Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Year of Gratitude

A year ago, I decided to spend the year showing more gratitude. Because I am much better at seeing what I don't have than what I do.

Honestly, despite the exercise (which I think was worthwhile), it didn't seem like that great of a year. There were high points, sure, but I have been happier. It feels like I spent so much of the year fighting myself to be happier and more grateful and lighter. It feels like I was constantly battling with myself over who I wanted to be and how I wanted to see the world.

I guess that I had hoped that the expression of gratitude would make me happier, too.

Regardless of how happy I am or am not, I do feel like I am a more grateful person as a result of this year-long experiment.

And that is just one more thing to be grateful for.       

  • Tradition.
  • Countless supportive and thoughtful Tweets, emails and comments about the Thanksgiving Day Blog Fiasco. 
  • New Years Eve massages.
  • Serial.
  • Scandal.
  • Basically any form of entertainment consumed in bulk.
  • Purging.
  • Christmas cookies.
  • Low expectations.

  • The 10 years that my sibling didn't know about the blog that I didn't want her to know about.

  • Sleeping late on the weekends.
  • Getting the okay to finish up the outdoor soccer season with my coed team.
  • Birthday surprises.
  • Nail polish.
  • Everyday necklaces.
  • Special treatment at physical therapy.
  • Starbucks runs.
  • Revelations.
  • Realizations.
  • Epiphanies.
  • Belief in the future.
  • Soup.
  • Living and working close to so many people who I love so much.
  • Realizing that I'd forgotten to renew my license plate before a police officer realized that I'd forgotten to renew my license plate.
  • Health insurance.
  • Standby, go to, never fail recipes.
  • Having bad days, bad weeks, bad months but still knowing that it's all going to turn out.

  • Biting the bullet.
  • My cousins. Always my cousins.
  • For the possibility that comes with going on a date, even though I admittedly hate the process.
  • Finding yoga once again.
  • Every minute I spend with Lucy's kids.
  • Health insurance. Mine isn't the best. But I have it.
  • The hard, nervous beat of my heart that comes when I am surprised, nervous or scared and reminds me that I'm alive.
  • To have a doctor who I have seen, adored and trusted since I was 15.
  • Drybar.
  • That Drybar does not have a Detroit location.
  • For the truth, however it comes out.
  • That I was wrong to dread Anna's wedding weekend.
  • Friends who know they can count on me.
  • Voting rights.
  • Good news.
  • Good books.
  • Good coffee.
  • Good MRI results.
  • Gummy worms.
  • Patience.

  • The truth.
  • Perspective.
  • That life isn't a competition (even though it feels like it sometimes).
  • Chocolate milk.  
  • After work dates at the beach with my best friend Lucy and her boys.
  • The many, many, many hours my mom has spent helping me with my condo.
  • That the way I eat when I am on a road trip is not the way I eat every day.
  • A 1.7 mile, 5 minute commute.
  • Friends who know how and when to push me.
  • Plush, new towels.
  • Sunday summer soccer season.
  • The cans of touch-up paint left behind by my condo's previous owner.
  • Surprise carrot cake deliveries by my grandma.
  • Making it through a whole year at my job.
  • Feeling settled in at my new place.
  • Specialty soccer socks that come with grips on the foot bed, despite their $40 price tag.
  • Windows-open, mild, sleeping-weather nights.
  • Having a good friend who is also a good locksmith. 
  • Kineseo tape.
  • A flexible work schedule.
  • The luxury and convenience that is leasing a new car without stepping foot in the dealership.
  • The fresh and clean and crisp and strangely pleasing smell of the aforementioned new car.
  • Grapefruit juice.

  • A valid passport.
  • A house of my own.
  • Cheese.
  • A sense of adventure.
  • Volunteers.
  • Anti-humidity hair products.
  • Friendly strangers.
  • Organization.
  • My parents, who put up with me and my moods and my anxiety during the entire house hunting process and who had hardwood floors installed in the condo while I was in Brazil and who have fixed the oven and touched up the trim and otherwise been pretty damn great.
  • A safe trip.
  • Common sense.
  • Public transportation.
  • Patriotic pants.
  • Flirtatious boys.
  • A decent sense of direction.
  • My lunatic sister, who is intense and difficult and drives me crazy and is my favorite person and traveling partner.
  • Sunscreen.
  • An adventurous palate.
  • The sporting event of all sporting events: the World Cup.
  • That this month, like all months, ended so I finally can stop bleeding money.
  • Caipirinhas! ALL OF THE CAIPIRINHAS! 


  • Patience.
  • Sunscreen.
  • My insanely flexible work schedule.
  • The wisdom of experience.
  • That Starbucks doesn't regularly run a Frapuccino Happy Hour special.
  • Road trips.
  • That one magical bottle of nail polish that happens to be the perfect color and extra-resistant to chipping.
  • An 86% shorter distance.
  • Giant inflatable couches.
  • Learning not to compulsively check my work email as soon as I get in.
  • Derby hats.
  • Lunchtime at the lake.
  • Online shopping. With a good coupon code. Or free shipping. Or both. 
  • Wishes.
  • Inspired Mother's Day gifts.
  • Plans and preparation (and cheerleader friends).
  • A well-organized inbox.     
  • Perspective.
  • Short meetings.
  • Long weekends.

  • Working close enough that my grandma can drop off Easter goodies to my office.
  • The favors I am able do for others.
  • Legs that carried me through another half marathon.
  • Circumstances that start bad but turn good.
  • Blogs as a vehicle for venting.
  • Blogs as backup memory.
  • Blogs as crowd-sourced fashion consultation. 
  • Honesty.
  • Streaming video.
  • Hope.
  • Peeps.
  • Allies.
  • Dresses.
  • Being wrong.
  • Concert tickets.
  • The simple anticipation of road trips here and there.
  • Waterproof blister bandages.
  • Endings.
  • Beginnings.

  •  A new nickname from Baby A.
  •  The perfect tank top for my trip to Brazil.
  •  Quiet Sunday mornings.
  •  A more-flexible-than-not work schedule.
  •  Donuts.
  •  Perspective.
  •  Squats.
  •  Parents who care enough to drive me crazy.
  •  The first outdoor run of spring.
  •  Coffee in moderation.
  •  A lot of honesty on the house ordeal: from Lucy, from Chet, from readers, from my parents, from myself.
  •  The perfect top knot.
  •  Surprise and possibility.
  •  The coming spring.


  • To have a sister and therefore a logical person to list as my beneficiary on all of those documents where you list a beneficiary.
  • A pension that will be vested in less than three years.
  • eos Lip Balm.
  • Sweet brown dogs who dance with joy when you get home at the end of the day.
  • Successful attempts at new recipes (in February, I pulled off a peach raspberry pie, Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad with Broccoli, Chicken Power Bowls and Knock You Naked Brownies).
  • Technology.
  • Great songs enjoyed on repeat.
  • Free shipping.
  • Police officers who will let you off with a verbal warning.
  • Being close and able to help my grandparents.
  • Good hair days.
  • Lights at the end of very long tunnels.
  • Conclusions of very long seasons.
  • An influx of spam comments on the blog; they're terribly annoying but have given me a good reason to click through and reread a lot of really old posts.
  • Hot showers.
  • Olympic figure skating.
  • Roll Up the Rim at Tim Horton's. 
  • The resiliency of baked goods packed up in a box and mailed across the country.
  • Getting paid to shop for books.
  • Space heaters.
  • Every day we get closer to springtime.

  • Safe arrivals at the end of a lot of harrowing commutes.
  • The steam room at my gym.
  • Lotions, body butters, baby oil and all other potions that aren't exactly keeping all of my winter skin woes at bay but are managing to prevent me from turning into 5'2" of shoe leather.
  • My own wisdom in recognizing when something isn't good for me or no longer serves me well.
  • Goals to work towards. 
  • Silver jewelry.
  • An unlikely and wonderful friendship with one of my trustees.
  • Warm drinks.
  • Thick sweaters.
  • The authority to call a snow day.
  • The rare but awesome, distraction-free, workday coffee date with Lucy.
  • The luxury of knowing that I have a warm place to sleep and the means to pay for that source of heat.
  • Books.
  • Fireplaces.
  • Books read in front of fireplaces.
  • Distractions.
  • Projects.
  • A good cry.
  • A good sleep.
  • A good sandwich.
  • A good list.
It's a blessing to have so many reasons to be grateful. It's a blessing to have the perspective to see it.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

It's great to be able to look back and see all the many things you have to be grateful for. I can get stuck focusing on what I wish I had or wish I was doing - I need to work on focusing on what I'm thankful I had... So I just might start a monthly gratitude post, too!

A said...

I highly recommend it!

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