It’s easy to get caught up in all the stress and negativity that permeates our daily lives. Gut-wrenching news stories, family drama, financial struggles…the list of things that can drag us down is endless.
We’ve all heard about finding at least one thing you’re grateful for each day as an amazing way to counteract that. While I do find this exercise helpful, I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a longer list.
Originally, the list was just for me. However, as I read back through it, I thought it would be nice to share it here and maybe encourage others to do the same.
My life is far from perfect and struggles certainly abound, but it’s not all bad either. So without further ado (and in no particular order) here are the…
1. Morning snuggles with my daughter. She’s so busy now, it’s nice to have some quiet time with just the two of us. I know she’ll outgrow this routine eventually and I intend to soak it all in while I can!
2. My morning workout. It’s amazing how much more clear-headed and energetic I feel after I exercise. I never thought that I would be the kind of person who looks forward to a work-out session, but here I am!
3. This blog. While I do my fair share of complaining about the technical issues that crop up from time to time, this blog is what maintains my sanity. Having a space to explore my thoughts and engage with others is amazing. Writing is as essential to me as breathing, and having a place to share my work ensures that I keep at it!
4. My nearly completed novel. Okay, it’s a first draft…but it’s almost done! Knowing that I’m close to the finish line is a wonderful feeling and to be honest, I have had so much fun writing it that at times it has been hard to pull myself away from it to do other important tasks–like putting away the laundry!
5. Music time. Whether it’s helping out in the studio, playing my guitar, or just singing along with the radio, getting in some music time everyday is something that always makes me smile. Everything is better when the tunes are cranked up!
6. Lazy afternoons with my family. This may just be my very favorite thing. Just lounging around with Almost-Husband and The Princess doing absolutely nothing is sheer bliss.
7, The new house. I never thought we would ever have a home as nice as the one we just purchased. I never thought we’d actually be able to purchase a home! The security of knowing that it is ours has taken a huge amount of stress off my shoulders, and the freedom to really make it our own is fantastic!
8, Our new puppy. Seriously, though. This guy.
He may be huge but he’s still a pup! Although he’s only been in our family a short time, he is already one of my best friends. He has done wonders for my anxiety level, and he makes me feel safer. He’s pretty much the coolest dog around!
9. Beatlefest is coming up! I am so excited to be counting down to a weekend of peace, love, and the company of my amazing family. It’s always the highlight of my year and I can’t wait to get away, relax, and recapture a bit of myself.
10. Electricity. I know it sounds hokey, but how often do we take things like this for granted? With all the financial problems we’ve had, knowing that we’ve never had to go without electricity is a blessing. Plus, it powers all our cool stuff!
11. Water. Honestly. How great is indoor plumbing? It’s another thing we take for granted, but I am thankful that we have this luxury when there are many people in the world who do not.
12. My partner. We’ve been through a lot in our 9 years together, both good and bad, and our relationship continues to grow stronger each day. As much as he can drive me nuts sometimes, he is also an amazing source of support, friendship, and love and is such a fantastic dad! I’m incredibly lucky that he supports our family and I’m sure I don’t thank him enough for what he does for us.
13. My ninjas. One of the perks of blogging is all the wonderful people you meet along the way. These 4 lovely ladies in particular have been a godsend. It’s amazing to me how the five of us can come from such different backgrounds and still be so similar. I’m thankful for the bond we’ve developed and the unwavering support we have for one another.
14. My besties. There’s nothing like sisterhood…especially when they’re sisters you got to choose for yourself! These two wonderful ladies (you know who you are!) have always had my back and have been there through thick and then. Knowing that I always have someone to turn to is invaluable. I love you both!
15. My Mommy. I could write a thousand words on why my mom is such a blessing. She’s been my teacher, my cheerleader, and one of my best friends from day one and I am incredibly lucky to have the bond we share.
16. My siblings. We may not see each other as often as I’d like, but we always remain close. Having people who can share in your earliest memories is something worth celebrating!
17. Hell, this could go on forever–all my friends and family. I am incredibly blessed to have such a rich network of people who care about me and my family and whom I love deeply. Thank you all for being there for us no matter what!
18. Shorts. I hate pants. I hate skirts. I hate the heat. Shorts solve all these problems.
19, Being barefoot. Nothing makes me happier than feeling the earth beneath my feet. It’s my favorite part of summer and I have been taking full advantage of that!
20. Good food every day. We may not be able to go on fancy vacations or buy ourselves a lot of “fun” stuff, but we always have good food. I love to cook and I love knowing that my family is never hungry. In a world where so many go to bed on empty stomachs, the fact that there is always food on the table is something to be grateful for.
21. Netflix binges. This is one of our few indulgences. Nothing beats re-watching your favorite show, beginning to end, over the course of a day or two.
22. Coca Cola. I can’t start my day without it! It may not be the healthiest beverage, but it puts a smile on my face. Not only does it taste good and give me my caffeine fix, but it also brings back many happy memories of my grandmother.
23. My cat. He may be antisocial and spend his days hiding from us, but that makes it all the more sweet when he finally decides to give us some attention!
24. My SUV. I love my 2003 Sante Fe. It’s the nicest vehicle we’ve ever owned, and the freedom to just pick up and go is awesome! After spending considerable amounts of time without a car, it is not something I take for granted!
25. My bed. Honestly, at the end of the day nothing is better than collapsing into my big comfy bed. It may be full, with 2 adults, a toddler, and a dog, but it’s one of the happiest places I’ve ever found. Falling asleep and waking up with my loved ones is truly a blessing!
If there’s a lesson to come from all of this, it’s that the key to happiness is learning to take pleasure in the simple things in life. We only get one shot, why not enjoy it?