Chosen Family (#313)

This post comes from my friend and a returning guest blogger, Riley McGrath.

My name is Riley McGrath, I am a 20 year old FTM transgender guy from Scituate Massachusetts, though home to me is really Bridgewater State University. I am studying psychology and am taking on a double minor in LGBT studies and women and gender studies. I hope to become a gender therapist where I will be helping trans folks like myself every day of my life.

Something that I’ve carried with me throughout my coming out and transitioning process is this idea of a chosen family. I grew in a big Irish Catholic family. These values have been ingrained in me, my whole life. Now that I’ve started my transition and have come out, the importance of family has changed for me.

To me, family is the people that accept and support you without any conditions. I don’t see my biological family being in my life forever unless they accept who I am and start to call me Riley. My true family is the people have been with me since I have come out and support me without exceptions. One of the beautiful things about being LGBT is being able to choose your family. Sometimes it’s after your biological family kicks you out. But you find the most amazing people to “replace” what you’ve lost. My chosen family is something I am grateful for every day of my life.

One of my favorite quotes about family is from the TV show, The Fosters. It is something I carry with me through the ups and downs of being queer and a trans male. “DNA doesn’t make a family. Love does” I really love that quote and it always reminds me of my chosen family.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My chosen family, even if some people aren’t in my life much anymore
  2. Drywall and painting
  3. My sister, who is one of my favorite people on the planet
  4. The trans community on social media (Laverne Cox, Aydian Dowling, Chella man, Chase Ross and too many more to mention)
  5. Question 3 in Massachusetts
  6. Bridgewater State University (as always)
  7. My friends Catherine and Sean, for letting me stay when I have to work early/ late… And their dogs too
  8. The crazy journey of manhood
  9. My car
  10. Both my jobs, my bosses, and my coworkers
  11. Music (for keeping me sane through the ups and downs of life)
  12. Being able to learn how to cook on my own
  13. Stories
  14. Church (for showing me that LGBT folks can be religious)
  15. My best friend and brother (for our hour-long conversations where I always end up crying)
  16. Rain
  17. Anyone that has ever doubted me
  18. Everything I’ve gone through and struggled with
  19. The crazy journey of manhood
  20. Having the right and privilege of voting
  21. Sunrises and sunsets
  22. My research group
  23. My dad (for giving everything up for me)
  24. How much I’ve grown since September
  25. The month of November (November 20th specifically)

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.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Time To Reflect (#312)

With my fall semester coming to an end, I feel like I finally have time to breathe. I’m grateful to watch summer to fall, fall turn to winter. Each day brings something different. I remind myself change is GOOD with each breath I take.

I haven’t been perfect. I’ve certainly made mistakes but I work hard to recognize and learn from them. I’m looking forward to the new year. A year full of the unexpected.

The best is still yet to come.

12.12.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Finishing up finals
  2. Trying new things
  3. Old movies
  4. A good night’s rest
  5. Taking it day by day
  6. Authors that inspire
  7. Shared laughter
  8. Our little cabin
  9. Late night ice cream
  10. The warmth of the summer sun
  11. Songs from Anfield
  12. Big stretches
  13. Time at the gym
  14. Sharing and connecting with gratitude
  15. A few deep breaths
  16. Cozy blankets and warm sweats
  17. Safe travels
  18. Time to journal
  19. Weekends with my brother
  20. Local pizza
  21. Learning and reflection
  22. Clean water
  23. My family
  24. A successful fall semester
  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.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image from Cambodia.

Right Here, Right Now (#309)

Don’t wait to be successful at some future point. Have a successful relationship with the present moment and be fully present in whatever you are doing. That is success.

Eckhart Tolle

11.29.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Time at the gym
  2. Quiet nights
  3. Pickup soccer
  4. My mental health tools
  5. Warm blankets and cozy mornings
  6. My family
  7. Late night ice cream
  8. Unexpected adventures
  9. My friends at UMass
  10. Pictures from home
  11. Life in color
  12. Sharing new music
  13. Rainy days and cloudy mornings
  14. Hand written notes
  15. A little support
  16. My breath
  17. Patient lessons and teachers
  18. Hanging with my mom
  19. Time to read outside of class
  20. Trying new things
  21. Bed time stretching
  22. Clean water
  23. Messages from Cambodia
  24. Good food
  25. The precious present

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.

ATTN: Make sure you check out my current giveaway! See how you can give back with gratitude. From now until the start of December.

Featured image from summer hikes

Take It To Another Level (#306)

The work will get done.

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.

11.25.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Time for photography
  2. Support from Julie
  3. Handwritten cards of encouragement
  4. Sharing stories and laughter
  5. Summer bonfires and s’mores
  6. Camping in Acadia
  7. An empty email inbox
  8. My family
  9. New Weekend Music
  10. A little support from my friends
  11. My summer in the UK
  12. Being cozy and warm when it’s cold
  13. Great teachers and mentors
  14. Time to journal
  15. Inspiration from others
  16. Clean water
  17. Making my bed in the morning
  18. Basketball with my dad and brother
  19. Getting back into my routine
  20. A good night’s rest
  21. Positive people
  22. Exercising for my mental health
  23. Late night ice cream
  24. A clean apartment
  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.

ATTN: Make sure you check out my current giveaway! See how you can give back with gratitude. From now until the start of December.

bridge clouds cloudy dark clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We Create Our Own Meaning (#304)

One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. We respond to life, we create our own meaning

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search For Meaning

11.23.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Waking up with the sunrise
  2. Summers as a camp counselor
  3. Heart to hearts with Halley
  4. Time with my cat
  5. Local bagels
  6. Homemade calzones with Julie
  7. Learning something new
  8. Apple Cup wins
  9. Hometown reunions
  10. Time with my brother
  11. A clean apartment
  12. Fresh Watermelon
  13. An opportunity to create
  14. Time at the gym
  15. My continued education
  16. Anytime I can play soccer with friends
  17. A bed that I fit on
  18. A couple deep breaths
  19. A clear night sky to see the stars
  20. My brothers in Sigma Pi
  21. Summer audio books and walking though campus at Essex
  22. Hikes through the desert
  23. Writing inspiration
  24. Daily goals
  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.

What may have been my favorite sunrise. Acadia, Maine!

Happy Thanksgiving Giveaway (#303)

Happy Thanksgiving! The day designed for gratitude – it’s like gratitude’s national holiday.

Whether your day is steeped in tradition or you are doing something totally unrelated…we can find reasons to be grateful for today. Every year I try to recognize my own privilege when it comes to Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for food, family, and friends but that might not be true for everyone. I’m fortunate to return to a warm house, surrounded by people who love me. Be sure to support your local food bank or homeless shelter anyway you can.

Here is where we get to work together. I will be selecting 5 people at random who like this post and comment their blog link to win my giveaway prize.

Winners will receive:

– a $20 Amazon Gift Card

– a $20 donation to the charity of your choice

– and my gratitude 🙂

Share this post! Tell your friends, tell your pets. The contest runs until December 1st, so act fast! There is only so much we can do as individuals. What I’m truly grateful for is when we find ways to come together. Happy Thanksgiving, Internet.

11.22.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. The annual turkey trot
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. A day full of football
  4. Embracing change
  5. A little reassurance
  6. A clean apartment
  7. Productive time and getting things done
  8. Safe travels
  9. Tips and help with my application
  10. Sharing new music
  11. Time to heal
  12. Fluffy clouds and a painted sky
  13. Working towards my goals
  14. My wooden castle and time with my dad
  15. Yard games
  16. A little competition
  17. Icy hot for my poor joints and muscles
  18. People who inspire
  19. Fresh fruits and veggies
  20. Late night jeopardy
  21. Clean water and pictures from Cambodia
  22. Turkey and mashed potatoes
  23. Superhero bandaids
  24. Anything by Frank Ocean
  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 from New York!

How We Spend Our Time (#302)

It’s not a race.

There’s nothing you have to win.

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.

Slow down. You’re doing great.

11.20.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Music you can dance to
  2. A life full of color
  3. Rainy mornings
  4. Helpful and patient people
  5. Celebrating others
  6. My grandparents
  7. A clean apartment
  8. Pickup soccer nearby
  9. Clean water
  10. Spending time with Julie
  11. Life lessons
  12. Vinyl records and classic songs
  13. Comfy pillows
  14. Trying new things
  15. A little competition
  16. Conference friends and stories
  17. Safe travels
  18. Singing in the car
  19. A couple deep breaths
  20. Warmer weather
  21. Time for stretching
  22. My family
  23. Kraft Mac and cheese with extra cheese
  24. My favorite places
  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 trip to the Grand Canyon!