Community post #2! Thanks so much to our guest writers – I’m excited to share more. This post is by a fellow gratitude writer. We connected and talked about the power of gratitude over email and now this.
Yesterday, I went with a friend to get dinner and ice cream at a mall nearby. It was the nicest mall I’d ever been to, featuring art installations in walkways, tall glass on every storefront, and the bustling atmosphere of the holiday season.
We arrived at the restaurant we wanted to eat at. They had an hour-long wait. My friend put down his number and we left to wander the mall until our table was ready.
The two of us walked, window shopped, tried on and bought new shoes, and lounged in one of the many sitting areas littered across the expansive public space.
Before we knew it, our table was ready and we strode over to enjoy a delicious meal together.
I’m grateful that an evening like this can be commonplace in my life. I’m aware of how terrible others’ circumstances can be, how my own fortunate circumstances were gifted to me, and that this privilege is ephemeral and it will be gone sooner than I realize.
Today I’m Grateful For…
The safety of my friends and family.
My capacity to fall in love and that I continually do so.
That my body still works.
That my body still works well.
The people who have stepped into my life and become my mentors because of the mentors they themselves have had.
My reclining couch that ruins most other couches I sit on.
Patrick Rothfuss’s “The Wise Man’s Fear” on Audible.
Being able to make and eat my own favorite meals any time I want.
Having a job I inherently enjoy.
That I’ve fallen into a line of work that I’m good at and is in relatively high-demand.
Having co-workers who care about one another and that I genuinely enjoy spending time with.
That I live in America at a time when opportunities to shape my own life have never been easier.
That my psyche is still intact and hasn’t shattered under the stress of events I cannot cope with.
This laptop that I got a super good deal on.
My ability to learn.
My curiosity that motivates me to learn.
Relationships with my parents that have grown so fulfilling as I’ve gotten older.
That I’ve never been part of the food chain.
That I don’t live in constant fear or dread.
Friendly neighbors with healthy boundaries.
Explosive music for exhilarating runs.
The people who love and care about me, even when I sometimes don’t feel worthy of love.
That I’m still alive.
Thank you Jake for having me do a guest post on your gratitude list!
There are times I can be quite rigid. I stick to my routine and wouldn’t dare change it up. I think there’s value in recognizing that. Theres power in reflection.
I’m grateful for when I can return to that familiar feeling. When I can recharge and find my breath. I want to find gratitude in normalcy and the mundane but not grow fond of it. I think it’s important to find ways to expand our comfort zone, not escape it. We just have to take it one step at a time.
I have to keep reminding myself of this as the fall semester comes to an end and I still have so much to take care of.
The work will get done, I keep saying.
Each breath acts as an anchor, knowing I have goals I am working towards. Planning only gets us so far – and similarly – so does writing lists. I want to live out loud when it comes to gratitude and positivity. I want to take those next steps and live each moment and use each action to demonstrate gratitude. This looks like patience. This looks like empathy and encouragement.
Ultimately reminding myself, I need to take life one day at a time. The best is yet to come. The work will get done but saying it isn’t enough. Taking action brings life to another level.
Three things I have worked on all year long. With gratitude, I give thanks for the challenges and moments of learning of this past year. I sit with and appreciate the support from friends and family. With patience, I understand life only happens one moment at a time. I must be patient with my process above all else. And finally, breathing. It is with my breath I tie myself to the present and release any negative energy I hold.
This life isn’t meant to be a checklist of accomplishments. We only get so much time on this earth, please don’t spend it in anger or hatred. Let go of past transgressions. Let go of past mistakes. You’re in this moment only.
Spend your time with intent. Do meaningful work that makes you happy. Time to take care of yourself doesn’t hurt either.
Life is meant to be exploratory. Embrace change in all its forms. Step outside your comfort zone and use gratitude as a tether to your present. We only know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know. Life is about learning new things and that takes both time and experience. Be patient. The best is yet to come.