It rained for almost 3 days this week…that is big news. We are enduring 7 years of drought here in the gorgeous city of Austin, TX. So when we get rain it is something to celebrate.

The pouring rain showered me with so many thoughts of gratitude as I faced this momentous week in my family and life.

The Cargnoni family celebrating Nathan's High School Graduation and Hallie's Middle School Graduation

My stepmother with Nathan 

The list has my emotions at peak performance…my daughter graduated from 8th grade on Thursday, my son graduated from high school on Friday night, my stepmother was visiting last weekend, my brother’s birthday was on Friday, Emily packed up and moved to Houston to start her new life…All of this adds up to a full heart and a full plate of emotion, celebration and bottom line…LIFE. 

And this is exactly what life does to us…when you are broken and you want life to stop.  It won’t. 

When your heart is so shattered and you want everyone to go hide and stop living…they don’t. 

When you want to freeze time and make everything be still…it can’t.

All of this because we must keep living, we must face each day and know it can be better than the day before. Chapters are closing and new chapters of opportunity, growth and life keep opening.

The former 8th grade girls with their graduation bracelets

I have been making bracelets for my daughter’s friends to celebrate their graduation from middle school and moving on to the big world of High School!! We all remember those days, those friendships and that fragile time of defining who we will be in that next chapter. 

Transition and change is in the air and I can feel it all around me.

8th grade graduation bracelet with 8 tangerine beads and a 9th golden bead for a golden year!
The 8th grade graduation bracelets I have been making are a triple wraps with 8 fun colored beads and the 9th bead is golden. I heard my daughter explaining to her friend, “the 9th bead is golden because we are heading into a golden year!”

Ohh…the words of a 14 year old will stop you in your tracks every time.

Yes, actually, every year of your life is “golden.”

Every heart connection you have in your life, every person that tells you “I love you,” every day that the sun shines or the rain pours…they are all golden.

8 AM yoga stretches
Tying the knots for the 8 colored beads has me stuck on the number 8. So I started my Wednesday by shuffling to an 8 AM yoga class. I just felt that this week deserves some time on the mat…and what better time than 8:00.

The time on my mat, sweating, twisting and waking up - inspired me to stay with the thoughts of Golden.

And of course, the number 8 sticks with me. Maybe these bracelets with 8 beads and a 9th bead that is golden really mean something to all of us!!!  Maybe I will give them to my friends, too. Maybe we all need to make a list of what is golden in our lives. After a life chapter where you are struggling and every day takes so much effort…you eventually start to feel like yourself again and the simple things feel golden.

As you watch your children journey down their paths and hit these milestones you realize so many of these memories are truly “golden.” And, as we acknowledge things golden we add to our list of gratitude…and that is where we continue to grow and heal.

My list…

8 Things Golden!!!

1. 8 AM yoga class – handstands to remind you that you are strong and even upside down you can still smile!

2. My stepmother coming to visit and showering all of us with her love.

3.  Closing the chapter of Middle School!!!

4. My 18 year old taking his last High School final and getting his diploma!!!

5. Old friendships - College friends planning a trip to see each other so we can hug, laugh, cry and catch up.

6. Books that lift our spirits!

7. Emily opening a Healing Knots office in Houston!!! And accepting a new job!

8. Bracelets touching people’s lives….an order for a girl in Baltimore who lost her best friend and she has drawn a complex design of what she wants to wear to remember him, pictures on Facebook from a new bracelet wearer in Los Angeles that loves her new bracelet, and an order from Oregon today for a gorgeous orchid and brown bracelet. All knowing that my brother is sending this my way to help me face his birthday. His gift to me…that his love will keep pouring down on me - Beads, Knots, flowers, raindrops and gratitude.

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