California Sunshine

Things to be grateful for

Ximena Vengoechea
4 min readNov 21, 2023
low angle photography coconut tree

Photo by Julian Myles on Unsplash

Hi friends,

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. which means family, friends, pie, and plenty to be thankful for. You probably know that practicing gratitude can generate positive feelings and make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. So in honor of the upcoming holiday and as a quick happiness booster, I’ve been thinking about what I’m grateful for this year.

A few weeks ago I went on my first non-business, solo trip in five years. Between having a kid, the pandemic, moving across the country (multiple times), and dealing with chronic health issues, there’s never a good time to take a girls trip. But I finally realized that if there’s never a good time to hit pause and travel, it must also be true that it’s always a good time to do so. I’d been looking forward to this trip for months when my health issues took a nose dive. I thought about canceling, and up until the day before the flight, I really was not sure I would make it.

But I took a gamble. I decided to trust that a little bit of California sunshine and friend time would be nourishing. And even though I had to take naps every day, had to pause on deep conversations with friends because I was losing my voice or getting brain foggy, and didn’t finish any of the movies I started, it was worth it.

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Today I’m thankful for the friends who took care of me — who pampered me with treats and luxuries like a pair of cozy slippers or a visit to a mineral bath, who cooked for or ordered me delicious, nourishing meals, who spoiled me like a queen, who asked me how I was doing but also sensed when talking about my health issues was too much, and who knew just how to lift my spirits and remind me to bring more joy into my life. When I think about the love and care they showed me, I am happy and grateful all over again.

Whether it’s a friend, family member, or neighbor who plays this role for you, I hope that you, too, have someone in your life who takes care of you when you’re down or need the extra support, whatever that looks like for you. Wishing you all abundance, love, and lots of pie this holiday season.

In gratitude,


  • ⭐ Rest Easy is a Best Book of the Year from Book Riot! Here’s what they say about it:

“Integral in bridging the gap between understanding that many of us need rest and practical tips on how we can actually get that rest.”―Book Riot


A post shared by @xsvengoechea

I really admire the Book Riot team’s coverage and am thrilled to be part of their Best of list this year.

  • I will be in conversation with author and LMSW Melody Wilding next week, on 11/29 at P&T Knitwear. We’re going to have a great conversation about rest, where I’ll share practical tips and tricks for incorporating more ease into your life and lead the group through a brief meditation to get those peaceful vibes going. The event is free, or you can purchase a book which I’ll sign for you onsite. Hope to see many of you there!

📚 What I’m reading

  • The Startup Wife, by Tahmima Aman — A newly married couple founds a startup together that’s kind of like religion but not. What could possibly go wrong? This is a fast and biting read that does a great job of capturing the absurdities of the startup world and the experience of being a woman in tech.

💸 Currently coveting

  • Anyone who knows me knows that I’m super sensitive to the cold (and also to heat — I’m like a lizard that way). So I was stoked to see this cozy Pendleton scarf on sale recently. I wear it around the house when I’m chilly and throw it on for brisk walks outside now that we’re in winter coat weather here in New York. I love a good wool scarf, and Pendleton’s are fab and last forever.

📢 Coming soon

  • We’re putting the finishing touches on our first episode of my new podcast, Rest Easy. Episode 1 will feature author and designer Jake Knapp! It’s a great conversation and I hope you love it. Stay tuned for the episode drop in the next update from me.

💌 Thanks as always for reading along and supporting my work. If you like what you see, hit the heart button, drop a comment, or share this with someone you think will love it, too. You can order my new book or book me for a speaking event here. 💌



Ximena Vengoechea

Writer, UX Researcher, Author of The Life Audit ('24), Rest Easy ('23), Listen Like You Mean It ('21).