This community post was written by Julie Van. A published writer in the Seattle Times, an exceptionally talented poet, and a long time supporter of The Gratitude Journal.
I am constantly reminded of two important facts: change will happen and growth is a choice. The uncertainty and surprises of life often converge into a sweet whirlwind of learning. And when I think I have things figured out, I am humbled by all that I do not know. I’ve also learned to not be afraid of what I do not know.
The turns of our lives is a result of choice and decisions made. What we choose to do is not only a reflection of ourselves and our values, but the circumstances that have pulled us to the moment. Each choice then weaves into the larger fabric of who we are – and also who we wish to be.
The challenge with choice is the courage needed to make a decision. How do we continue to nurture and care for that seed of confidence that is within us all? Especially on days when it feels as if every movement is a constant wallow through doubt and hesitation.
We remember to look inwards and return to ourselves. We remind ourselves of the strength within and look at our values as a guide. And sometimes we look outwards. During times when I feel myself loosing control, I feel myself pulled tighter to the kind universe and I know that I will be okay.
Whatever we decide to do, we trust ourselves to make the right choice and remain grateful for the chance.
Today I’m Grateful For…
Fresh flowers to brighten my apartment
Loved ones in different time zones
Dancing and confidence in motion
The last bite of ice cream, every single time
Home videos and photo albums
Catching up over a shared meal
Serendipity and things unexplainable
Getting handwritten letters in the mail
Cooking and trying new recipes together
Hiking and time outside
Sunsets while canoeing on Lake Washington
Crisp air on early morning runs
Poetry, both to read and write
Pear-picking in the garden with my grandparents in the summers
The mountains, evergreens, the ocean, and all reminders of the PNW
My parents and siblings
Both cheesy jokes and witty jokes
Picnics and frisbee at Gas Works Park
Trust and hope in the unknown
The smell of fresh coffee in the morning
Cross country moves and having multiple places to call home
It’s odd. All of my future goals and aspirations actually begin here in the present. It’s a challenge to reframe my thoughts in the present moment, ultimately as I look forward. I’ve come to learn this is a balance we must keep and something gratitude can help with.
I’m grateful for this moment first.
It’s a process and I’m trying to be patient with my own.
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.
Yesterday I realized my total number of blog posts didn’t match the corresponding number. I went back through and realized this trend started because it took less than 10 days for me to miscount to the correct number lol.
Because it’s three numbers I missed, each will have a theme. #008 is all about a blast from the past. Gratitude for what got me here and what has made me who I am today.
Today I’m Grateful For…
Soccer practice after school
Playing in the culdesac
Guitar hero and DDR with friends
Walks home from school
Board game nights with the family
My parents letting me decorate my room
Basketball in the driveway
Sledding down the hill
Top 10 plays in the morning
Being an RA, so much has come from taking advantage of this opportunity
I love football season. I love my New England Patriots. I love Tom Brady. But most of all, I love spending my Sunday with my family enjoying the game. Sports are an important part of my life and I’m grateful for the past decade plus of excellence the Patriots have demonstrated during the fall and winter seasons.
It’s not about winning. I’m grateful to spend the time with my family and have something we all enjoy together. I’m grateful for the game day snacks and traditions my family has. I’m grateful for the time my family shares rooting for our local team.
It is my belief that mediocrity only exists because those are the limits we set for ourselves. We accept average as our norm and grow complacent with the outcome.
You can author and create the life you always wanted and you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to start. Begin right now. Use gratitude to recognize your growth overtime but ground yourself in the here and now. Each breath is new. Each moment we have in a day has the potential to change our lives. So why not you?
Today I’m Grateful For…
Love and positivity
New music all weekend
Sharing a beer with my dad
Time in my hammock
Stories about Home
The blogging community and the people I’ve met thanks to my lists
The featured image might be black and white but my life has been quite the opposite. Life is being out loud and in color, coming in on all stations. I’m grateful to be exactly where I am. Living life one day at a time.