Being Grateful

Another Monday is here, and I can't believe how quickly November has flown by! With the holidays approaching, and particularly Thanksgiving, I've been reflecting even more on the year lately.

I haven't posted much of a personal catchup lately, and am doing it now as it may explain some shifts in what and how I've been posting- and the story's theme is perfectly aligned with the upcoming holiday. I have a grateful-ness challenge for you guys for this week, because it shouldn't just be a single day of giving thanks.

New Toby's Coffee in my neighborhood.

New Toby's Coffee in my neighborhood.

On Saturday, I met up with one of my close friends who I hadn't seen in about 2 years. As we were gabbing away catching up over coffee and tea, she mentioned how I seemed much happier than the last time I had seen her. It took me a second to process those words, because it's something I hadn't stopped to necessarily think about. I felt warm inside, when the realization swept over me that I, indeed, am happy.

The ironic thing is, is that it's actually been one of the bumpiest years of my life.

Yes, I have had transitional and "who the hell am I" years before, but 2014 was a bit more jarring in that I finally felt that I had found that merging of passion, interest, and purpose in my career, then I had a couple of large obstacles hurtled my way that threatened it all. It felt as if I had worked so hard to build a beautiful house, then an unexpected hurricane came and swept it away. Followed by a snowstorm. And a rainstorm.

For instance, I had a pretty stellar week last week, I'd say. Audience readership has been increasing (thanks guys!!), I got invited to cover a beautiful dinner event, my hip was feeling solid while increasing the level of my workouts, my work had been featured on several different social media and online areas, my clients had pretty solid training weeks, I made my first ever pie for my family's Thanksgiving, and I actually managed to sleep relatively normal hours for the first time in months. 

And I was feeling all pumped.
It's easy to feel like you're in cruising mode when things are going well, and it feels like nothing can touch you. Then I remembered what my last Sunday was like. On Sunday, no matter how hard I tried, I literally could not get my body out of my bed.

I mentioned before that I've been going through a series of health issues related to my autoimmune system and thyroid, and one big side effect is how it affects my energy and physical health and strength through my hormone levels.

There are days like that where I feel like I've been hit in the head and body with a golf club. My body gets inflamed and my muscles feel like they're collapsing on me (and not in the way it feels after tough workouts), and getting up to get water is a task. Because of this, I've been experimenting with eating differently in hopes of increasing the ratio of good days to bad. I haven't drank coffee in 6 weeks (this is the hardest by faaaaar), avoiding dairy, nuts, legumes, and gluten (and we KNOW how I feel about that). 

Those are the days where I throw a mental tantrum, feeling angry that I'm a 20-something dealing with an operated hip and health issues that don't typically hit people my age. And yes, I absolutely know that it could be far worse. But fact of the matter is, is that it can still really suck sometimes.

I was getting so frustrated with all of this, and fighting against it with gritted teeth. Then.

I decided to accept that there's only so much I can do and restarted my practice of being grateful for the little things.
The little victories, the good days, the happy moments- and to truly cherish and appreciate them.

Right after I quit my first job, I made a concerted effort to start being present, and focus on the little things that comprise those small joyful moments in life. I started recording those moments through my Instagram, and that's really how the idea for this website came to life. 

The more you allow yourself to start being grateful for what may initially seem like insignificant things, the more happiness you allow yourself to feel. Those are the moments you will remember and recall as cherished memories. There is always something to be thankful for.

My challenge to you this week: 

Be grateful and appreciate those small moments.

  • Appreciate the magic that is coffee. It saves many a Monday morning.

  • If you have an extra minute, take the time to savor your food- don't gobble it down in a hangry moment.

  • Hug a loved one and tell them you love them.

  • When you're really dreading going to the gym, appreciate the fact that you have an able body to use and workout with.

  • Soak up that beautiful sunset and marvel in the beauty of our world.

  • Be grateful for your friends and family. Savor every minute of time with them- we don't get nearly enough time with people as much as we'd like.

  • When life just feels overwhelming and chaotic, breathe:
    Focus on slowing your breath down.
    Stand up, stay still and close your eyes.
    Wiggle your fingers, shake your head, point your toes.
    Place your hand over your heart and feel it beating.
    Be grateful for the extraordinary gift of life and for who you are.

Lastly, but most importantly, be like little Kayden and embrace life like a kid.
Marvel at the simple yet amazing magic that something as overlooked as rain can bring.