One Day At A Time (#25)

Dreams and aspirations can feel heavy when it doesn’t feel like we’re making any progress. It’s why people drop their expectations and start to give up on their goals. There’s no magic word or phrase I can use to motivate you but I can remind you to be patient.

Take it one day at a time, remember to breath, and you’ll get there. Speak it into your existence and remind yourself what you’re working for. Be present for each moment and just see what happens.

01.17.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. The CD my dad made for me when I turned 10 with all his favorite songs
  2. Snow day delays
  3. My friend, Erika! She always brings a smile to my face. Also she got me this awesome frame of Ned lol
  4. Big comfy sweatshirts
  5. Tattoo stories
  6. UMass Amherst
  7. Time with my new Peer Mentors
  8. Sushi at Hamp
  9. My family
  10. Vance Joy, ‘Dream Your Life Away’ album
  11. Weddings and sunshine
  12. The ocean
  13. Double sessions for soccer
  14. Basketball at the gym
  15. These headphones
  16. My sister’s food recommendations
  17. Making mistakes
  18. Family road trips and books on tape
  19. Water
  20. Sleeping on a bed I finally fit on
  21. That time my uncle dressed up like a lobster for my beach themed birthday party
  22. My friends who are going to become educators
  23. Triathlon training team
  24. Late night cups of V8 with my mom
  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, my friends and I spent the day at the beach and were greeted by a cool breeze and a bright blue sky. We walked that beach for miles!

Be Kind, You’re Learning (#13)

I haven’t been able to truly express just how different this trip to LA has been then I expected. I’ve written about living in the present and being adaptable but today was something else. I had a complete mental shift coming down from my hike today and it was more than I could have hoped for. Today was filled with learning and the time and grace to process all of it. I made a mistake in some ways and I need to own that. I have enjoyed every second so far of this trip but I was wrong for other reasons I’m still processing. I have a lot to learn and so much life to live. I’m still developing my personal identities and have a lot of maturing and growing to do as I enter the next phase of my life. I’m excited to share more with you all. Be kind to yourself and find gratitude in all of the little moments.

DSC_0430.JPG

01.05.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. My time at Joshua Tree National Park
  2. My family for letting me process with them
  3. Getting In-N-Out Burger twice today
  4. Killer Sunsets and long drives
  5. Learning from mistakes
  6. Water
  7. Time to journal
  8. Meeting new people and making new friends
  9. Wedding Invites
  10. Healing of all kinds
  11. A future with so many options
  12. Parks and Rec and how hard it makes me laugh
  13. A helpful map and kind Park Rangers
  14. My time in Washington hiking the side of Mt. Rainier
  15. How music can make you feel
  16. A day to relax and reset
  17. Ashland Pizza Palace Calzones
  18. Bike rides from my apartment to the gym
  19. NAPS
  20. The Earth we all share
  21. Technology and Green Energy
  22. The powers of the sun
  23. The slightest of tans I got from my hike today
  24. The inventor of the Drive Thru window
  25. New perspectives and each moment that brought me here

More pictures and stories to come

0s2JXX9ITJKnpdZURSapUg.jpg

Embracing The Now (#10)

Today did not go as expected. We had one plan, we were going to do one thing, and that completely changed for the best! Making time to literally smell the roses in Pasadena was such a cool opportunity and tons of fun. The Rose Bowl Parade Floats weren’t on the agenda at the start of the day but it was one of the best parts for sure.

Sometimes you just have to accept where you are because the present is what matters most. Embrace the now, put your phone down, ask open ended questions and engage this moment to the fullest. With gratitude, every breath can be powerful if you allow it. Enjoy where you are, no matter what the plan was before.

01.02.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Morning sunshine meditation and stretches
  2. Recliner chairs at the movies
  3. Orange slices at halftime during soccer games
  4. The feeling when you’re covering your feet in the sand at the beach
  5. Meeting new people and going to new places
  6. A comfy pillow at the end of your day
  7. Time to nap
  8. My family and especially my uncle
  9. Trying new foods
  10. Autumn leaves and big sweatshirts
  11. The guys I grew up playing soccer with and the feeling after senior night
  12. Holding hands in the car
  13. Creative and passionate people
  14. Electric cars and how quickly they charge
  15. Tea and all the new kinds I’m trying
  16. 5 dollar Pizza on Wednesday’s
  17. Lists to keep you organized
  18. New books to read
  19. Pictures of my cat Ned from my family while I’m on vacation
  20. A full moon and how it lights up the sky
  21. Professors and friends at UMass who helped me get a 3.9 GPA in my first semester
  22. Feeling purposeful
  23. Having the capacity for gratitude and being able to recognize it
  24. Smelling good smells and all of my senses
  25. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday.

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.