Time To Make Time (#6)

What’s something you always wish you had more time for? We only have 24 hours in a day and far too often, it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. With another 3 hours in a day, who knows!? We might be able to pursue interests and hobby’s, become professionals doing what we love. Unfortunately, that 24 hours thing seems pretty set in stone. That leaves us with only one option, you have to make time.

Tomorrow is a mystery and continually saying we’ll make time for that trip abroad “one day” just won’t cut it. Set a goal, identify the steps, and like I said yesterday, don’t give up.

Whether this means you have to wake up earlier, manage your time better, or let something go, your bucket list isn’t going to accomplish itself. So I’ll ask again, what’s something you want to make time for in the new year? Why not start tomorrow?

12.29.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Clearing my head at the gym
  2. Dancing in the rain
  3. New adventures
  4. What patience brings
  5. Warm clothes from the dryer
  6. My discover weekly on Spotify
  7. My family and their constant encouragement
  8. My favorite RA floor partner, Stenie Simon
  9. My fellow SOCs, past, present, and future
  10. My very comfy mattress pad
  11. Living in Shea Durgin
  12. Dr. Kevin Curry and everything about Cambodia
  13. A good pair of goggles that doesn’t let water seep in when you dive in
  14. Blue Gatorade because it’s obviously the best flavor, even though blue isn’t a flavor…
  15. New personal records
  16. People who encourage your ‘best self’
  17. Homemade food
  18. Piano lessons when I was younger. It helps me appreciate real musicians that much more
  19. When you lucid dream
  20. Warm days and cold nights
  21. That day I snuck into the movies with my friends, only to find out we went to the wrong movie
  22. Soccer tournaments with my team
  23. Honest people
  24. Travel and everything you learn along the way
  25. My process

Tomorrow I’m traveling to Los Angeles to stay with my Uncle! I’m excited to share pictures and stories while I’m there.

Don’t Ever Give Up (#5)

Resiliency.

Perseverance.

Endurance.

People have a tendency to give in when things get hard. You question yourself, your direction, and your purpose when the answer has always been right in front of you. Faith. Faith is unique to every individual you come across. Whether you believe in God, The Universe, or a giant spaghetti monster in the sky, do not lose hope and do not falter. You hold these beliefs for a reason. You’ve made it this far, for a reason. It’s hard to trust the unknown. It’s hard to put faith in tomorrow when today may have seemingly failed you. That’s up to you to decide. Gratitude allows us to find the value in each day. Gratitude can be the fuel you need to keep going when you’re going through hell.

Don’t ever give up. (motivational video link)

It’s easy to make excuses. It’s easy to say this is too hard and too much work. You stand in the face of opposition and it feels like your entire world is closing in on you. The self-doubt you hear in your head spreads like a virus to the point of indecision. Paralyzed with fear, it’s easier just to give up and call it quits. You can make yourself feel better by resorting back to old habits and feeling comfortable again. Let me say it loud enough for the people in the back.

DON’T GIVE UP.

12.28.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. My cat Ned
  2. Unpopped bubble wrap
  3. Songs that make you think
  4. A moment of peace to meditate
  5. The support I get from my friends
  6. Autosave when my laptop crashes
  7. A good lazy river
  8. Not only feeling heard but understood as well
  9. Peanut Butter Sandwiches
  10. Walks in my local state park
  11. Memories on Cape Cod
  12. 10 Deep Breaths
  13. Both years of working Orientation at BSU (shoutout to my secret OL x2)
  14. Warped Tour Music
  15. All 67,106 yards and 493 touchdowns Tom Brady has thrown in his career (postseason included)
  16. The fact that I no longer sleepwalk around my house in the night
  17. The smell of burgers on the grill in the summer
  18. Foam rollers and good stretches
  19. My fam
  20. Discovering new places
  21. Laying on the quad and sitting on the Boyden steps
  22. When your airplane finally lands safely because flying stresses me out
  23. An empty email inbox
  24. Signs from the Universe
  25. My process and being exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Just The List (#4)

I love writing and it’s something that truly helps me process but I think I’m still learning about how I want to use this blog. I want to keep true to my pledge and will continue to share my gratitude list to hopefully inspire your own, but today I don’t have as much to say.

I know every day has the opportunity to be a new and great adventure. What we choose to pursue, the paths we choose to take, it all matters. Jelly Beans may not seem like the perfect metaphor for time but this is one of my favorite videos. Spend your time meaningfully and be grateful when you can. Think about all the great adventures you’ve already been on and all the adventures still to come. That’s certainly something to be thankful for.

12.27.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Popcorn and movie nights
  2. RHA Wednesdays
  3. Noise cancelling headphones
  4. Smiling until your face hurts
  5. Cheesy Mozzarella Sticks
  6. Hikes in Washington
  7. Drinking games
  8. Moments of learning
  9. Mambo Number 5
  10. Leadership education
  11. Waking up for the sunrise
  12. How far I’ve come. My process and my growth.
  13. Live music
  14. A clean apartment
  15. Working with my Peer Mentors
  16. Spending time with my family
  17. NPR Tiny Desk music
  18. Hanging out with my cat
  19. Good vibes
  20. Being an RA at BSU, it was the first step to getting involved and changing my life
  21. Boston Celtics Basketball
  22. Fluffy pancakes and fat omelettes
  23. Having my dad coach all my different teams growing up.
  24. Getting a sweet parking space
  25. The here and now

The Truth About Growing Up (#3)

How could I have ever known the vegetables my parents and I fought over eating at the dinner table most nights, were good for me? I am grateful I get to think back fondly on family bike rides, road trips, and museum visits from my childhood. Tonight I sat down with my brother and my dad to play a game of Monopoly for the first time in a while. We’ve been playing Monopoly together for as long as I can remember but now I appreciate it for different reasons. I was going to write a metaphor about how Monopoly relates to life but that felt too expected. Instead, I wanted to share a story about growing up and why it’s important to be grateful.

The Good Old Days

Littered throughout my house are baby pictures of my twin sister and myself. I’ll admit, some of our earliest pictures it is difficult to tell us apart. Now, it is important to understand the two of us could not be more different. I may be a whole two minutes older, but she is far more mature. She works in accounting, I work in higher education. She lives in the city, I live on a college campus near farms and hippies. Hopefully you get my point.

Before I turned 10 years old, I got to be the ring bearer in my Uncle’s wedding. My sister, not surprisingly enough, the flower girl. I was pumped to have a role, I got to stand up front and ultimately get my moment of fame. As the Rabbi asked for the rings I moved to step forward when suddenly my dad grabbed my shoulder. What was he doing?!? This was my moment! I had mentally rehearsed this over and over only to be thwarted by my own father in front of friends and family. Unfortunately, no one told me I was not carrying or responsible for the real rings. This devastated pre-10 Jacob and I cried and I cried and I cried. Without saying a word, my sister walked up to me after I had calmed down a bit and gave me a hug. She whispered, “It’s okay Jacob, my flowers weren’t real either”.

My sister and I haven’t always been close but I know for reasons like this, she loves me. As much as people wish they could relive their childhood, go back to the past, the present moment is where we’re supposed to be. I never realized how hard my parents worked to take three kids to Disney, or the purpose of my sister telling me her flowers were fake. I’m grateful for those moments now, more so than I was then.

Yes, growing up is hard and life is short. Time seems to be flying by and life waits for no one. As we experience life, we may not be able to recognize or be thankful for our current surroundings. Living in the present moment helps but isn’t always something we’re able to do. It’s important to recognize our own growth and be grateful for our experiences. One of my favorite shows of all time says it best.

“I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.”

I think we can, Andy Bernard. I think with gratitude, every day, every moment, can be something we appreciate and value if we do so intentionally. You’re allowed to have bad days but there’s still something to be learned. Try it for yourselves, treat every day like it is the best day of your life and finding 5 things to be grateful for at the end of it, won’t be a challenge. I’m only 23 and have my whole life to continue learning and growing. I know to be patient with my process and use gratitude to keep me grounded in the here and now. We just have to take it one day at a time.

12.26.17

I’m grateful for…

  1. Wedding Cake
  2. Space heaters in the winter
  3. Family game nights
  4. Liverpool being in the top 4 after Christmas
  5. Macaroni and Cheese
  6. The sound of playing cards when well shuffled
  7. Sleeping in
  8. My friend Bryan Gammon, (aka blindchild check him out on SoundCloud)
  9. Trick or treating around the neighborhood
  10. Slow dancing
  11. The summer sun
  12. Catching up with old friends
  13. My family and the places we’ve been
  14. My high school theater arts teacher, Mr. Harrington, for helping me step outside my comfort zone
  15. Football in the yard with my brother
  16. The Harry Potter series, both the books and the movies
  17. Anything by Frank Ocean
  18. Ice cream novelties
  19. Hand written notes and letters
  20. The feeling after 10 deep breaths
  21. This blog
  22. Modern day technology and medicine
  23. A full tank of gas in the car
  24. Cheesy nachos on game day
  25. Yesterday. Today. And Tomorrow.

I hope you live every day fearlessly with however much vigor and spirit you can muster. Do it with patience and gratitude.

Tips: Holidays and Gratitude (#2)

Whether you dress up a tree, light a menorah, have your own family tradition, or twiddle your thumbs all day, the season is upon us. A blanket of snow brings the promise of new beginnings underneath. The holidays can be a tough time for people and for good reason. To the people who may be grieving, anxious, trapped with the in-laws, or you’re feeling isolated and alone….you matter. For this reason, gratitude should be a staple of your holiday season and a staple to the end of your 2017.

Tips for Gift Giving and Receiving

Gifts shouldn’t be what this time is about but there’s no denying the stress it brings. If you’re like me, you’re awful at receiving gifts. Trust me, I try to be grateful! Unfortunately, there is an element of awkwardness I can never seem to escape. I would much rather give a gift than receive one and it becomes much easier for me to show gratitude. You don’t have to break the bank to give a good gift either. Reflect on what that person enjoys, why the two of you connect, and go from there! Sometimes something simple speaks the loudest.

Saying thank you can go a long way. If you’re feeling crafty; writing thank you notes, decorating candy canes, or constructing a gingerbread Taj Mahal are all easy ways you can show gratitude. Check out some of these ideas on Pinterest on how to say thank you without the uncomfortable hugging part.

However you spend this time, I hope you can take a moment to recognize and celebrate the people who matter most to you.

12.25.17

In an effort to reaffirm the holidays aren’t about the gifts, this list won’t include any of the incredibly nice things I’ve received from my friends and family. Today I’m grateful for…

1. Seeing my grandma light up as we bring in her brand new wheelchair

2. Leftover pizza from the night before

3. Tattoo stories

4. Vibrant sunrises

5. Living on the perfect hill for sledding

6. Game of Thrones Sundays

7. My journal

8. When my cat comes and says goodnight

9. Bacon burgers from Five Guys

10. Teachers and coaches of all kinds

11. Dancing in the rain

12. My family

13. Not having to set an alarm for the next day

14. Walks on the beach

15. My time in Cambodia and the people I connected with

16. Laughing with my siblings

17. Self-growth and how far I’ve come

18. The opportunity to be the commencement speaker for my graduating class

19. People who send me music they enjoy

20. My fraternity brothers

21. Learning new things

22. Gratitude

23. Frank and Holly, the people who taught me to love my process

24. The feeling after a long hard run

25. This. Present. Moment.

Tomorrow is a new day with new challenges and opportunities. Do your best to make the most of every breath before that. Love. Your. Process. Be patient with yourself and others as you take it one day at a time.

Happy holidays, internet!

25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1)

What are you grateful for? Here’s a list of mine to hopefully inspire yours.

Hi Internet,

I was hoping to share something with you all. My name is Jake, I’m currently a grad student, I have a cat named Ned, I was born in August, and I think gratitude is RAD! 

To provide some context, I read Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” and not only thought it was a phenomenal read but it was action provoking. So I started journaling. Not every day at first, most times just when something went wrong and I needed to vent. I decided to bring my journal with me when I traveled to Cambodia on an alternative break trip and it served me well. When I came home I kept it up for a week or so before resorting to old habits and forgetting to journal. I felt guilty after reading when my last entry was more than a month ago in some cases. 2017 has been an emotional rollercoaster of a year and journaling has been the crutch I needed. Since 06/10/17 I have journaled every single night. My common practice is to highlight certain words. I always circle when I write the word love. I underline patience every time I write it. And I write 5 things I am grateful for at the top of each entry. IT HAS CHANGED MY WORLD.

I was having a conversation with my brother on a day that did not particularly go well. I told him I was stuck and could only think of three things to be grateful for. He said, “It’s hard to think of five things to be grateful for”. I could not have disagreed with him more. I marched up after we were done talking and I found two more things to be grateful for right away.

I think gratitude is important in both the big and small instances. Gratitude can be a hug or a kiss shared with a loved one. Gratitude could be a friendly wave when the stranger lets you take the left at the four-way intersection. Gratitude is any number of things and I think it is important to not only recognize it for ourselves but we need to share it with others.

Tell someone you’re grateful for them and tell them why. Call up a friend and let them know you appreciate them for a funny reason or just because. Tip the pizza delivery guy an extra buck for driving through the snow to get you that buffalo chicken calzone that would taste so good right now.

Whatever it is, gratitude helps us live in the present and that’s where we all want to be. So here’s my pledge to you, Internet. Every day for a year I will write 25 things I am grateful for on this blog. My hope is that you not only think about what you may be grateful for, but you’ll share it with others. You don’t have to share any links, technology is hard, but just bring it up. Let them know why you’re thankful for them because they are simply existing. Sound cool?

12.25.17

  1. Chill music playlists on Youtube
  2. Fuzzy socks and warm blankets
  3. Chance the Rapper
  4. Holding hands
  5. Well sauced ravioli
  6. Spotify
  7. My family (this will be on every list)
  8. When the sun melts the front steps I was supposed to shovel
  9. Car rides and singing music
  10. My alma mater, THE Bridgewater State University
  11. Playing soccer
  12. Seeing my grandma
  13. School of Rock, stellar movie
  14. New England Patriots winning football games
  15. Assistantship paid graduate school
  16. Any night you can see the stars
  17. Books on tape
  18. Netflix originals
  19. The ability to pet dogs
  20. My immunity to poison ivy
  21. The feeling of jumping in my neighbor’s pool when they’re not there
  22. My friends for tolerating my existence
  23. My grumpy cat Ned Stark
  24. Time outside hiking
  25. New opportunities

I don’t know if anyone will read this but I would love to hear things you may be grateful for when you think about your day. I’m stealing this from a friend but what’s your good / better / best from your last 24 hours? Maybe you’re grateful for a good night’s rest, maybe you had the best conversation at work today, whatever it is, write it down and try to never forget.

Take care Internet and happy holidays.