When our garbage disposal stopped working on New Year’s Eve, I figured I would just wait to get it taken care of until after January 4th when everyone is back in work mode. But when I made a phone call to the plumber and found out that he could install a new one that afternoon, Steve encouraged me to go ahead and get it done that day which I did.

Practically, that was a good idea since a home composting unit wasn’t on my Christmas list. So collecting carrot peelings and coffee grounds isn’t something I have much interest in doing.

But I’m also glad that we had a new disposal put in on the last day of 2009 because it’s a symbolic of how I want to approach the New Year: grind up the garbage…the anxiety and stress…that is leftover from a tough year and run it down the drain but store the good events that were also a part of 2009.

So, what are the highlights from last year that I can be grateful for?

Our son made the transition from junior college to San Francisco State. Last year at this time, we didn’t know where he would be going to school or if he could get the loans he needed to pay for it. He is so happy living the living the life of a student filmmaker in the City; Steve and I constantly comment to one another that SFSU turned out to be an ideal fit for him.

Our middle daughter got her driver’s license, and with some help from us, bought a great used car and completed her college applications. Our experience with our son gives us encouragement that when it actually comes to going to college, that she too will end up at the right school for her.

Our youngest daughter is starting to come into her own as an artist and personality. She also has developed a strong interest in caring for others. And I’m grateful that as she enters high school next year she has friends that I can count on to influence her in positive ways.

Steve continues to have excellent health and energy…which shouldn’t be taken for granted now that he is close to the age of Medicare.

And I’m grateful that in an economy of double-digit unemployment, I was able to get a job. Not only am I appreciative of the additional income, but I feel valued for the work I do and love the people I work with.

So in 2010 as I find leftovers in my refrigerator…and attitude…that have gone bad, they are all getting tossed into my new disposal.