Thursday, October 18, 2012

Giving Thanks for Three Years of GMS

Emboldened as one who had eaten too many meals eaten with no company but my own voice narrating the experience in my head, I launched "Girl Meets Soup" three years ago. I didn't exactly know where I was going with this blog. I had this far-flung vision of a book - which I still aspire to achieve. But along with that, I was enjoying discovering new spots - new to me, anyway - where I could eat, relax, and revel in my hard-earned singledom.

A lot has happened since then, especially in these pages. Painstaking documentation of an amateur chef's efforts, recognition by the L.A. Press Club, my habitual rendezvous with pho, delis, and the more-than-occasional bakery.

Since this is the season of harvest and thanksgiving, with all the schmaltzy sentiment that entails, I am going to ask you, dear readers, to share what or who you are thankful for with GMS. So far, I am grateful for my yoga class, those buttery mints with the jelly centers that they have at the Faculty Center, and friends like Peter, who knew even before I said so that I wanted stories about what everyone is grateful for over the last three years.

Find your bliss: I'm always grateful for a clean restroom.
This one - and the fabulous shadow on the wall from a
fortuitously placed window stencil - at Cafe Gratitude in Venice.

Actually, I have no other friends like Peter, but that's another story. So, in celebration of the last 36 months of GMS – and to narrow it down and hopefully make it easier – please let us know what you are most grateful for that has come your way within this span of time.

Although many factors dictate that fall and winter are the seasons of celebration according to our mainstream calendar, it does stand to reason that one takes stock at the end of the year. No real deadlines here, although it would be wonderful to have several of your stories by Thanksgiving (Nov. 22); and please feel free to send as many as you wish. Moreover, I am hoping that this little exercise teaches us all to get into the habit of gratitude all year long.


  1. I am thankful to have God in my life, my family and friends, health,love and happiness, a place to live, food, legs to walk with, eyes to see, a voice to sing, and to live on earth. I am thankful for every culture and everything God has made. Thank you for being a great friend to me and the wonderful food stories you write!

  2. Thank you, Jennifer, for bringing up the simple, yet profound blessings that we take for granted every day!...

  3. From one of our readers, who wished to be anonymous - J.H.

    I am thankful for the benefits of volunteerism. Many years ago my supervisor encouraged me to volunteer for the Los Angeles County Management Council. This improved my life and continues to do so. I volunteered and became Chairman of the Management Education Committee. We hired professional speakers and conducted seminars for our 1000 Council members. Soon I was working with exceptional leaders from 50 Departments of County government. This launched me on a “magic carpet ride” through countless opportunities for service in management and public policy in local, regional and national governments and in public/ private partnerships.

    One thing led to another -- promotions into hospital administration and teaching appointments at California State University. Then came more opportunities for professional training, certifications, memberships in Toastmasters, Mensa and other professional societies, social dance lessons, publishing, lecturing at conferences, faculty study tours of health systems in Europe, and in short, having the time of my life.

    Invitations and benefits continue flowing in. I’m still volunteering, mentoring young professionals and supporting worthy causes. I shudder to think what life would be like without volunteering and the blessings it provides me and countless others. Moral: Find a worthy cause, volunteer, enjoy life, and begin achieving your dreams!

  4. From my friend Peter - I am thankful that I've heard him play the piano, he's amazing! -

    I'm grateful for the first, second and third apple pie I've made in my life. I'm grateful for Fall in New England. I'm grateful for 4 year-olds in snow suits (not something I'm guessing you see much in SoCal!)

    I'm grateful for my bicycle. I'm grateful for all the bike lanes in my city (Cambridge, MA).

    I'm grateful for the stories my clients share with me. I'm grateful for personal emails that are longer than one paragraph. I'm grateful for the superior voice quality of landlines.

    I'm grateful for blue sky. I'm grateful for music in general and my piano in particular. I'm grateful for my teachers, supervisors and peers. And I'm grateful for gratitude.

  5. After driving around a bit on Thanksgiving night and seeing who is out there, I am thankful that I have a place to live besides the streets, and that I don't have a job that requires me to work on a holiday...

    I'm thankful for the chance to write GMS, for the inspiration that is all around me, and the indulgent forum of blogging... I'm grateful for those who read it, enjoy it, and encourage me to keep at it...

    I'm thankful for the change of seasons that makes us stand up and notice the wonder of nature - yes, even in sunny Southern California... I'm grateful for the chance to watch my nephews grow up to be the amazing human beings that they are...

    But most of all, I'm grateful for the friends who share here the things they are most grateful for... And I'm grateful for the ones who didn't, I know they still are thankful spirits deep-down ...You all are the cream in my coffee, the icing on the cake, the matzo ball in my soup!... Happy Thanksgiving!