A light bulb moment. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

How Gratitude Has Changed Us

As of today, Eric and I are still fine, Smith Story Wine Cellars is fine, everything is just fine.

For all of us, 2020 has been far from easy. I recently heard someone refer to this hellish year as "driving straight into the sun in your eyes...every single day, all day long". I agree. Painful just enough to annoy you during your waking hours then BAM the sharp searing sun hits again and again day after day. 

Eric and I have credited the "good news" and the silver linings of 2020 for Smith Story Wine Cellars to being "too busy to worry". We converted our tasting room to a packing and shipping depot, delivered our wine to over 500 Bay Area porches last spring and early summer. Served over 300 wine slushies in the blazing hot and falling ash this summer. Cleaned, washed and sanitized nearly 12 hours a day for months. And that was just the really fun stuff! But you know what has truly given us strength to get up every day and keep going?  Gratitude. 

Writing thank you cards, telling you how much we appreciate you in emails and saying thanks in person is not a new thing for Smith Story Wine Cellars. This year, we have expressed our sincere gratitude nearly 20,000 times. It hit me while driving out of the valley yesterday while listening to an interview on Fresh Air with Michael J. Fox.  “Optimism is really rooted in gratitude,” he says. “Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance", he said. I pulled over to a safe spot along the curvy road to text myself this quote and also take a deep breath. He is so right!! That might be it, gratitude! I spent the rest of my errand running thinking I must understand more.

A light bulb moment. 

Gratitude...is this what has kept our spirits up this whole insane year? I mean 2020 has been far from unicorns and butterflies.  2014 was when we deeply began giving thanks several times a day. Had time and gratitude finally given us the benefit of improved psychological benefits? Acceptance early on this spring of how the days, weeks and months following were likely to be the hardest yet for our new winery absolutely happened. We didn't fight our circumstance, we accepted the road in front of us and got to work with a grateful heart and spirit. Gratitude has been a core center of our winery since day 1.

As we wrap up this super weird holiday season and year, we're compiling a list of the good news that we look forward to sharing with you next week. Oh, so what about the wine? The first thing I said to Eric in March after beginning to understand the seriousness of the pandemic "Babe, as long as we have Smth Story wine in the cellar, we're going to be fine".  And we do and we are! Even with deeply catastrophic pandemic effects on the hospitality and restaurant industries, our online sales have carried us. This coupled with your support and enthusiasm and of course gratitude we are ending 2020 with optimism. Thank you. 

Wishing you a safe, peaceful and Merry Christmas! 

Ali Story

Photo Credit: Kent Porter, Press Democrat. 


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