Practicing Gratitude


Topic 3 in the Food for Thought series: Practicing Gratitude. Sorry for the mini break-I just didn't want to give y'all half-assed writing so here we are.

The first two posts in this series were about loving yourself and living intentionally. Hopefully, you've come to understand that being able to do those two things is something very special and often something that many people never learn how to do. It is an accomplishment to learn how to live a lifestyle that you find fulfilling and to be able to surround yourself with only those people that help you to be the best version of yourself. Now comes the more difficult part: learning to be grateful, even for the smallest things, even when it's hard.


I recently found out that a friend of mine's little sister, so young and full of life, passed away unexpectedly during the night. It is so difficult to get news like this but I think one of the toughest parts about it is that there's no time to say goodbye. 

Sadly, this is not the first time I've known someone to leave us too soon. It affects people differently but it always makes me grateful more than anything. I'm grateful that I got to know them. I'm grateful I got to try and be the best friend I could have been to them. I'm grateful for the time that we did have. Time is the thing for which we should all be more grateful, no matter how much or how little of it we have.


It's easy to wake up every day and look at everything as it happens and forget to be grateful even if it's just for the small things. Life isn't supposed to be something you just have to get through-it's to be enjoyed and cherished. I'm not going to lie and say that I don't have my off days, I have plenty. That being said, when shit gets rough, I look for the positives, buck up, and deal with things. I don't expect you to become Pollyanna over night but I can point you in the right direction. 

Whenever you feel like something awful happened, find a way to turn it into a positive. For example, one of my HVAC units went out and I had to drop $4,800 on a new one. That suckssss right? But guess what-I'm grateful that I have great credit and got 0% financing for year which makes it a manageable albeit not fun expense. I'm grateful that it was only one unit and not two AND that it was the upstairs unit so we could still sleep comfortably downstairs. I'm grateful it went out when the weather got cool all of a sudden so it was bearable until we could get the new one installed. Another positive? It'll increase the value of our home and we got the eco-friendly unit so it's better for the environment and should result in savings long-term. When it's all said and done, it's not the end of the world, is it? Gratitude is all about perspective. 

Do me a favor. Tomorrow morning when you wake up, I want you to do the following things throughout the day:
  • Take a deep breath-notice how clearly you can breathe. Be glad you're not sick and be thankful that you have a cozy bed to sleep in and a safe place to sleep at night.
  • When you take a shower, think about how nice it is to have hot running water-so many people out there don't have enough water to drink, much less shower. You used a towel when you got out I'm sure-how nice is it to have a fluffy, clean towel to wrap yourself in?!
  • As you get in the car with your coffee to go to work, get pumped that you have a car, money to buy coffee even if you make it yourself, and a job that provides for you and your loved ones. 
  • As  your day drags on, think about the work you do. As a female, I'm pumpedddd that it's not the 1950s where I was lucky if I were afforded the opportunity of having a job, much less one that isn't menial and pays wells! Being a woman isn't easy still today in plenty of countries around the world. I'm grateful I got to go to school and I'm so grateful to have a job that challenges me. 
  • On your way home think about what you're going to have for dinner. Are you cooking or eating out? Either way, be grateful! You either know how to cook and can make something delicious and nutritious and often cheaper than at a restaurant OR you are getting to go out.  Many people don't have enough cash in the budget to make eating out a regular thing.
  • When I get home, the first thing I do is lay on the floor and rub my dog. I am SO thankful for him in my life. He brings me such joy and love and amusement-I could never even explain how much. I'm grateful of the quality time I get to spend with him and Charley and that I'm able to care for myself and them both. 
  • If it's the weekend, I'm usually outside-these days it's usually fly fishing. Guess what. Even when I don't catch anything, I'm grateful I'm out there learning. I'm grateful for the fresh air and the view. I'm grateful I got the chance to try.
It's all pretty amazing when you think about it. There's so much in the world to be  appreciative of- especially the little things. Wake up and enjoy the journey.



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