On Being Grateful...

One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to be more consciously grateful.

If you ask John and my Mom, they will tell you that I'm always looking to jump to the next thing. When I was in college, I was looking to grad school. When I was in grad school, I was looking to a job. Now that I have a job, and should be focusing on our wedding planning, I sometimes send John apartments for sale. "Think we should buy this?"

No. We should not buy that. I should enjoy planning our wedding and seeing my friends and decorating our house and going to happy hour.

Once, my senior year of college my Mom said something that really stuck with me. It was the end of my Fall semester and I was in typical finals mode: hair on the top of my head, yoga pants, tote bag full of books and paper, yapping to her on the phone as I walked to class.

"I can't wait for this semester to be over," I said to her. "I wish it was two weeks from now and I was home taking a nap on the couch." "Don't say that to me," she said. "You're wishing you're life away."

I'm not sure I really realized the truth of what she said until sometime last winter. I finally felt like I had hit a stride...comfortable in my job, in our new house, in my ability to be a kind of grownup. Things had finally settled down a little bit for our family.

And so at New Years, I made a decision: stop thinking about the future so much and start seeing what's around you. Start appreciating what's around you.

Stop wishing your life away.

And so, I have. Its definitely taken some practice, but I've gotten pretty good at it. When I feel myself having a particularly ungrateful day, I make a list in my head or sometimes in a notebook, of things I'm thankful for. Sunday in the laundromat? Not thrilled about waking up early or lugging my laundry down the block or sitting in the laundromat for almost two hours. Thankful that it was a beautiful day, that there was a breeze in the laundromat (and that I wasn't sweating from the heat of the dryer), for the great book I'm reading and that there was enough iced coffee in the refrigerator for me to not have to buy one.

Being more consciously grateful, even for little things during the day, has really changed the way I live my life. I think particularly it has made me more appreciative of the people in my life and the time I have by myself. I would absolutely recommend making mini-thankful lists in your head during the day. Sometimes my list is only "Hey look at that cute puppy on the corner!" That's it. A stranger's cute puppy that made me smile.

Have I stopped looking at apartments to buy? Absolutely not. But I have made peace with the somewhat crazy floor in our kitchen. But not our lack of a dishwasher. Because seriously, I really want a home with a dishwasher :)

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