As the season of masking our true identities ends and the season of giving thanks approaches, I thought I’d get a head start for all of the things I’m so tremendously grateful for this year. I usually start and end my days with gratitude, but thought I’d go a little extra for this season that’s becoming a favorite of mine. I truly believe that whatever season of life you’re in, you can find something (and usually more than one) to be grateful for. If you stopped focusing on the negative and switched over to the positives in your life, you can find a plethora of things in your current life situation. If you don’t already, now would be the perfect time to get started on a gratitude journal. Here’s a list to help you get started:

  1. My parents- although they didn’t start off this way in the beginning when I decided to get a divorce, once they knew I’d put my foot down, they have been the epitome of support and love. I am so lucky, blessed and beyond grateful to these two.
  2. My friends/sisters- You know how they say if you ask the Universe/put yourself out there, the Universe will respond and give you exactly what you need? I can attest to this. In and through the messiest part of my life, the Universe delivered the strongest, most loving and understanding group of women exactly when I needed them. I could have never imagined such women and I am eternally grateful for them.
  3. My health and my perfect body- I’m breathing on my own, unassisted, and all my body parts are working just as they should be. My health and body are perfect.
  4. My story- The good, the bad, the ugly, the rebirth. How far I’ve come is awesome to see and where I’m headed is an exciting adventure. How my story is helping others is icing on the already delicious cake.
  5. My home- When I first moved into it 5 years ago, I wasn’t excited about it. I could only see the parts I didn’t like. I didn’t like most of the furniture in it because they were chosen by my ex. Now, I love being in it. Things were moved out, decor has been changed, I’ve made it my own and I love the space I’ve created. It finally feels like home.
  6. Privilege- Do you know what privilege is? It’s going to the grocery store and seeing a cookie aisle filled with 1000000000 different types of cookies. I shop at a grocery store like that on the regular and have that kind of option. Privilege.
  7. Time- Time alone doesn’t heal all wounds and time goes by too fast sometimes, but it reminds me to slow the fuck down and appreciate what is happening NOW. It reminds me that EVERYTHING in life is fleeting and so to be present not to miss out on anything.
  8. My 2 perfect daughters- They are perfect in every single way and I cannot imagine any more perfect.
  9. Tacos. No explanations needed here.
  10. Stretchy pants- For all the times I overeat tacos. I still can’t even understand how that is possible.
  11. Quietude- In the moments of quietude where there is no noise- noise telling me things I should be doing, things I should be worried about- there is peace and utter gratitude.
  12. Fall Season- I used to hate fall season when I was in my 20’s. It meant being cold and not being able to wear sexy outfits to the club/bar because it was…cold. Now I love it. I love the crisp air. I love the colorful leaves that eventually fall. I love how this season can make death look so beautiful and not the scary sad image that most of us have of it.
  13. Teachers- Anyone can be a teacher. Anyone who stirs something in you (positive AND negative) is a teacher. My friends are my teachers. My therapist, my family and children are my teachers. My ex is my biggest teacher of all. He teaches me patience, equanimity, boundary-setting, how to give and show love and compassion almost on a daily basis.
  14. My Voice- I used to be afraid of using my voice to let others know my thoughts and/or how I feel because I was scared of how people would see me or think of me. Now, I say what I think and how I feel without giving a fuck what others think of me. It’s quite liberating, and quite often, people will tell me how much they agree with me or how admirable it is that I have said it. And even if they don’t, not a problem! I read once that fear is a sneaky thief, stealing away life’s precious moments. I’d say that’s an accurate statement. That’s all fear is- a thief, not a reality.
  15. Crying- As a child growing up in an Asian family, I was taught that crying was shameful. Here’s some context- in the 2nd grade, I broke my leg and I didn’t cry because I thought it meant I was weak and I’d get in trouble. This year, I think I’ve cried more than I have in…I honestly can’t say how long. It’s something I’ve had to re-parent myself on. I’ve noticed that I can get over things faster after a good cry so there’ll probably be a lot more of this in the future. Maybe 2020 will be the year of the cry baby. Ha!

No matter how small or big it is, I believe thinking of things we’re grateful for every day puts some perspective on how good our lives really are. Naturally, our brains are wired to look for the negatives in life so it’s up to us to retrain our brains by choosing to look for the positives. Like exercise, it can seem hard to start in the beginning, but like exercise, once you get on a steady routine, it gets easier and eventually it becomes a habit- a good one. What are you grateful for today?