Starting Off On The Right Foot (#185)

It’s always important to go into new situations with an open mind. Be kind to others, be grateful you made it this far, and think positive!

06.25.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My brother
  2. Understanding and patience
  3. Movies before bed
  4. The sunshine
  5. Games in the yard
  6. Liverpool games on Saturday morning
  7. Clean water
  8. Having a plan
  9. Catching up
  10. The sound of the ocean
  11. Safety
  12. Being at UMass
  13. Texts from my family
  14. Talking game of thrones with my sister
  15. Eggs in the morning
  16. Signs from the Universe
  17. Shared laughter
  18. Oldies on the radio
  19. A friendly face
  20. Getting stuff done
  21. A clean apartment
  22. Getting back on track
  23. Summer months
  24. Dessert, always
  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.

Beyond grateful for my brother and sister and all the moments we share together. They truly are my best friends and incredibly important people in my life.

Don’t Fear The Uncertainty (#41)

02.02.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Hanging out with my fam getting ice cream
  2. Lunch with my supervisor
  3. UMass hockey with my grad staff
  4. Rides home in the freezing cold
  5. Time to hang with my cat, Ned
  6. My new plants
  7. Ashland Day at Stone Park and after school there too
  8. Staying up until midnight with my cousins on the cape for New Years
  9. My aunts and uncles
  10. The sun and its healing
  11. Friends who play FIFA
  12. Ultimate frisbee games at the high school
  13. Runs before school
  14. The Ashland train station for being my escape
  15. My brother Ben, for all he does for me
  16. Good music and new artists on Spotify
  17. Souvenirs from my friends who have gone to incredible places
  18. When interviews go well
  19. Morning meditation
  20. Feeling stronger
  21. The embarrassing number of pillows I have on my bed
  22. Learning how to play cards with my dad
  23. Friendly dogs
  24. Deep conversation
  25. The here and now

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 of the last day of fall in Ashland state park. Snow had yet to fall but trees had become barren. I edited out the color from the trees and left the orange on the leaves.

A Steep Climb (#32)

With the start of a new semester comes new challenges. There are many reasons why I believe this semester will be more difficult than the last but that is ultimately a good thing. I’m excited about the new learning and experiences that will come hand in hand with the change in difficulty. You don’t have to lower your expectations, just find new ways to meet them.

01.24.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. My fellow LCG Erika for being my best friend here at UMass
  2. People who want to try new things with me
  3. Good professors in tough classes
  4. To be able to teach CORE this semester
  5. My family and my parents for their constant support
  6. The tools that help me handle stress and adversity
  7. Summers at UNH
  8. A day off from work every now and again
  9. The sunshine and nice weather
  10. Cartoons after school
  11. Time at the gym
  12. Comfy sweatshirts
  13. Meaningful lyrics
  14. Second chances
  15. Live music
  16. My brother
  17. Sigma Pi and Greek Life at BSU
  18. Time to think and breath
  19. The Ashland train station
  20. Late night pizza
  21. FIFA tournaments with friends
  22. Being organized and feeling prepared
  23. Daily quotes
  24. People that check in
  25. The here and now

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 Mt. Rainier in Washington! Took this picture on my first trip by myself. It was an incredible trip with some incredible views. 

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.