings, the football (I remember the men all gathering around to watch the Army-Navy game when I was a child–big Navy family), and if we remember to do it, we look around at one another and realize how lucky we really are.

Yes, even in the midst of the aforementioned hardships, we’re still lucky. Blessed, if you will.

And now, in these uncertain years, we would do well to remember it. While yet we breathe, we still have phenomenal opportunity to get it right, or make it right, whatever “it” happens to be: the chance to forgive a loved one, even if you can’t do it to his or her face; the chance to change a bad habit or change your heart or recognize hurt or love and do something about it.

This past year, I spent most of my time in New York, working on a contract that turned out to be a great opportunity for learning, even while I struggled with my own demons and my own body’s reaction (not good) to living in Manhattan. As much as I love New York, as I like to say, New York doesn’t love me so much.

In the end, though, I came away with vast new knowledge, new affiliations, new experience and a much better understanding of my own abilities–and perhaps more importantly, my own limitations.

I came home.

To East Tennessee.

Yep, I can now call it home, because it is. I was greeted by friends who had missed me, warts and all; greeted by one of the most gently beautiful landscapes in the world; greeted by my humble home, of which I am now so proud, because it’s my humble home.

So this year, I’m grateful for my home, my family, all of whom I love; grateful for my friends, to whom I can now give my whole heart and not hold part of it back for greener pastures; grateful for the experiences, good and bad, that make me who I am today; grateful for surviving my difficult life and continuing to learn from it.

There’s so much more, because I’m certain as I’m sitting here that there are a zillion more blessings of which I’m not aware.

And I’m grateful because I had a truly lovely day today, and tomorrow is another day, another chance to get something right, do something good, choose something beautiful.

And always to love.

By Rebekkah Hilgraves

*RadHaus Solutions*: ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant. Marketo Certified Expert. Solutions Architect. Marketing automation implementation, integration, best practices, governance. Marketing automation, with a heavy dose of nerd.

*RadHaus Studio*: Broadcast and recording engineer, media production manager, cable monkey, marketing dork, project manager, chief cook and bottle-washer.

A seasoned trainer, marketer, web producer and front-end developer, solutions architect, writer, consultant, broadcaster, recording engineer, and public speaker, I've worked in eLearning, Instructional Design, CMS, Marketing Automation and CRM (especially Marketo, ActiveCampaign, and SimplyCast), content delivery and management, taxonomy, SEO, media production and technical support. I bring a unique blend of experience and expertise.

Through RadHaus (formerly SheTech and Company), and in partnership with ELK // Obscura Media, and Prove digital marketing agencies, I have supported enterprise clients in marketing automation implementation and operations, digital marketing and data strategies. I help design and operationalize custom integrated marketing programs for businesses, working with audience/user group segmentation, SEO, web analytics, design and UX best practices, multimedia, social media and other strategic web design and delivery mechanisms. I also do hands-on media production and arts marketing, allowing me to remain involved in the arts.

As part of Marketo's education team, I managed the production and publication of eLearning modules, and was a key member of the LMS implementation and certification development teams.

A consultant on the Web Operations team for OppenheimerFunds in New York, I offered technical, production, and strategy support on a major web site redesign project.

As Managing Editor for an online news magazine published by NetQoS, I supervised and managed the migration of the site from a legacy content management system to a .NET-based commercial system. I maintained the site and the content, updating the magazine with new content from industry analysts and technical experts on a weekly basis.

My earliest foray into both technology and training was as a software trainer for logistics company Cheetah Software Systems, helping create an implementation and training practice standard for the company, and building their user documentation.