This month on the Bellas Podcast, Nicole and Brie talked a lot about gratitude, mentioned the many things that they’re grateful for in their lives, and that gave me an idea.
I am the worst at gratitude, and I’m terrible at taking a step back and seeing what I am grateful for because it seems as though everything is always going further and further down-hill.
With anxiety and the occasional bout of a depressive episode, lots of stress, and the never-ending feeling of the weight of the world on my shoulders, finding anything good takes a lot.
But I’m challenging myself to do so anyway. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s perfect timing.
Thanksgiving for me, in my late teens and early twenties, was more about the first day since probably the Christmas before that I’d get to spend time with my grandpa. It was, of course about the mountains of stuffing I’d eat, and football for sure, by that time with my grandpa was the most important part. Then when he died, it had a whole new meaning, missing him even more than I do on any other day. For three years after that, I’m working in retail, which means, quick meal and then I’m at work all night for Black Friday, so really it just became any other day. This year, while still working in retail, I’m doing more before and after work, so I don’t have to work on Thanksgiving at all, which is truly a miracle. So, what is thanksgiving about this year?
Well, for the first time my baby brother is taking care of all the cooking, which for my mom, is a huge relief, and he’s nervous, yet excited about it because he does love to cook. That leaves me with a lot of time to think, and for me, that is not exactly a good thing. So naturally I’m overdoing it with the grocery list, the amount of food for four people that’s not necessary, I’m cleaning as if we’re having company, which of course we are not. And I’m figuring out what I’m going to watch all day leading up to the 430 Dallas Cowboy football game. That’s how I’m coping with it. But while it’s a day where my mind initially goes to what I don’t have faster than most days, I’m challenging myself to see the good in what I do have.
I’ve decided to find at least three things I’m grateful for, and I’m sure I could think of more, but I’m going to keep it at three for this and explain a little bit of why for each!
I’m grateful for…
- My grades. Regardless of all the crazy, I have thankfully managed to keep at a 3.93 GPA since returning to school back in February of 2018. It was one of the craziest, terrifying choices I ever made. But I’m majoring in something I love, Environmental Studies (although I have considered changing it like half a dozen times because there is so much I want to do) and minoring in psychology (which I start classes for my first class for that next month). I’m glad I get to do it online because I thrive so much more this way. In high school I was terrible, I didn’t have a hand on my anxiety, I didn’t even know what it was also, and I had a host of other problems, and my grades showed it all. I think it’s kind of proof that your atmosphere can 100% effect things for some people, and I’m glad I figured that out.
- My Job. It’s in retail. It’s not the most inspiring job by any stretch, the pay is manageable, and it helps that while my income has become the sole income, I have a little extra help too, the work is excellent, and it keeps the lights on and a roof over our heads, and that’s what is important. What I’m even more grateful for are the friendships I’ve made from this job. I’m an introvert through and through, with social anxiety and a simple mindset that doesn’t really trust people or let them in any more, and friends are few and far in-between, and that’s usually how I like it. But someday, most days honestly, I laugh more at work than anywhere else. Of course, there’s stress, and some days I want to pull my hair out, but every time that I’ve even considered quitting, that it wasn’t worth it, it was the people that gave me extra cause to stick it out. I do have many decent co-workers, that like I said, make me laugh more than I do there than anywhere else. But I also have a couple that I’ve grown a friendship with outside of work, one of whom doesn’t even work with me anymore, and yet he’s one of my very dear friends, that I am definitely grateful for.
- TV. This might sound quite strange, but I am thankful for TV. And I don’t mean that I’m grateful to watch it mindlessly with my feet up with a glass of wine, I mean the kind of TV that really gets to you. I think I view TV in a way not many others do. It could be the writing because I love writing. I love the impact of words. It could be the characters and the way I can relate to them, or the feelings they bring out, both bad and good. It could be the simple escapism that it all provides, I could think of a hundred reasons, honestly. But truthfully, I love storytelling, it’s something I’ve even considered what it might be like to get into it professionally, but that’s a dream for another time.
I genuinely challenge anyone who actually read this, to do the same. Whether you have a million things to be grateful for, or you’re like me, where it’s not the easiest thing to do, writing it out can be such a good reminder, especially on a bad day. Hell, I don’t care if you write it on a napkin, just write it. When I sat down with this idea, I have no idea what to write, but then I thought of the first one, and then the second and then the third, and I even thought of a couple more, which was unexpected, yet welcome.
Give it a try!