• The Hopefulist

Just one thing

For a pessimist, gratitude can be difficult. I know, I've been there more times than I'd like to admit. This is when focusing on just one thing you are grateful for can set you on the right path. We can tend to think there is nothing good about our life but if we take the time to examine it, there is always something to be thankful about.

We have to start with realizing how much we take for granted. If you have a house, food on the table and utilities, you already have more than the majority of the world. If you have a job and a car, then wow...you really aren't in bad shape. No matter how you feel about what you have in your life, these are things to be truly grateful for. You can start there. Or you can find one thing that you absolutely love and focus on that.

When I was 30, I went through a break up with someone that I had been dating for the past two years. I was not only distraught over the end of the relationship but I made it so much worse for myself because I thought I was worthless since I was 30 and not married. In my mind it meant that no one wanted me. I was in a bad place. It was a tough time. But this is also the time when I moved into my favorite apartment. I just moved to a different place in the same neighborhood. I was finally making a little money and I threw it all into decorating this place. It was the cutest little place. In fact, I lived there at two different times. When I moved back from the Jersey Shore in 2006, I was lucky to find one of the apartments was available. Like I said, I spent some money on making it look nice. It was my first real foray into interior design (for myself) and I was pretty pleased with the results. I would just sit on my couch and look around at what I had done. I would take it all in and feel proud. I would just look at it and be happy with what I had done and what it looked like. It was something good to focus on. And my love of decorating grew from there.

When you are feeling low and like you have nothing to be happy about in your life, look for one thing...just one thing. It's summer right now and there is so much more we can do in the warm weather. I mentioned yesterday I went on my first kayaking adventure of the season. I always forget how much I enjoy it until I'm out there. And this is one of the things I still have to push myself to do because the prep of getting everything ready and putting the kayak in the water is kind of a pain in the butt. Same with the clean up and getting it back out. But it's so worth the work. I usually take it easy on my first ride but I went a pretty far distance with my neighbor. I was worried I would be tired or sore but I really wasn't. (Thanks to making my workout a non-negotiable three days a week.) Now I can't wait to get back out there. It's definitely something I love. Until I get a real boat that is!!!

What is one thing you love that you can focus on? Put all your energy into that. Look forward to it, relish it while doing it and embrace it with the enthusiasm of a 4 year old on Christmas morning. Once you start being truly grateful for one thing, it will be easier to work more gratitude into your life.

It's Tuesday! Will you be having a taco? Find that one thing. If it's more that's great, but one is enough to start. Let's go do this. You know, be our badass selves. And remember, I'm also cheering you on!

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