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  • Writer's pictureAngela Mannino

The Village People

Thanksgiving: Time to overeat, feel festive and talk blessings.

I don't need a holiday for that!

I'm all about the "attitude of gratitude". It keeps me balanced and at peace as the pendulum swings between moments of great success and hot messes -- and, believe me, both have been known to happen from time to time! My philosophy is that there is always something to be grateful for in any situation and ALWAYS someone else who deserves credit for my achievements or for digging me out of a mess.

Most of the credit goes to the amazing anchors in my life. My Faith, my husband, my parents, my sweet little one and my closest friends. No matter the external circumstances, they are my guiding light.

But lately my gratitude meter has been off the charts. I'm super energized while also feeling overwhelmed at times and hopeful even though it's easy to feel burdened by the challenges in my world.

I couldn't decide what to blog about and then, at the end of a hectic week wrapping up a wonderfully busy and fulfilling month, words I heard from a friend were a marquis written across my heart:

"It takes a village..."

When we lived at our old condo I became fast pals with our downstairs neighbor. She asked me a couple of times over the course of our years living there to assist with looking after her apartment when she was away. It was no inconvenience to me at all, but her grateful response was always: it takes a village....

I would giggle. I didn't feel like I was offering tremendous support -- it was no big deal to me to bring in a package or make sure there wasn't a leak in the ceiling -- but I've come to realize what my willingness to help meant to her.

The other evening I was chatting with a friend of mine from my Bible study group and we were planning a time for her come by to meet Julia. I was hoping that she could babysit for us occasionally, but I expressed to her that I totally understood if she was too busy and would prefer not to take on another commitment. Her response, without hesitation, was that she was happy to be among those that we might call on for childcare and if we were ever in an emergency (God forbid) she would be there to help us. Then she said what I clearly needed to hear: it takes a village.....

I still can't get our conversation out of my head.

The next morning while chatting with my Bizzarro Agency teammate who also lives with his family in New Jersey we were discussing the daily chaos of juggling appointments and family schedules -- a.k.a. who will be home to watch the kid(s)? He and I often call upon each other for assistance when we have a scheduling conflict, but on this occasion I just needed to talk it out with someone who understood the predicament. We laughed and with the magic phrase still fresh in my mind, I said: it takes a village....

What I believe has happened in my life over the course of this transformative year is that people (some who I knew already and others who I recently met by Divine intervention) have become my village. A support system for me now that I am a working mother. People I can call upon for assistance in any and all areas of "adulting" whether they be career related, childcare, spiritual or good old friendship.

A great example is when we sold our condo this Summer: I was minutes from the final walkthrough and we had mysterious electrical issues that left half the apartment without power. Of course, we called an electrician but time was running out with the Buyers on the way and I knew the perfect person to call! I video conferenced with my resourceful neighbor, the one famous for her prophetic words "It takes a village". There I was holding up my iPhone to the electrical panel so she could help me via video from her home in Seattle. We are a village living in the future!

So this year, in addition to being eternally thankful for my family, friends and health, I can say with a warm, fuzzy heart that I am also very grateful for my village. Folks who have played a role in my wins this year and who've made it possible for me to work as hard as I can at my new career. Sisters who I can ask to pray for me without explanation. Neighbors that God put in my life at just the right moment. People who consider me part of their village and know they can count on me to be there for them. New friends.

It really is such a good feeling.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!



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