Happy New Year, Everyone!  Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Have you kept it so far?  I didn’t make a resolution- Not because I didn’t think I’d keep it, but because I don’t like to think that we’re obligated to make ourselves better, thinner, prettier, etc., just because a new year is beginning.  I DO, however, believe in striving to better my appreciation and love for all, and for finding the good and the power in that appreciation, and so I am presenting you with a list.

This is not a standard laundry list of life tips, or advice on anything, but rather a list of heroes.  I LOVE me some Wonder Woman (something The Soulful Wonder-Chef and I have in common!), but this list is different.  You won’t find Wonder Woman, Batman, or Iron Man here- but heroes that are WAY more important and deserve to be celebrated:

  • The daughter/son who, after years of uncertainty and anxiety, comes out to their family
  • The mother who holds her adult daughter when the emotions come flooding in after breast cancer surgery, and tells her that she’ll be okay because Mom is there to take care of her
  • The sons and daughters who help take care of a sick parent(s) while navigating their senior year in high school- college applications and all, and STILL succeed and excel
  • The women, who lost their husbands and sent their kids off to college, within weeks and months of these events, and keep moving forward despite their grieving
  • The people who have found and accepted their truths, and have had the courage to share that truth with everyone (especially on social media!)
  • The man who takes care of his elderly parent, and still chases his dreams in the best way he can
  • The artist who creates magic on a daily basis for others, while struggling to find magic in their own life
  • The nurses everywhere, who take incredible care of their patients, no matter how heartbreaking the job can be
  • The father who stays strong in the face of his family, even when he is uncertain of things
  • The parents who find out that their toddler has an illness that no toddler should have to deal with, and tackle the navigating of doctors, diagnosis, and treatments like fierce warriors
  • The parent(s) who is a tireless advocate for their special-needs child
  • The friend(s) who take care of friends like family, especially when times are tough
  • The person who has a chronic, life-long illness, and has the grace to inspire others
  • YOU

You see, you are ALL my collective hero.  This list could go on and on, because I am surrounded by wonderful, fierce, loving people.  Every day I learn and appreciate and strive to be better because of having living heroes in my life, and I hope you have heroes that inspire you…

Jennifer Angarano Ricci is a wife, mother & creative soul-searcher.  She is a musician, artist, and baker, and runs her home business Baked By Jen, in addition to running her local community theater group.  She loves to sing, create and help others and tries to connect all three passions whenever possible.

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