Hello to our Shades Fam! I'm writing to you today from a patio on the beach in San Diego. One of my best friends in the entire world lives here, and I'm taking a minute to enjoy the ocean breeze and reflect on the last week of life. I'm currently on day eight of a ten-day West Coast adventure, already having made stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles... and well, I'm feeling rather grateful and thought I'd take a minute to share why with all of you.  

I'm grateful for my amazing coworkers who I left behind to carry my workload for 10 days and allow me to truly disconnect from my job; A job I'm grateful to have because it allows me to live a lifestyle that makes me happy, but like everyone, one I need some time off from every now and then to recharge.   

I'm grateful for my parents who encouraged me at a young age to explore and travel, allowing me to go to Japan at just 13 years old, and who raised me to be fearless and take chances. And I'm thankful that I always knew they'd be there to catch me if one of my crazy life decisions didn't pan out. Luckily, so far so good... guess they also taught me the art of good decision-making!  

I'm grateful for the countless, amazing relationships I've made over the course of my life. Being part of Shades on Point has provided me a forum to be reminded how supportive the network I have around me is. It truly takes a village to build a small business and every purchase, like, share, blog read or word of mouth recommendation is huge when you're just getting started, and my network has shown their love over and over again during our first 15 months as a company.  

I'm specifically grateful for the lifelong bonds I have, a handful of which I've gotten to rekindle over the last eight days. Some of the most-special people in my life live more than 3,000 miles from me, and while I don't get to see them every day like I have in the past, we always pick right back up where we left off. My face hurts from laughing and my heart is bursting with the love that I'm lucky to have found in these friendships I know will last forever. It's crazy to me how quickly time can go and how easily the years can pass.  

And while my life may not look exactly like I thought it would at 32 (I'm not married with 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence), I'm grateful for the path I've been blessed with. I actually don't think I could've dreamed of everything I've been given - I don't think any one person could imagine that this was all possible to have. My childhood, my education, my career and all of the amazing experiences in between, all of the amazing relationships that are a product of that journey, make me grateful every day.  

I have the words "Take Time" tattooed on my arm. It was an impulsive decision connected back to a poem that was part of my grandpap's funeral. I was overworked and beaten down by the unstoppable lifestyle of New York City. One day, almost 10 years after his passing, I decided that permanently adding the phrase to my body would be the daily reminder I needed to slow down and enjoy life... to make time for the little things in life... to take time to be grateful.  

With that, I'm hoping you all take a minute this week to transport yourselves to your "beachside patio" and reflect on what you're grateful for. I hope you're reminded of just how much you have instead of focusing on what you don't. Life has a funny way of working out... we just have to learn to surrender and enjoy the ride!  


                                                                        Jacque Skowvron - Shades on Point

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