I have a minor confession: I almost always skip the acknowledgements pages in books. They’re often little more than lists of names which mean everything to those named and to the author, but nothing to me. I do, however, appreciate that the acknowledgements are there. There’s a tendency to see writing as a solitary pursuit, but acknowledgements pages remind me that it takes a village to write a book, no matter whose name is on the cover.
We’re immersed in a culture that would have us believe that living is a solitary pursuit too. We’re supposedly the independent architects of our unique lives. Each of us gets all the credit—and all the blame—for everything that happens to us. Now, there is absolutely something to be said for personal responsibility, but there is also something equally as important to be said for interdependence, connection, and community.
I’ve long wanted to write my own acknowledgements page for my life so far, and here it is. It’s somewhat different than you’ll find in books; rather than a simple list of names (though those are included), it also includes my brief thoughts on programs, services, and products that have significantly impacted my life for the better. In this way I hope it will also serve as a reference for people who are dealing with similar struggles.
I won’t claim that it’s a list of recommendations, because I don’t have a specific audience in mind. I don’t know who will come across this list or whether all, some, or any of the items on this list apply to you and your situation. What I am claiming is that these people, programs, and products have helped me, they may help others, and I’m so grateful for their role in my life. Also, this is completely personal. There are no affiliate links here and I get nothing from anyone for sharing this. No fine print!
One more note: my life is a work in progress and this list is by no means complete or exhaustive. Some of the gratitude I have is incredibly private and even complicated, and not something I’m willing to publicize. Some omissions may be entirely unintentional. Perhaps in another few months or years I will update it or create a new one. Finally, these are in no particular order.
Martha Beck’s Life Coach Training literally changed my life. It taught me how to listen, how to ask the most effective questions, and set me on the path to trusting myself, my journey, and the universe.
Wendy Renee Holthaus held space for me to melt down in the midst of depression and work all the way through it. Wendy is a Kick Ass Recovery Coach!
Angelina Lombardo is another coach who is holding space for me to create new dreams and become a phoenix rising.
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is what finally made personal finance make sense to me. I’ve been using it since I was in college and it’s the reason why Z and I were able to face a surprise pregnancy and having to radically change our lives in 6 short months without going into debt.
Mercedes Lackey’s novels, especially of Valdemar, show me a better world in action. I absolutely love the care and attention her characters show for each other and their remarkable teamwork and sense of justice. Her books were my escape and my salve during my PPD.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Ithaca is nothing short of amazing. This community has seen me through all the upheavals and challenges of my adult life, including coming out, having a baby, and PPD. Special thanks to MM&WP, KK&BP, AM, LD&LD, JS, JM, JB, KO, AM&PM, the choirs, everyone who helped us with pregnancy, moving, meal delivery, and childcare, and of course NP&GG.
Ithaca Shamanic Drumming Circle has become my spiritual home and is teaching me that yes, there is more to this world than we can see, but anyone can find that out and experience it for themselves. This community is an amazing group for learning, support, and healing.
Ithaca Community Acupuncture literally changed my life. Since the clinic’s operating model and sliding scale fees make treatments so affordable, that’s how I was able to even try acupuncture in the first place. Regular treatments made seasonal allergies, SAD, and PPD livable. Their (now retired) volunteer program was my first commitment outside myself in the wake of PPD. Special thanks to CF, SH, and K.
The Yoga School got me moving again, and I’m especially thankful for the trade I was able to do. I’d still be doing it if other commitments allowed! Special thanks to LS.
La Leche League leaders in Ithaca helped me identify the cause of our breastfeeding hell and how to resolve it, giving us emotional support along the way. I knew I was through the worst of it when I had the opportunity to give another mother hope about her similar situation. Special thanks to LU.
Cayuga Family Medicine, JL, and DZ solved the breastfeeding problem and the PPD problem. Thank you!
Hand in Hand Parenting puts words to things I’ve sensed since childhood but had no idea how to articulate. It’s gentle, compassionate, and backed by science. It helps me to more consistently be and become the parent I want to be, and my Listening Partnership has become my anchor (thank you, CS).
Mama’s Comfort Camp is a fantastic virtual community of support, kindness, and non-judgment. Maybe I’ll make it to a local meeting someday!
VE at the YMCA offered me a job again at just the right moment.
McCune and Murphy PT, especially DM, are getting me moving again without hurting myself. Getting back the strong, flexible, healthy body I knew was buried somewhere under old injuries, bad habits, and fear is fun and confidence-building.
Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. Now that I think about it, the virtual course I took here was essentially my first step on my path of healing. It led me to Life Coach Training.
Dressing Your Truth helped me uncover my own sense of style. Prior to finding DYT, I’d basically given up on ever feeling or looking put together in a way that reflected who I really am. It turned out to be simpler than I thought!
Simple Green Smoothies helped me jump on the smoothie bandwagon in delicious style and gain vitality while losing weight.
Katy Bowman‘s work is slowly, slowly helping me rethink how I move all day, every day. This is the year I learn how to squat! Maybe next year I’ll be climbing trees…
ZM: dear friend and bane of my existence
OM: you are my sunshine
NP: aunt extraordinaire
JCK: you get me
You know what? It feels just as good as I hoped to write all this down and share it! Now I’ll send it out into the world with love and gratitude and hope that it will make even a small difference for someone else.