Happy Thanksgiving! How did you start your day? Did you think about what you are grateful for? I woke around 6am. I didn’t sleep well because my work tablet, used to process orders remotely, had officially died. I had an order in my cue and I knew I was going to have to go into the store on my day off. I had also been hearing my Coco–tap, tap, tap–walk back and forth down the hall. I begrudgingly got up to make coffee and get ready for the day. As I walked down the hall past the pups’ room, I realized why she was walking back and forth. I was left a gloriously large present.

After cleaning the room, I mentally went over what I wanted to accomplish before having the minis over for Thanksgiving linner. I needed to sweep, mop, wash dishes and clean the bathroom. I wanted to take the dogs for a walk. I HAD to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (it’s a tradition). I wanted to roast the pumpkin for my pie and make fresh cranberry sauce (so it had time to cool in the fridge). I checked email, while I tried one more time to get my tablet to work and sipped on coffee to help me get over my lack of sleep.

Courtesy of NYT

Then I came across news I was happy to read. I subscribe to the NY TImes, and the title was related to gratitude based on the “6 word memoir”. Readers were asked to share in 6 words what they were thankful for this year. With so many bad things that have happened, it was refreshing, and even sometimes hysterical, what was shared. I was asked to share my 6 word memoir when I was an honoree for Albuquerque’s Business First’s Women of Influence award in 2015. My philosophy is “la vita e un dono” or life is a gift, my 6-word memoir included action… Life is a Gift; Open it. I think this is even more important this year.

I watched the parade, live streamed. It was very different in several ways from the past years, no crowds, no overwhelming joy and jubilation, yet I was so happy that Macy’s kept this tradition alive. I cut my pumpkin in half and put it to bake and put a bag of cranberries, orange juice and brown sugar on the stove top to boil and burst into a lovely condiment. I put the leashes on Chibi and Coco and we made our way for a walk along the golf course. The weather was a cool, this mid-fall morning. As usual, Coco pulled and Chibi investigated. Looking out across the golf course, I contemplated all that I was thankful for…my health, my minis, my family, my friends, a roof over my head, a professional role I enjoy, a passion project I love, these fur babies, laughter, empty golf courses, good food, stories, travel, smile, my angels and being able to tell my story.

We returned home. I got them set up and then headed into work. My teammates were already working to fulfill orders. We have been closed since the updated health orders, so the work I’ve have been doing is social and virtual selling while helping with fulfillment. This time of year is make or break for retailers and many of my colleagues and friends had been furloughed…I really hope only temporarily. We’ve had to reimagine business and that’s meant I’ve had to do things that I’m not really found of like videos…lol

I was asked by my friends at NM Living to create a quick video on how the community can utilize my services for their holiday shopping. This is VERY different that live segments, because I can see what I do and hate it! UGH!! I took at least 562 shots before I found one I was somewhat okay with. Moving into the virtual space away from one-on-one appointments mean more phone and Facetime appointments, which if you know me, you know I love (just. a. hint. of. sarcasm.). HOWEVER, I am incredibly grateful for my customers that have utilized my services vs just ordering online.

I finished processing the order and had another in cue. After a couple of hours, I headed back home, but not before stopping at the ATM machine. I had a plan that I was going to roll out at linner and I was totally excited about it.

I got home and started working on the meal. I have found that I ABSOLUTELY love cooking…it’s very therapeutic for me and I love the creative process involved. Today, the menu was Turkey breast, green chile mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes with basil, braised brussel sprouts with bacon, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and homemade pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. Creating is comforting and to see the joy on someone’s face, fulfilling.

The minis and their SOs arrived and we had a lively conversation around the kitchen bar as I finished preparing the meal. We laughed, talked about life and then took a shot, all while Friends played in the background. Another tradition for me is watching all the Thanksgiving episodes. I love how unpretentious Thanksgiving is. You make it what you want of it. I get all the feels be surrounded by love ones, good food, wine and laughter.

As we sat down, I handed each attendee an envelope. I asked them not to open it until I gave my spiel. I told each of them I had a challenge for them. If they chose to accept it they had to report back at our Christmas Eve dinner. It was a 20 20 challenge. I gave each attendee $40 (2-$20s) and asked them that over the next month they had to do something for someone who could never repay them…do something that would hopefully create a positive affect. The only condition was that they couldn’t just give money to someone. They had to do something for someone or some organization. If they saw someone who was hungry they had to buy a meal. If an organization needed bedding or clothing or food or personal hygiene items, they could purchase them to donate. They could even do something out of the blue like buy the person behind them a meal or drink or whatever. Then the questions started, with all the ideas that came to their minds. I explained, I know it’s not much but if we each put good out in the world it will have a ripple effect. I’m excited to hear what happens. I am also looking forward to making this an annual tradition.

We continued with our meal, shared memories and laughed. It was a very small gathering this year. It was the perfect reminder that in all the craziness that 2020 has brought, it has been a good reminder to be grateful with all we have.

And as far as what’s happening with Hopeless + Cause Atelier….the requests for Fashion Weeks all over the world are coming in. We’ll see where we’ll be next year. In the meantime, know how grateful I am to each of you who follow along this Ms. Adventure called my life.

With light and love (from the turkey boss babe),
Dara Sophia