With a busy work week behind me and the production of LIFE ON MAR’S: The Home Makeover Show in full swing (which ran the gamut from the thrill of demo-ing to the fun of selecting countertops), I took a moment this Thursday, September 11th, to reflect on 9/11 and all those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.

We’ve all ingrained the moment, as if it’s time-stamped into our memory banks: exactly where we where, what we were doing and for some of us even what we were wearing. For example, I’ll always be able to recall that thirteen years ago, on September 11, 2001, while I was still in banking, I was conducting one of my monthly Branch Mangers’ meetings when we all heard the news. That day forever changed our lives – as we counted our blessings, held each other a little tighter and came together as a nation. We will never forget, nor should we.

The previous week’s passing of Joan Rivers was shocking news of a different kind. She always seemed like such a constant on the entertainment scene, and I know that many generations were so accustomed to her presence on TV that not seeing her there will continue to be a shock. I chose to turn back time by watching old YouTube videos of this iconic woman; her performances filled my heart as I laughed, and it was my way to honor her and remember her legacy.

That said, this week I’m pausing to light a candle and thank the universe for LIFE ON MAR’S. I’ve got a solar system filled with opportunity, MARtians that I love and I’m extremely blessed. Life is short – sometimes even shorter than we think – but reflection keeps us humble and should ground us as to how wonderful life is. Our family, our work, our mission in life, and every last person we meet on this journey contributes to that universe, so why wait to remember when we can live day to day with simple appreciation – be grateful!

Grateful for being alive, grateful for what we have, grateful for the ways we’ve been blessed in health and family, and grateful for the opportunities that await us.