Stay Driven (#21)

01.13.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Good friends
  2. Summers working Orientation at Bridgewater
  3. New England Patriots Football
  4. A good nap
  5. Short lines at the grocery store
  6. My cat, Ned as he’s starting to trust me more
  7. Hot showers
  8. Songs that make you want to groove
  9. The support I get from my supervisors and fellow LCGs
  10. Learning new things
  11. My family
  12. A good pen to journal with
  13. Winter runs and cold breath
  14. The people who believe in me
  15. Catching up with friends
  16. The feeling of finishing an application
  17. Febreeze when my cat stinks
  18. Summers spent at the community pool with my friends as a kid
  19. Warm blankets
  20. New friendships
  21. The Universe
  22. The little moments that got me here
  23. The adversity that allows me to grow
  24. People who make me feel heard
  25. This 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.

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Featured image of my hike on Mt. Monadonok. Apparently, it is the most popular hike in the world. Regardless if we knew that before the actual hike, we got Chipotle after to celebrate. 

Write It Down (#19)

01.11.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Reconnecting with old friends
  2. The chance to teach CORE this semester
  3. Time to meditate
  4. Chipotle
  5. Team Kennedy (my co-workers)
  6. People who inspire me aim high
  7. Warm slippers
  8. Good friends who listen to you rant
  9. Safe travels
  10. My family
  11. Different kinds of juice
  12. Recliner seats at the movies
  13. Donuts after middle school basketball games
  14. My mom letting me drive around her minivan to deliver pizza
  15. My cat Ned waking me up for work
  16. Subtitles, my hearing is going
  17. My peer mentors
  18. Good books
  19. A good plate of nachos and other game day snacks
  20. Monopoly nights with my fam
  21. Getting tucked in by my dad when I was a kid, he’s so good at it
  22. The smell of fresh cut grass
  23. Technology that preserves energy and saves our planet
  24. Snow days
  25. The present 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.

Featured image, fall sunset over a local lake in Bridgewater. Missing the warmth of the summer months, surrounded by the cold gray snow.

Change is IMPORTANT (#17)

After some time away from my apartment at UMass, it was important that I made some changes. My routines for Fall semester worked for all intensive purposes then, but there’s no guarantee it works now. I rearranged my closet and moved around some tables. I’m not sure if I entirely like the changes yet or if they are more conducive to my daily routine but I felt tremendously better about work tomorrow and starting my Spring semester. If everything stayed the same, that would mean I’m not growing and I’m not learning. Patience is our key to the best this life has to offer. That has to apply to change too. Change is all around us and sometimes we wish things would just get better right away or fast forward to the point when it does.

Who Moved My Cheese is one of my all-time favorite books for many reasons but one of them is how it describes change. I suggest reading this Spencer Johnson classic and apply it to your own life.

So here comes 2018, head on. Change is all around us, it just depends on how we’re going to react.

01.09.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Sleeping in my own bed that I can actually fit in (I’m 6’2″)
  2. My newest book just came in the mail
  3. A clean apartment and being organized for tomorrow
  4. Oreo ice cream
  5. My family
  6. Seeing my cat after a week + away
  7. Relatable podcasts
  8. Water
  9. People who follow through and check in
  10. Frank Ocean Albums
  11. My fraternity
  12. Baggy sweatpants
  13. Mentors at BSU who helped me get here
  14. The patience of my father
  15. How much my mother loves my cat
  16. Fifa 09 free kicks
  17. Friends from Ashland
  18. Any chance to play Monopoly
  19. Time to binge shows on Netflix
  20. RHA Wednesdays and EBoard meetings
  21. Being in RA in Shea Durgin for two years
  22. Heaters and blankets
  23. The Lion King
  24. The feeling of brushing your teeth
  25. Being exactly where I should be

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.

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featured image of my new arrangement in my living room. Space for the sunlight and morning meditation! 

Why Reflection Is Important (#15)

Tonight is my last night in Los Angeles and there is a lot to be grateful for. Each day was beholden and full of new learning, new experiences, and new people. This was so far from what I expected when I got on a plane two days after booking my flight and planning my trip.

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I need to thank my Uncle Jeff and Karen for letting me stay with them for this amount of time. Typically, I only see my Uncle on Christmas so spending this time with him and connecting with my family has been incredible. Karen has been such a bright light and we have had numerous conversations about life and spirituality that I will remember and appreciate.

DSC_0240.JPGI want to talk about reflection because it is an essential part of learning. You don’t need to journal daily or write a blog about your day, but it is important to think back on experiences you’ve had and what you took from them. Maybe those instances did align with your expectations, maybe it was completely different similar to my situation. Whatever it was, learning happens when we go over what was presented. It almost is like homework for yourself in a sense to remember everything that happened in a day but can be crucial to your own development.

fullsizeoutput_3852I got to do so many cool things this week in LA and will definitely be making time to come back and visit again. We meditated every morning, I tried new foods and drank more tea. I was open to new experiences and because of that, I felt like I got more out of the trip. There were times my Uncle and I didn’t see eye to eye but we were both spending real time together for the first time in our lives as adults. There are things I’m going to hold on to and bring back to Massachusetts that I want to share with my friends and staff. I’m grateful for so many conversations that changed my perspective and opened my mind.

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Tomorrow I head back to Massachusetts to start up my second semester of Graduate School. Going to LA for a week was a great escape but I am excited to come home. In many different ways, my 2018 starts again. I’m excited about the new opportunities and challenges with my staff, with my family, and with my friends. I’m excited about new learning and fun memories with all of those same people. I just have to remind myself to be patient and take it all one day at a time in the process.

01.07.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Flourless chocolate cake
  2. Playing soccer growing up
  3. A day at the spa
  4. My family
  5. In N Out Cheeseburgers
  6. Comfy sweatshirts
  7. The neck pillow I’ll use to sleep on the plane
  8. Late night diners
  9. New Music Friday and Spotify Discover Weekly
  10. Time at the gym
  11. Waking up moments before my alarm to turn it off before it wakes me up
  12. The feeling after 10 deep breaths
  13. My time in Los Angeles with my Uncle, Karen, Erica, and my dog cousin Shayna
  14. Clear days and starry nights
  15. Dinsey and Pixar animated movies
  16. New England sports teams
  17. Having my mom work at the school that I attended K-12
  18. Whenever my brother sends me his artwork
  19. Happy dreams and unmistakable signs from the Universe
  20. A good pencil box in elementary school
  21. My mom’s cooking
  22. My student staff that I work with at UMass Amherst
  23. Patient people
  24. My newest pair of noise cancelling headphones
  25. My west coast adventure and the people who made it special

Take A Moment (#14)

Today, my plans changed. I was originally going to go to Catalina Island and was very excited about the hike I had planned. Instead, I spent the day getting a much needed massage and my first day at a spa. I did in fact spoil myself but I’d rather focus on why these plans changed.

For me, I found what I needed to on my first hike. I learned so much at Joshua Tree and didn’t want to spoil anything by going on another glorified day hike. I learned this wasn’t the experience I was looking for and felt like I was failing to meet my morals and standards by doing this hike at Catalina.

Today, I want to emphasis taking a moment. I personally went to the spa but you can take care of yourself in other ways. Self care is extremely important and should be a staple of your routine. Sometimes it’s nice to indulge and take an entire day at the spa but there are other ways to do this. Watching your favorite series on Netflix, cooking your favorite meal, sleeping in, are all ways you can take care of yourself to find easier ways to recognize gratitude. Ultimately, it’s up to you and that choice gives you power.

01.06.17

Today I’m grateful for….

  1. Late night pancakes
  2. A day at the spa
  3. Eggs of all shapes and sizes
  4. Seeing new places
  5. Self-care and self-love
  6. My family and my uncle
  7. Playing Soccer growing up
  8. Good music and Spotify
  9. The moon and the stars
  10. No traffic
  11. Staying in LA for free
  12. Peanut butter, always
  13. The geek trees and color in Southern California as Massachusetts continues to be hit by snow
  14. Dogs that let me pet them
  15. Cereal after school
  16. Trying new things
  17. Live music and artists that play with passion
  18. Meet some YouTube idols
  19. The existence of Chicken Parmesan
  20. For my bed after a long day outside
  21. My grandparents
  22. Be there for my family and my younger brother when things don’t go according to plan
  23. Popping your ears after a long day
  24. People who reach out when you need support
  25. Today and every day on vacation with my Uncle

Climb To New Heights (#11)

The road you travel is sure to have its challenges. Life wouldn’t be complete without those moments of doubt, questioning, and failure. I think why I enjoy blogging and journaling so much is because it gives me the chance to reflect. I can look back on this road with gratitude and recognize I’ve come so far. The same is true for hiking.

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Whatever the peak you are trying to reach, you have the strength to get there. When we attain those goals, we make new ones and set our sights higher. This is when it can get difficult for people. So often we get comfortable and that can lead to complacency. I want to challenge you to climb to new heights and set goals for 2018. We can set a low bar and be proud when we’ve accomplished what we’ve already been able to do, or we can go one step further. You can choose to be vulnerable and set goals that require hard work and follow through. You can set your sights on new peaks and new opportunities to climb higher than you ever have before. Look back at how far you’ve already climbed and how this road has tested you. You might be surprised as to what you find.

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01.03.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Sunsets on the beach
  2. Being outdoors and good hikes
  3. Nutella Pizza
  4. The smell of new books and what they hold inside
  5. Laying down and listening to music
  6. Time at the gym
  7. The people at UMass who are going to finally help me turn the light off outside of my apartment
  8. Reading new blogs and learning new skills
  9. Our Tuk-Tuk drivers in Cambodia for making us laugh and teaching us Khmer
  10. Amusement Parks and Rollercoasters
  11. Jijutsu teachers this past summer
  12. Easy Mac late at night
  13. A good series or movie on Netflix
  14. My dog cousin Shayna
  15. Touching the Pacific Ocean today
  16. Getting my Graduate Degree for free
  17. Brownies in ice cream
  18. My family of course
  19. My introvert time
  20. Boston Celtics Basketball
  21. Friends from home
  22. Crowded car rides with friends and dog
  23. Laughing with friends and getting free pizza
  24. Yurba Mate Latte
  25. Today. The here and now.

No Expectations (#9)

Today was perfect. It was the first full day with my Uncle in LA and we did so much. Packing so much into one day has left me exhausted but grateful above all else.

Coming into this trip I had no idea what to expect. I thought this vacation was going to go one way and it has gone in a very different direction. I’m so happy with how my time has been spent here and none of it was planned this way.

To me, this emphasizes the need to live in the present. Let go of expectations of the future and the rigidity involved in making plans. Let life happen and go with the flow. Be grateful for each moment along the way and it won’t matter if your day is planned to the second or you just have an idea of what you’d like to do. Take a deep breath, and make the most of every moment.

This was the best way to start my 2018 and I hope you were able to do the same.

01.01.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Morning mediation
  2. Organic fruit and healthy food
  3. Funny stories and uncontrollable laughter
  4. Hidden restaurants and delicious food
  5. Unexpected hikes
  6. Family of all kinds
  7. The feeling after you brush your teeth
  8. Peanut butter
  9. Nights on the balcony watching the sun go down
  10. Drunk texts from my brother
  11. People who share their gratitude with me!
  12. Sunday mornings in bed
  13. The feeling after a finished to-do list
  14. Home-made Pizza
  15. The warmth of the sun on my skin and the beautiful weather in LA
  16. The stars and how they connect us all
  17. Five Guys Burgers
  18. Nature and the great outdoors
  19. People with kind and gentle hearts
  20. Neck pillows for flights across the country
  21. Sharing pictures and experiences
  22. Harry Potter Movie Marathons
  23. Any kind of dessert
  24. People who give good hugs
  25. The promise of a new year and new opportunities