Thankful

City

So, I kind of failed at this month of gratitude thing. I am sorry.

Gratitude seems like such an easy concept. Look at what you have and be thankful for that. You go around the table, while passing the potatoes and stuffing, say what you are thankful for.

Family. Friends. Jobs. Health.

But true gratitude is to understand that everything you have in your life is exactly what you are meant to have and that you do not need anything else. When you are honestly thankful, you do not lack and no one has more or less than you. You have enough.

This is something that I struggle with, wondering why can’t I just have a little more money, a few more friends, a person to come home to at the end of the day. When it’s time to be thankful, I can think of all of the things that I lack. I suck at being thankful.

Being thankful, though, is not a thing we should remember on the last Thursday of every November, rather something we should practice every single day. I truly believe that happiness and content is found through gratitude.

This is my first Thanksgiving in the U.S. since 2009. It’s also the first Thanksgiving since then that, on the actual day, I am not alone, sitting in an African hut. I am not where I want to be, but I am not alone, and several people invited me to tag along to celebrations throughout the city so that I wouldn’t be. That’s such an incredible gift.

Also, I have a great job. I have a cozy apartment with a rent I can comfortably afford. I’ve made new friends in the city, but my old ones are constantly reminding me that I am loved. I am not with my family, but the distance between us feels much less great when you are in the same time zone. Plus, my mom will be here next week and I will be home at Christmas. I have good food and I am incredibly health, fit even. I honestly have everything I need.

Some days, I am truly thankful for that I have and I do not desire one additional thing. It’s all enough for the present moment. It’s not easy to always be grateful, and it’s truly a practice, but I love those moments. Remembering how blessed one is paves the path toward a full life.

So, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, be thankful. Be thankful today, tomorrow and every day. What you all, all of it, is enough.

 

Day 13

So, um, I forgot yesterday. It’s not that I wasn’t thankful but I guess I was just tired. I should have thought about this more, though, because I woke up in one of those woe-is-me states and sort of stayed there. Lately I’ve been practicing resilience. As my therapist tells me, I can’t expect to be 100 percent free of tough emotions and hard days but I can learn to handle them in more thoughtful ways, aka, not stuffing myself full of fried food or drinking half of a bottle of wine. It’s not fun. Crappy emotions make you dig through things that hurt and in order to free yourself from them you have to accept that they are there, accept that they hurt and accept that you don’t need them.

As much as I don’t like it sometimes, I am thankful for these “problems”. I know that I can become a better person if I learn to embrace them instead of finding quick fixes.

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From here

I am also thankful for perspective. My problems are nothing compared to this man’s, yet he sings.

Day 11

I am thankful for days off
I ran. I did yoga. I cooked. I wrote. I talked to an old friend. A lovely winterish day.

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Day 10

I am thankful for my health

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For as much as I complain about my body, it’s pretty great. I’ve never been hospitalized. I’ve never gone in for a routine checkup and the worst came back. I’ve never wondered how to pay my medical bills. Sure, I’ve had a couple scares, but that’s all they were. Sometimes I am nearly in tears thinking about how lucky I am with my health. I have all my major organs and limbs. I get good grades when I visit the doctor. And health doesn’t stop me from doing anything. So, so blessed, I am.

Day 9

Thankful

I am thankful for the things not in my life.

I am thankful for the jobs I didn’t take and the ones I wasn’t offered.

I am thankful for the men that left my life and those that I walked away from.

I am thankful for the cities I didn’t move to, the friendships that ended, and the opportunities I missed.

Because what I have now, all that currently makes up my life, is enough.