Five hundred and forty-two

Gratitude

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude.  As I get older, grow and change, I realize more and more the importance of being thankful for things that I have.  At the end of my yoga class today (I’m still doing yoga, left over from vegan month) I listed in my head some of the things I am grateful for: my family; friends; the fact that I have a job when so many others don’t; that I live in Canada where I can speak my mind and have many social services if I need to use them; my health; my brain; my ability to write; my working body (I had just finished yoga, so my body was on my mind).  I have been accused of being a hippy from time to time, and doing yoga while thinking of the things I’m thankful for is probably one of the reasons why.  I don’t think you have to be a hippy to feel gratitude, though.  Gratitude is a huge part of many religions and belief systems.  Thinking about those things that we are happy about make it easier to deal with the things we aren’t happy about and accept the things we can’t change.  I watched a video today by actress Amy Poehler answering a question about how to deal when we feel down about our bodies.  She gives some of the best advice I’ve ever heard, saying to be grateful for the things you love about your body and concentrate on those.  Here’s the video:

As I said earlier, there are many big things I’m grateful for, but there are also lots of little things.  I know many people have written books about the little things, but I thought for today’s weekly post I would share a few of the little things I’m thankful for.  I don’t think there can ever be too much gratitude in the world!

The few of the little things I’m thankful for:

  • When a friend calls me up out of the blue at the exact time when I really needed a friend
  • The ray of sunshine that comes in through my bedroom window in the mornings
  • A cuddle from my always warm boyfriend when I’m always cold
  • The moment when, although I will always be their “little girl”, I knew my parents thought of me as an adult
  • The smell of fresh air when I leave the city
  • A deep and unexpected conversation with a stranger that opens my mind to different possibilities
  • The feeling when I know I am in the exact right place I should be
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Riding my bike in the warm rain
  • The firemen who came to check up on a water leak on an electrical panel and flood at my work (this really did happen on Monday night)
  • The feeling of getting to the end of a book, not wanting it to be over, then finding out it is part of a trilogy
  • The opportunity to follow my dreams
  • My new age and creative friends who won’t let my logical brain completely take over and make decisions
  • My logical brain for not letting the creative side take over either
  • My brother for calling me yesterday when he was at the grocery to see if I needed anything, then buying me grapes just when I had a craving for them
  • The ability to get lost in a city, explore, then find my way again
  • The taste of a perfectly ripe tomato
  • Dark chocolate right before a certain time of the month (I’m sure this is on most women’s lists) – actually any time
  • Sitting on a patio, enjoying the last of the summer (And this is where I’m off to now.  I hope everyone has a fabulous day!)

Three hundred and eighty-seven

Wednesday post day and the aftermath of St. Patty’s Day weekend

The biggest day of the year working in an Irish pub came and went and I survived.  I remember last year how absolutely tired I was at the end of it, but still managed to post something.  Good for me.  Although maybe not the best writing I’ve ever done!

I did manage to spend quite a bit of time working on the book this week, though, in my spare time.  I also heard back from the agent!!!  Her intern and her both read the prologue I sent them and liked it, with a few changes, of course.  I have a phone meeting with them tomorrow evening to discuss what I need to work on and “discuss the next steps in getting this book written!” (in her words).  Awesome! That also means I need to write the book.  For those interested, the book is about my personal journey behind the blog – my romantic journey (and that’s a good one), my physical health journey, my emotional journey, etc – filtered through what I am going through in the blog.  There will be small excerpts from the blog, factual information about the topics, but also my secret personal story of what I was going through at the time.  Well, at least that’s what I’m thinking it will be so far.  I’m all for adaptation, depending in how it is going.  I’m almost done the first section, so hopefully I can keep up this pace.  If I can still find time to write while working St. Patty’s Day weekend at an Irish pub, I can find time any time.

A couple of interesting things that jumped out at me this past week that pertains to topics from the year:

I found the image below on Quora.com answers from “When people look back on their life in their 30s, 40s and older what are some common regrets they have?”.  It reminds me why I do what I do.  And not that I kiss a ton of people (no that’s not what the book is going to reveal!), it’s that I try to live my life without regrets.  Sometimes I succeed better than others.  And I only kissed a few of the boys from date month (if I was The Bachelorette on television, you’d be disappointed if I wasn’t kissing them all, so no judging).  But the ones I did kiss were very special to me, and one of them is especially special to me still (oooo, hint at what my big secret is in the book).

(originally from http://xkcd.com/458/)

As I donated a bunch of money to the Daily Bread Food Bank during Good Deed and after Poverty months, I belong to their mailing list.  I’m sort of against snail mail lists because they’re just wasting paper and killing trees.  I know there are conspiracy theories that if we go completely electronic, the computers could crash or all our personal information will be stolen (you know who I’m talking to – father), but in cases of marketing I think going completely electronic is the socially responsible thing to do.  That being said, the Daily Bread Food Bank does a lot of amazing things, so I can’t hate on them too much.  In their package they sent me, there’s a leaflet about what causes hunger in Ontario and who the donation helps.  Here are a couple of those facts that remind me of what living at the poverty line really is:

  • The median monthly income for people using food banks in Ontario is $925, meaning 72% of their income is spent on rent/mortgage including utilities.
  • 46% of adults have not eaten for a day because of lack of money
  • 36% of food bank clients are children
  • 19% of children go hungry at least once per week

I am grateful every day for what I have and what I was born into.  And I remember every day to try and help those who have different circumstances in their life that are not as fortunate as mine.