I am trying to stay open to the mystery of every new experience by being grateful and compassionate. Part of this is about being kind to myself. Each morning I recommit to this (some days I am more successful at this than others). It starts with tea for one (instead of heavily sugared coffee, which masks my fatigue so I can't tell when I am overtired) and a few early morning minutes to give thanks. I wake up in a warm bed and have a lot of love in my life, so I think there is always something to be grateful for (not that there always isn't something to also kvetch about, but I am reframing here). These actions are deliberate. I begin by drinking organic yerba maté. It wakes me up in a diffused, warm kind of way. Maté is a subtropical plant grown in the forests of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. It has a yummy, earthy taste and is high in antioxidants. I go with Guayaki because they also have a commitment to ensuring the folks who grow the tea earn a sustainable wage and the soil in which the maté is grown is treated well. This is important to me—I spend all day talking about caring for people and the planet, and I want that reflected in the products I use.

That is why you will be hearing me reference Viva Terra during the next year, as well. I was introduced to the company through its co-founder Bob Perkowitz (who also founded Eco-America, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to changing the way we talk about out planetary challenges and reframing the conversation on climate change). A few years ago, I very casually asked Bob if Viva Terra could help me put together a gift basket for my first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I needed help because, come on, what do you get a woman like Ms. Winfrey, who literally has everything?! Viva Terra co-founder Bonnie Dahan knew: She sent me a gorgeous basket full of quartz crystal tree ornaments (some of which we used in the segment we did on greening your holiday), a stunning fair trade necklace handmade in Africa and a host of other gifts that any of us would be thrilled to have. I knew then that I wanted Viva Terra in my home. And now I get the chance (thankfully, with Bonnie's help).

Gifts come in many places and at many times. Right now my favorite gift is time. I am trying to respect how long things take (ahem, the bathroom) and give myself time to process all these big changes. I am surprised that my biggest teacher in this regard has been my humble attempt at crocheting (emphasis on humble). I love the feel of the hook, I love the colors of yarn and I love my amazing made-in-Seattle cork knitting bag from Tom Bihn. Cork is harvested by peeling the bark, not cutting the tree. The bag is smartly designed to hold everything from crochet needles to cell phones and keys. It is my "it bag" (quite possibly in perpetuity because, yes, it's that beautiful and functional).

I am off to try to crochet something. But before I sign off I have one more person for whom I am grateful. That's you, dear reader. Thanks for joining me on this interesting ride. Next up, greening the actual move! And look for bits and bobs on Twitter @simransethi.


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Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist and associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For more information on Sethi, visit


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