A Change In Me (#316)

It’s like a switch in my mind – a change in character. I’m a creature of habit and fall into routine when life around me feels chaotic. The end of the semester I stayed well within my comfort zone. I kept to a routine and did what was easy.

As 2019 approaches, I set new goals for myself and reflect on what I need to best my best self. Gratitude makes that list every time. As I learn new strategies to hold myself accountable, I assess how each action I take aligns with my goals for the future. If I hope to make positive change in my communities, I have to first ensure I’m making the necessary changes within myself first.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. A clean apartment
  1. Hanging out with my cat
  1. Professors who are understanding
  1. Time with my family
  1. Safe travels
  1. Early drives to the airport
  1. A rainy day inside
  1. Finally, an empty to-do list
  1. Late night ice cream
  1. Board game and cards nights
  1. Local bagels
  1. Yoga with my mom
  1. The sound of the train passing in the night
  1. A well told story
  1. Weekend cartoons
  1. Time at the gym
  1. Thoughtful reflection
  1. My continued education
  1. Warm socks and blankets
  1. A little bit of luck
  1. Weekend adventures in New York
  1. Camping in Acadia
  1. Good health
  1. New challenges and lessons to learn
  1. This very moment

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image from the summer when I first moved in.

Chosen Family (#313)

This post comes from my friend and a returning guest blogger, Riley McGrath.

My name is Riley McGrath, I am a 20 year old FTM transgender guy from Scituate Massachusetts, though home to me is really Bridgewater State University. I am studying psychology and am taking on a double minor in LGBT studies and women and gender studies. I hope to become a gender therapist where I will be helping trans folks like myself every day of my life.

Something that I’ve carried with me throughout my coming out and transitioning process is this idea of a chosen family. I grew in a big Irish Catholic family. These values have been ingrained in me, my whole life. Now that I’ve started my transition and have come out, the importance of family has changed for me.

To me, family is the people that accept and support you without any conditions. I don’t see my biological family being in my life forever unless they accept who I am and start to call me Riley. My true family is the people have been with me since I have come out and support me without exceptions. One of the beautiful things about being LGBT is being able to choose your family. Sometimes it’s after your biological family kicks you out. But you find the most amazing people to “replace” what you’ve lost. My chosen family is something I am grateful for every day of my life.

One of my favorite quotes about family is from the TV show, The Fosters. It is something I carry with me through the ups and downs of being queer and a trans male. “DNA doesn’t make a family. Love does” I really love that quote and it always reminds me of my chosen family.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My chosen family, even if some people aren’t in my life much anymore
  2. Drywall and painting
  3. My sister, who is one of my favorite people on the planet
  4. The trans community on social media (Laverne Cox, Aydian Dowling, Chella man, Chase Ross and too many more to mention)
  5. Question 3 in Massachusetts
  6. Bridgewater State University (as always)
  7. My friends Catherine and Sean, for letting me stay when I have to work early/ late… And their dogs too
  8. The crazy journey of manhood
  9. My car
  10. Both my jobs, my bosses, and my coworkers
  11. Music (for keeping me sane through the ups and downs of life)
  12. Being able to learn how to cook on my own
  13. Stories
  14. Church (for showing me that LGBT folks can be religious)
  15. My best friend and brother (for our hour-long conversations where I always end up crying)
  16. Rain
  17. Anyone that has ever doubted me
  18. Everything I’ve gone through and struggled with
  19. The crazy journey of manhood
  20. Having the right and privilege of voting
  21. Sunrises and sunsets
  22. My research group
  23. My dad (for giving everything up for me)
  24. How much I’ve grown since September
  25. The month of November (November 20th specifically)

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

I can win this day (#310)

An exciting and new opportunity I want to start with the Gratitude Journal is to invite guest bloggers to contribute. It is with great pleasure that people can connect through gratitude and hopefully inspire others to share and reflect on their own.

Our first submission is below ~

Gratitude Journal #1

The world is complex and overwhelming, but I am strong, I have people who support me and I can win this one day.

Today I am thankful:

  • A very hot shower on a very cold day.
  • Clean laundry because my husband took care of it.
  • Cookies for breakfast, just because.
  • Time to meditate.
  • Time to relax and just breathe.
  • Warm boots.
  • Warm coat.
  • It was 11 degrees and my truck started on the first try.
  • My husband started a new job Monday and things are going great.
  • I had a problem at work and both my bosses supported me 100%.
  • I brought my 5 lb dog to work which brought me lots of happy visitors.
  • Gas is very affordable this week.
  • My freezer is full so I don’t have to go shopping.
  • My favorite show is on tonight.
  • I am halfway through holiday shopping.
  • I have enough money to be able to donate to charity.
  • My children and grandson are healthy and doing fine.
  • My younger daughter is almost finished with her thesis.
  • My older daughter has achieved work-life balance.
  • I am looking forward to my grandson’s 3rd birthday in a January.
  • There is a free holiday party at work!
  • My dog, Kylo is making so many people smile today.
  • I am busy, but I put all my obligations on a list and it feels good to mark them off.
  • I turn 57 tomorrow and I feel good about that.
  • I miss my parents but I know they live within me.


As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!