I was originally working on a blog post all about growth and change (spoiler: it’s still coming on Sunday) before realizing what I really wanted to write about was gratitude. For me, today was one of those days where gratitude consumed me from the tips of my toes to the fly aways of my bangs, and once I’d had a taste of it, I just wanted more — and to feel this more often. Walking through the neighborhood, I kept having moments where I’d think, Wow, I can’t believe I get to experience THAT in my life. And then continue walking with a goofy grin plastered onto my face.
One of my favorite YouTube creators Carrie Hope Fletcher recently shared in a blog post that she does a five minute gratitude journal exercise everyday to help her be more present in her life. The prompt goes like this:
- In the morning, list 3 things you’re grateful for, 3 things you’re going to do to make the day great, and one mantra or affirmation.
- Then in the evening, listing 3 amazing things that happened today and one thing you would have done to make it even better.
This idea had me curious, I liked the simplicity and positivity of it, so I started doing it in my journal about a month ago. At first I found myself grateful for big concepts (my health, my loved ones, my job to care for my cats) before starting to hit my groove and hone in on the little, daily joys that crop up throughout the day. Taking five minutes to enjoy a fresh black ice tea with mint, getting emails from friends around the world, hitting a deadline that originally intimidated me, arriving early to a friend date and getting 15 extra minutes to read, really feeling myself in a new outfit combination I shopped from my own closet — once I began started looking for joy, it turned out it was everywhere.
Today was one of those rare days when all the stars aligned and I woke up with the first thought, Oh, I GOT THIS. Typically my mornings start with me waking up from a complicated nightmare — most recently one about an apartment in Taiwan that was also a taco stand on the 35th floor that I got stuck on the balcony of after all the doors and windows turned into birds — and in my confusion, rolling over on a cat who is even less pleased to be woken up in this manner. But today I woke up so grateful to get to be me. It felt like a grounding inside myself that I’ve been working on for a long time and am just this month starting to feel the effects of.
Like anything in life, this feeling ebbs and flows and isn’t always present. Sometimes it gets lost by the time I’m spending on my phone, or frustrations I’m feelings towards a lack of writing motivation, or just the general grind of daily living (especially daily living in New York City). I’m still learning what exactly it means to be me, to be present within myself, and while I have literally no of the answers yet to life’s big questions (besides yes, guac and chips is always a great idea), I do know that tonight, after a day of gratitude, I hope that tomorrow brings the same.
What has been giving you butterflies of joy lately? If it’s also chorizo tacos from the food truck on Union Street, I’ll see you there this weekend.
Things I’m currently absurdly grateful for
- Will McPhail‘s Instagram account because it’s a goddamn treat to the world and we probably don’t deserve it.
- Watching my friend (and amazing writer) Michelle No go on a week-long mountain climb in central Europe. Her daily commentary of the climb/the goats/the meals/the horse confusion is bringing me so much joy.
- Starting off my fall 2019 wardrobe with the addition of a fox print jumpsuit and flamingo sweater I just ordered for myself on super sale.
- Staying within my new monthly budget I created (with the help of friends and my mum) and for the first time, hitting a larger savings goal.
- The giant bowl of homemade popcorn I had yesterday while it was raining and I was snuggled up on the couch watching The Good Place.
- These Harry Potter ASMR videos are my new productivity hacks. I mean, being serenaded to the sounds of Valentine’s Day at Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop or the Gryffindor common room, HEART LITERALLY BE STILL.
- My dear friend Zabie is teaching her son Hudson verbal affirmations such as “I am strong” and “I am loved” which he’s started saying and that entire situation gives me all the feels (slash, hope in humanity).
- My mum showing me each one of her birthday presents over FaceTime which is continuing our family tradition of passing all the cards and gifts around for a group to “oh and ah” at.
- My Tuesday forest yoga class that both soothes my soul AND makes my muscles burn.
- My tea from Taiwan still making a delicious ice tea after four years.
- Growing mint and basil on my fire escape.
- Having a 15 minute long conversation with Hemingway while writing this. We solved some real problems and now she’s sitting just beyond this laptop asleep.
- New episodes of the “Great British Bakeoff” coming to Netflix. I just talked to my best friend today and it seems like we’ve both taken the approach of saving it because it feels too precious of a gift just to dive into immediately.
- Going on two walks today AND calling two of my best friends just to say hello.
- The Trader Joe’s snickerdoodles that seem to siren call to me all day, everyday.
- Feeling the sun in Prospect Park during my work break.
- Making a plan to go and get a lemon bar and walk to the water after work on Thursday, a pre-treat before sitting down to work on a meaty writing submission I’ve been having a hard time motivating myself to tackle. I keep trying to remind myself, there is not “perfect moment” to dive into this thing, it’s just going to be about starting and little by little (or 90 minutes by 90 minutes, thanks New York Times) putting in the work to reach the finish line. Plus the fun can be in the journey, right?
- Getting excited to paint and make art changes in my apartment that already feels like home.
- With a lot of work, starting to feel a real sense of grounding in myself and my recent push to start doing more things outside of my comfort zone. That was probably the thing I felt most proud and grateful for today.