365 Days Of Gratitude

All I can hear are my thoughts. The forest surrounds me on my accent to the top of the mountain. The Earth crunches beneath each step I take, always moving forward. The days come and go. The darkness of each day leaves subtle reminders of its presence and power. I feel lost despite only just beginning. It is a story of overcoming, adventure, and gratitude.

I started writing about gratitude because of my depression. I needed to fight my inner darkness one way or another and was desperate for a solution. I saw writing as a positive outlet for my thoughts and feelings and was interested in something different. “Why not start a blog?” I thought. I needed a way to hold myself accountable, and I knew others struggle with mental battles similar to my own. The Gratitude Journal evolved over time. I connected with fellow bloggers and found a new community. I shared posts with friends and families that responded with gratitude lists of their own. I was inspired by loved ones and mentors to keep moving forward.

I took The Gratitude Journal with me everywhere I went. Each moment from the start, intertwined with lessons learned and celebrated breathsI brought The Gratitude Journal with me abroad. I traveled to places I have only dreamed of visiting. Despite my feelings of fear and uncertainty, I framed my experiences with gratitude and appreciation. I sat silently in the black sand and watched the waves leave the shores of Iceland, listening to wind howl and sing. I walked the streets of London, in tune with the beat of the city and the life of the summer sun.

I came home energized and eager to start my last year of my Master’s degree. Gratitude, still a present thought, had taken on a new form. Gratitude needed to be more than just a collective appreciation of fond memories and busy days. I had to learn to be grateful for pieces of myself that I had previously scrutinized and detested. Especially, if I was going to have gratitude for everything else. I possessed a renewed thankfulness for my past and present. Although at times I struggled to find balance in my routine and posted less consistently, the skills I learned were ever present. Gratitude is many things. I have learned gratitude starts with a breathe. It is an anchor to the present moment and a tool against the darkness. Its power grows when shared with others and can be communicated in many ways, both big and small.

Looking through old entries at quotes, stories, and pictures, I feel joy. In some ways, I never saw the end until it arrived. I was so ingrained in my process that the end result was never what was most important. I am proud I got to celebrate milestones, birthdays, adventures, and friends along the way. Although this chapter may be coming to a close, I will still carry The Gratitude Journal with me on my journey.

I stand at my mountain top, my chest rising and shrinking with each breath. The horizon gleams in the distance, each ray of sun reflecting off of rain covered trees. My vision clears and I see new peaks and valleys, invisible from the base of my climb. I stop to rest and reflect but my muscles and bones ache for the familiar and constant pain of the trail. New mountains call out, signal flares of opportunity rocket to the dusk-colored curtain above my head. The stars peek through. A chance to begin again, guided by gratitude. 


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My family
  2. Worldly experiences and safe travels
  3. Frank and Holly, for teaching me about my process
  4. Exercise to clear my head and help me breathe
  5. Learning to ‘be myself’
  6. Teachers, Mentors, and Coaches, that pushed me to be my best
  7. Being a part of something bigger than myself
  8. The Good Days and the Bad Days
  9. Name tags, Helen’s Tree, and late night talks on the steps of Boyden
  10. Rain, for its touch brings new life and the sound brings me sleep
  11. A peanut butter sandwich when I need it
  12. Sharing music with friends
  13. My cat Ned, for his company and intelligence
  14. Late night ice cream, always
  15. Pickup soccer on Tuesdays
  16. Chasing the sunrise before school
  17. World cup games and perfect pronunciations
  18. Comfy pillows and warm blankets
  19. Tattoo stories and reasons why
  20. Quiet talks and fall colors at Horn Pond
  21. Hope for the future
  22. Space and time to journal and recharge
  23. Home cooked meals and cooking together
  24. Shared values and going deeper
  25. The precious present, for it, is a gift


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.

The Gratitude Journal Cover.png


Have To vs Get To (#262)

Happy Monday! We can make the conscious choice to start our week with positivity and gratitude. Try to think of as many “have to vs get to” in your life. A simple way of framing work or a task in our day with positive language can go a long way.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. UMass Dining
  2. Friendly grocery stores
  3. Local pizza
  4. My family
  5. Quick and efficient meetings
  6. Teaching CORE and working with students
  7. My Peer Mentors
  8. Time at the gym
  9. Getting things done
  10. Good communication
  11. Mentors and supervisors
  12. Feeling organized
  13. Backyard sports
  14. FaceTiming with Peter
  15. Vibrant sunsets
  16. Trips to Alaska
  17. People who inspire
  18. My continued education
  19. Bike rides with Stephen
  20. Carpools with Carley
  21. A clear night when you can see the stars
  22. Summer grilling and bonfires
  23. My headphones
  24. Being in nature and the warmth of the sun
  25. 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.

Featured image walking back in the rain.

My Birthday! (#242)

To me, it’s just another day. I’m not a huge fan even though I’m lucky enough to share the day with my twin sister. I don’t like the attention and often times don’t feel comfortable accepting gifts. Today was an exception to my normal annual dreadful birthday experience. With gratitude, I love to celebrate and thank the people who work so hard to make my day special. I have people in my life who care about me and who want to see me happy. I’m grateful for another year of life and for all this year will bring. Here’s to being 24 and feeling capable of taking on the world.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My sister, sharing the day with her has been my favorite thing about August 21st.
  2. My family
  3. My friends
  4. Good health
  5. Clear nights with bright stars
  6. When my uncle dressed up as a lobster for my  underwater themed birthday
  7. Summers hanging by the pool
  8. Wiffleball in the yard with my neighbors
  9. Watching the Revs under the lights
  10. Lazer tag
  11. Vinyl records and good music
  12. Fresh fruit and veggies
  13. Birthday surprises from the dream team
  14. When my mom calls to check in
  15. Chocolate desserts
  16. Nights spent listening to the rain outside
  17. Grilling in the summer
  18. Honest conversations
  19. Local pizza
  20. My Peer Mentors
  21. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved! Don’t worry if you didn’t get me anything, a small donation to my fundraiser would be perfect.

  22. Watching the morning fog with my tea
  23. Time at the gym
  24. New experiences and opportunities
  25. 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.


Featured image of the sunset ending what was a perfect day. Thank you, to everyone, for making it special. 

An Old Friend (#221)

Growing up, I tried desperately to fit in with certain people. I would let them push me around and make me feel worthless and un-worthy of this real love or friendship. PJ was someone who never did that.

We lived down the street so we would always carpool together to and from both games and practices. My dad coached so it only made sense that he come along. PJ always treated me with respect and is undoubtedly my oldest friend to this day. From long car rides after games to summer jobs landscaping, we’ve done a lot. Now, he’s here in England and it’s different.

We’re not those same kids anymore and I’m glad. We’ve both grown so much I’m proud of our progress. We’re at two very different points in the journey. He has just arrived and is looking forward to taking advantage of his two weeks in Europe. I on the other hand, am looking forward to being home. The next few days together will be interesting to say the least but I’m grateful our paths continue to cross and we can share this experience together.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. The month of July and everything I’ve learned these past weeks
  2. Summer landscaping
  3. My dad for coaching my teams
  4. Friday night revs games
  5. Being cozy and warm when it’s cold
  6. Karaoke songs in the car
  7. My siblings
  8. Old movies and popcorn
  9. Sharing stories and laughter
  10. Free drinks!
  11. My bed sat home
  12. Getting stuff done
  13. People who hold open doors and show consideration to others
  14. New music in the Discover Weekly
  15. Walks to the grocery store
  16. My audiobooks
  17. New England sports
  18. Fried food and French fries
  19. My brother and PJ both visiting this summer
  20. Change and growth
  21. New perspectives
  22. Summer pickup on the turf
  23. Leaders and captains who inspire me
  24. When things work out / safe travels
  25. 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.

    Featured image isn’t of PJ but it’s of a fresh perspective of a familiar place. Mt. Tolmie in Washington is important to me but a place I try and look at with fresh eyes. The same is true for my friend PJ’s visit. We have old memories I’m happy to be looking at with fresh eyes.

    When It Rains It Pours (#217)

    It rained today!! Not sure how closely you follow weather in the UK but it’s been uncharacteristically dry.

    I’ve written it many times before but I’m someone who LOVES the rain. I love the smell of water seeping into the ground. I relax listening to the rain fall against my window sill. I feel refreshed when the droplets land on my skin, as if like a plant, giving me new life.

    I couldn’t help but smile when I got caught in the storm. It seemed all too fitting as I watched a plane fly across the last piece of clear sky before the rain fell. It felt like the Universe was giving me one last push to make it home. Reminding me I’m a week away from being on that flight myself. I can’t wait to see my family, to pet my cat, and to eat some decent peanut butter.


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Tattoo stories
    2. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved!
    3. Monopoly night
    4. Soccer in the backyard with my brother
    5. Walks around the park with my mom
    6. New music Friday on Spotify
    7. A helpful hand
    8. A clean apartment
    9. Weekend hikes
    10. Movies on the projector
    11. Catching the sunset
    12. Wednesday nights after Chapter
    13. Crimson memories
    14. New Years resolutions
    15. My BSU friends
    16. Gratitude and people who share it
    17. The World Cup this summer
    18. My family
    19. Change of all kinds
    20. Eggs in the morning
    21. Time at the gym
    22. Constructive feedback and learning
    23. My peer mentor staff
    24. The dream team with Jess and Carley
    25. 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.

    Featured image from my hike at Arthur’s Seat in Scotland. What a beautiful morning overlooking and an incredible city.

    Sometimes It’s The Little Things (#209)

    I would be hard pressed to find divine examples of good occurring every day in my life and that’s okay. I do my best to use gratitude to give power to the little things. People who hold the door, a hot shower in the morning, for all those things and so many more, I’m grateful.


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. My sister
    2. Getting a little help
    3. Souvenirs from friends
    4. Fresh fruit
    5. My walk to work in the morning
    6. Crimson memories
    7. A couple deep breaths
    8. Signs from the Universe
    9. Home cooked meals
    10. Liverpool matches
    11. The warmth of the sun
    12. CLEAN WATER! And those who have donated to the cause. Thank you for helping out and getting involved.
    13. Talking things out
    14. Home movies
    15. Learning from mistakes
    16. Sharing gratitude
    17. Peanut butter and celery
    18. Games after school
    19. Visiting the rez with my friends
    20. Trailers before the movie starts
    21. Continued education
    22. Jijutsu over the summer
    23. Patient people
    24. My supervisor Adam
    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 trail behind the dam in the Scottish highlands. A cool place that I’m grateful I had time to find. Truly a little thing that led to something great.

    Highs and Lows (#135)

    Highs and lows are apart of life, that’s how we find balance. Didn’t have a great day but for me, it’s still important to make time for gratitude. Start again tomorrow with the new sun and new opportunities.


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Seeing my dad today, hard to describe how much I love and appreciate him, even when we fight and argue
    2. All of my family, their support and love is unwavering
    3. Friends that have checked in and tried to motivate me
    4. Time at the gym, getting a good sweat was exactly what I needed
    5. Healthy foods and healthy habits make a healthy mind
    6. Clean water and my time in Cambodia
    7. My supervisor and getting to work with him again next year
    8. The end of semester countdown is now in single digits
    9. New music and people who share
    10. Walks through campus
    11. The warmth of the impending summer
    12. Growing up playing soccer with some of my best friends
    13. Acoustic guitar and stretching before bed
    14. Hand-written notes and letters
    15. Love and everything that comes with it
    16. Sharing gratitude and those who write their own lists!
    17. My process and being exactly where I am because it’s exactly where I should be
    18. Positive reminders and helpful hints
    19. A couple deep breaths
    20. New opportunities
    21. People who inspire confidence in myself
    22. My ugly ID picture that always gets a laugh when people see it
    23. Quiet spots and peaceful moments
    24. Homecooked food
    25. Today, and being right here


    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 another nature landscape. What can I say, I enjoy being outside!